Sunday, December 4, 2016

Mystery Author of the Month: Maggie King

Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries, including the recently-released Murder at the Moonshine Inn. She contributed the stories “A Not So Genteel Murder” and “Reunion at Shockoe Slip” to the Virginia is for Mysteries anthologies.
Maggie is a member of Sisters in Crime, James River Writers, and the American Association of University Women. She has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor. Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive. She enjoys reading, walking, movies, traveling, theatre, and museums.

Patricia: Maggie, when did you know that you wanted to be a writer? 
Maggie: In sixth grade I wrote a mystery and read chapters to my friends (my first fans!) on the way home from school. Then I moved on to another activity—probably boys—and my writing went dormant until the nineties. During the last year I lived in Los Angeles, three of my co-workers took creative writing classes at UCLA Extension. I read their work and was impressed. My competitive nature emerged and I thought, “I could do that.” But it wasn’t until I moved to Charlottesville, Virginia in 1996 that I put my bold thought into action. I took writing classes at the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville Writing Center. I grew to despise those pesky writing prompts but I did get started on writing a mystery, my genre of choice. To answer your question, I’d reached the point where I knew I wanted to write. “I could do that” had become “I do that.” 
Patricia: If, for some reason, you couldn’t be a writer, what profession would you choose?
Maggie: If I wasn’t retired from a day job, I’d return to the IT world. But I am retired and would likely a) volunteer in the community; b) teach people how to use their desktop computers and mobile devices; or c) become a student of just about any subject. A combination of the three options creates a fourth possibility.
Patricia: Do you have a bucket list, things you still want to do and/or places you want to visit?
Maggie: For travel, my bucket list includes Southeast Asia, South America, Africa, Antarctica, Australia, and New Zealand. I’d love to return to Greece and Italy. And I have about fifteen US states left to visit. For activities, there’s ziplining, baking authentic German bread by hand, learning to play bridge and mah-jongg. Walking across America has a place on the list, but after seeing the movie Wild I’m not as enthused. Still, I’d like to do something really, well, wild.

WHEN HIGH-POWERED EXECUTIVE Roxanne Howard dies in a pool of blood outside the Moonshine Inn, Richmond, Virginia’s premiere redneck bar, the victim’s sister enlists Hazel Rose to ferret out the killer. At first Hazel balks—she’s a romance writer, not a detective. But Brad Jones, Rox’s husband, is the prime suspect. He’s also Hazel’s cousin, and Hazel believes in doing anything to help family. Never mind that Brad won’t give her the time of day—he’s still family.

Hazel recruits her book group members to help with the investigation. It’s not long before they discover any number of people who feel that a world without Rox Howard is just fine with them: Brad’s son believes that Rox and Brad were behind his mother’s death; Rox’s former young lover holds Rox responsible for a tragedy in his family; and one of Rox’s employees filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her. The killer could be an angry regular from the Moonshine Inn—or just about anyone who ever crossed paths with the willful and manipulative Rox.

When a second murder ups the ante Hazel must find out who is behind the killings. And fast. Or she may be victim #3.

Leave a comment for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.

Congratulations, Judy Grogan!!!