A heroine who used to be in the military? A sidekick grandfather who is a retired CIA operative? Sounds more like a thriller than a cozy mystery, some might say.
Not so fast. Emma-Joy “EJ” Ferris enlisted in the Air Force as an act of teenage rebellion against her Hollywood-liberal parents and was medically retired in her twenties when her leg got shredded by an IED in Afghanistan. Now she’s a mall security officer with not even a taser or a bottle of pepper spray, never mind a gun, to subdue shoplifters and vandals at the Fernglen Galleria in Vernonville, Virginia. That might be okay on an average day, but an animal rights group recently “liberated” all the reptiles, including a 15-foot python, from the Herpetology Hut, and a murderer left a dead body in a boutique window.
As if EJ’s life isn’t complicated enough, her 83-year-old Grandpa Atherton buys spy gadgets off the Internet and uses them to spy on mall customers and merchants, resulting in complaints that make EJ’s professional life awkward, to say the least. Her best friend Kyra, a roller derby enthusiast, encourages EJ to investigate the murders, she has the boss from Hades, and EJ’s cat Fubar insists on littering her house with dead rodents.
I have fun writing this series because I like infusing a cozy mystery with new elements and lots of humor. EJ has a little more crime scene related knowledge than most cozy heroines (such as the ladies of Violetta’s Salon in the Southern Beauty Shop series I write as Lila Dare), but she doesn’t have access to any of the tools cops use to solve cases: no cop databases, no legal authorities, no forensic capabilities. She works in a mall which is a setting just made for laughs. How many times have you visited the mall and not seen or heard something funny? A ludicrous product in one of those kiosks that turn the halls into obstacle courses (Egyptian hookahs, anyone?), an outfit that makes you gasp, an unintelligible conversation between teenage girls? (I have two teenage girls and, let me tell you, using the word “unintelligible” is probably redundant.)
I hope you have as much fun reading DIE BUYING as I had writing it. I’m donating the profits from this book to the Wounded Warrior Project that helps injured veterans because EJ’s a vet and my husband and I are both veterans and it’s important to care for the military members who sacrificed so much for this country.
Many thanks to Lesa for inviting me to post on her excellent blog today.Please visit my website, http://www.lauradisilverio.com/ to learn more about my books, or “Like” me on Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/LauraDiSilverio
Thank you, Laura. I hope that summary will encourage readers to try Die Buying. Thanks for taking time to write for us. And, good luck with the book, and the series!
Die Buying by Laura DiSilverio. Penguin Group (USA), ©2011. ISBN 9780425242735 (paperback), 288p.