Crime for the Holidays issue of Mystery Readers Journal. Be sure and go back and have a look at the first three Crime for the Holidays posts by Carolyn Hart, Kathy Lynn Emerson, and Kerry Greenwood.
Evelyn David is the author of Murder Off the Books, Murder Takes the Cake, and The Brianna Sullivan Mysteries e-book series. Evelyn David is the pseudonym for Marian Edelman Borden and Rhonda Dossett. Marian and Rhonda write their mystery series via the internet. While many fans who attend mystery conventions have now chatted with both halves of Evelyn David, Marian and Rhonda have yet to meet in person.
How to Commit Murder during the Holidays by Evelyn David
We, the collective Evelyn David, are apparently deadly to holiday guests. There are two of us: Marian Edelman Borden, who lives in New York and Rhonda Dossett, who calls Muskogee, Oklahoma her home. We've been writing together for six years and are happily able to transform the most joyous of holidays into an opportunity for murder and mayhem, both east and west of the Mississippi.
Of course, despite the holiday song proclaiming this is "the most wonderful time of the year," for many people, it's actually the most difficult. The impulse to act on negative feelings may be magnified. While the media makes it appear that everyone else is having the time of their life, enjoying each other's company, buying a mound of expensive presents, with no credit card bills to fear, most find real life very different. It's enough to make you homicidal, if you were so inclined.
And as mystery writers, we clearly are so inclined – or at least in print, we are.
It's no coincidence that our book, Murder Takes the Cake, combines the stresses of a holiday, Thanksgiving, with the pressures of planning a wedding. Rachel Brenner, our protagonist, considers going to a hotel and ordering room service, rather than face a turkey dinner without her son or brother. She's hard-pressed to remember that for which she is thankful. Solving a murder that is more than 30 years old, while also preventing one from happening, only increases the pressures of this "most wonderful time of the year."
We offer the reader two holiday stories in our e-book, The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawata. In the first story, "Giving Thanks in Lottawatah", psychic Brianna Sullivan spends Thanksgiving day with her boyfriend's family – the living and the dead. She solves a mystery while participating in all the traditional Thanksgiving festivities of a family living in rural Oklahoma. The second story is set at Christmas time. In "Bah, Humbug in Lottawatah", Brianna not only has to deal with the ghost of a murder victim who can only offer cryptic clues to his killer, but must also help a young boy discover anew the magic of Christmas while his father spends his days in prison, falsely accused of murder. The holiday spirits, pun intended, won't be very joyous unless Brianna can solve the mystery, which is also the only way the ghost can finally go to the light.
So as you heft that last turkey from the grocery store freezer, struggle to wrap that awkwardly shaped gift, or circle the shopping center lot for the tenth time searching for a parking space, understand those are the golden moments for authors. The time when genius is born and a murder plot is hatched.
Murder Takes the Cake is published by Wolfmont Press and is available in print and all e-book formats.
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah is the third volume of an e-book only mystery series featuring psychic Brianna Sullivan's adventures in a small Oklahoma town. It is available in all e-book formats.
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