Isabel Long Mystery Series

Two-Thirds of the Way There

Ah, progress. Missing the Deadline, no. 7 in my Isabel Long Mystery Series, is past the two-thirds mark. Believe me I’m smiling.

I began this book last fall and kept at it despite distractions like holidays, going back and forth with my editor/publisher, Laurence Patterson on The Sacred Dog (not part of the series), family visits, other writing projects, and personal stuff. My aim is around 75,000 for the books in this series. So, if you do the math, I am past the 50,000-word mark. 

To note this accomplishment, I printed what I’ve written so far and got out a red flare pen to mark up what I want to add, change or subtract. I also note with big red stars a bit of information that needs to be brought up later in the book, or perhaps I’ve found a repetition of a certain phrase. Then there is the big, red FIX beside a paragraph that needs work.

My plan is to finish to today and begin making the edits before I go full-steam ahead to finish the book. As I’ve stated before, I aim for 500 words a day although lately I’ve been writing more. So, it will take me maybe six or seven more weeks. That should give Isabel and me time to solve this case.

So what is Missing the Deadline about? Cyrus Nilsson, who readers of the series will recall is the Big Shot Poet, hires Isabel to investigate the shooting of his former agent. Gerald Danielson survived the shooting, which the police ruled an attempted suicide, but he is not the same man. He is now seriously impaired. After overhearing what somebody said at a party, Cyrus questions whether Gerald actually shot himself or someone else did it.

Gerald lives with his devoted sister, Wendy, who now runs the literary agency, in a village called Meadows Falls. He has an aide, Miguel. As Isabel delves into this case, she looks for people who might have a reason to want to kill Gerald Danielson, and there are definitely suspects, including an ex-wife who writes smutty romance novels.

Of course, I’ve carried over many of the characters who have become regulars, including Annette Waters and the Beaumont brothers. Yes, Isabel tends bar Friday nights at the Rooster with Jack. And her 93-year-old mother, Maria is still her helpful ‘Watson.’

I certainly will be telling you more about Missing the Deadline in the future.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t already caught up, here’s the link to my Isabel Long Mystery Series on Amazon, in Kindle and paperback:

And if you have read them all, I sincerely thank you and hope you look forward to reading the next.

Checking the Traps, Isabel Long Mystery Series

Checking the Traps: Full Speed Ahead

As mentioned in a post last week, things are moving faster toward the release of my next mystery, Checking the Traps. We now have a release date, a cover, and I am working with my editor to get the novel in the best shape possible. Read on for the details.

For those new to my blog or just need a gentle reminder, Checking the Traps is the third book in my Isabel Long Mystery Series set in the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. Isabel is a longtime journalist turned P.I., who is handling cold cases in her neck of the woods. Her clients tend to be on the country gritty side. Her 93-year-old mystery-loving mother is her sidekick.

First: March 22 is the official launch date of Checking the Traps. That’s when the Kindle version will be released. (The paperback version will be earlier.) I will let you know when pre-orders begin.

Second: Above is the cover created by Laurence Patterson, co-publisher at Crooked Cat Books. The other two book covers feature the back view of a woman outside in black and white. This cover matches that theme well while capturing an important element of the book: a bridge.

Third: My editor, Miriam Drori, and I are going over the manuscript very carefully. It’s great having someone who has fresh eyes — and mind — give my book a close read. Certainly, I’ve read it a gazillion times. We are on round two.

However, for this book, I have a not-so-secret weapon: the “read aloud” mechanism of my newly purchased Word program. Alas, my old version stopped working, so I was forced to upgrade, and I’m glad I did. I click on “read aloud” and a man reads my book aloud. It’s slow and I can only take listening for so long. (I am amused at some of “his” pronunciations.) But in the process I have found missing words, typos, and overused words. Dang, I wish I had used this for my other books.

Finally: I want to say congrats to anyone who picked up the Kindle version of Chasing the Case, the first book in the Isabel Long Mystery Series, which was free this past weekend. By my standards, it did well, including reaching #7 in the popular Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Crime Fiction > Murder category in Amazon US.

Of course, this is for free books. But as I explained in my last post, I’m hunting for readers who will get hooked by this series. It’s all part of the publishing game.