Apr 242018
 

Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder

by Ginny Fite

on Tour April 16 – May 18, 2018

 

Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder by Ginny Fite

Synopsis:

 

When it comes to murder, even brilliant scientists aren’t immune.

The night Harold Munson is shot dead in his car, the primary suspect is the man’s brainiac wife. But Charlotte, who has a passion for science and sex with strangers, swears all she wants is a Nobel Prize for curing brain cancer, even if that requires fudging her research and a few dead patients along the way.

When the next body drops, all signs point to Charlotte, but Detective Sam Lagarde doggedly follows the clues until he has his own Eureka moment.

 

Book Details:

Genre: Fiction-Murder Mystery
Published by: Black Opal Books
Publication Date: February 10th 2018
Number of Pages: 270
ISBN: 9781626948 (ISBN13: 9781626948648)
Series: Sam Lagarde Mystery Series, Book 3 (Each is a Stand Alone Novel)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Kobo 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

 

Author Bio:

Ginny Fite

Ginny Fite is an award-winning journalist who has covered crime, politics, government, healthcare, art, and all things human. She has been a spokesperson for a governor, a member of congress, a few colleges and universities, and a robotics R&D company. She has degrees from Rutgers University and Johns Hopkins University and studied at the School for Women Healers and the Maryland Poetry Therapy Institute. She is the author of I Should Be Dead by Now, a collection of humorous lamentations about aging; three books of poetry, The Last Thousand Years, The Pearl Fisher, and Throwing Caution; a short story collection, What Goes Around; as well as two previous Detective Sam Lagarde mysteries: Cromwell’s Folly and No Good Deed Left Undone. She resides in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia.

 

Q&A with Ginny Fite

Welcome!
Writing and Reading:

Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

Sometimes current events trigger an idea for a story but mostly, now that I’ve written several novels, I realize the story comes to me unbidden, and usually when I don’t expect it. I experience this as someone else telling me the story and leaving off just when it starts to get interesting. Then I have to knuckle down and follow where it was going on my own.

Independently of me, my brain seems to take in everything I observe, read, and hear. It sorts through all that stuff, categorizes, and synthesizes it. This is one of the brain’s main function, after all.

After it’s crunched all that data, it offers me a story that leads to understanding something, whether that’s how someone could come to kill another person or how people feel when they confront death. Mysteries are about the universal struggle of good and evil, about justice, and sometimes about mercy. I think these are issues we all grapple with from time to time.

I’m at the point where I wait for the story to find me and part of the fun is that I never know what it’s going to be. Somewhere in the process I will learn what I’m supposed to know.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

I start from the beginning and go as far as I can by the seat of my pants until I hit a brick wall and can’t see my way out. At that point, I start making timelines—not exactly a plot but a tool that allows me to see where I’m going, or might be going, although I have to admit the story usually takes its own turn no matter what I think will happen.

Recently, I’ve been writing down a few words about the gist of each scene on a separate PowerPoint slide so that I can easily rearrange them but even that doesn’t nail down a plot. A story wants what it wants. I guess that means I’m not a slave to an outline.

Sometimes I know what the end is, who killed who, but with Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder, the killer isn’t who I expected it to be. I got three-quarters of the way through the novel and realized I had the wrong killer. I had to go back and figure out who really killed Harold Munson and why.

Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?

I hope not! I assume that elements of people I’ve met—or even just glimpsed on a train, in the supermarket, or at a party—sneak into the characters I create. When a character presents herself, I ask what does she look like, sound like, move like, how does she dress, what does she like to eat, where does he work, what kind of car would he drive, and the answers show up. It’s a little like magic.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

I think I have a relatively normal routine—if writing books could be considered normal. I work every day including weekends, within an hour of waking and with ample coffee for about four hours. Sometimes, if inspiration hits in the evening, I’ll go back to my laptop or make notes on whatever device is near at hand.

There are so many moving parts to the writing life, I could be occupied all day but I find that new writing, putting words on a page to craft a scene, takes a fresh mind. I do get cranky if my routine is upset by other events, even when I’m supposed to be on vacation and doing other things I love to do, like playing with my grandchildren or hanging out with my friends.

Tell us why we should read this book.

Hidden in the folds of Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder is the story about how medical research is far too frequently fudged, fraudulent, and—if clinical trials result in applied therapies and drugs—sometimes fatal. No one is ever arrested and put on trial for those deaths. That struck me as a story that should be told to a wider audience than only the research community.

On a less serious note, LCAOM is intriguing entertainment that takes the reader along winding West Virginia roads with the loveable curmudgeon, Detective Sam Lagarde, in search of an unlikely killer. If you like Kate Atkinson’s Case Studies or Ruth Ware’s In a Dark, Dark Wood, you may like Lying, Cheating and Occasionally Murder.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
I have many favorite authors: Anthony Doerr, Annie Proulx, Toni Morrison, Louise Erdrich. Actually, often the last person I read becomes my favorite author.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend in print and Karen Dionne’s The Marsh King’s Daughter on kindle.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

The next book schedule to come out in 2018, No End of Bad, is a standalone political thriller. When a DC housewife’s safe world blows up after her FBI husband is falsely arrested and killed by agents working for an international drug cartel, she and her daughter must fight his assassins to save their own lives and restore his honor.

I’m also working on a ghost story set in a small Maryland town near the Chesapeake Bay told in several voices.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

Ed Harris is Sam Lagarde, Jessica Chastain is Charlotte Rolle, Meryl Streep is Beverly Wilson, and poor Harold Munson would be played by Woody Harrelson when he was younger (say, his Cheers days). Yunjin Kim (from Lost) would play Betty Liu.

Favorite meal?

I love eggplant parmesan, in all its many varieties, and so does Sam Lagarde.

Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.

 

Catch Up With Ginny Fite On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

 

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1

March 30, 2016, 6 a.m.:

At two in the morning on a perfectly clear night, the full moon casting a beacon across western fields and along two satin rivers unfurling between dark mountains, Harold Munson ended his perfect day by crashing right through the clapboard siding of the Weigle Insurance Company office building.

Munson’s front bumper nudged the insurance agent’s desk into the printer, which interpreted the jolt as an instruction to print and began beeping its out-of-paper alarm. Dave Weigle, broker and owner of the company—awakened by a newly downloaded intruder alert app on his cell phone—threw on sweat pants and a jacket, padded out to his car in slippers, and arrived first on the scene.

He peeked through the window of the car in his parking lot and saw a man slumped over the driver’s side air bag, but Weigle was too preoccupied with the damage to his building to look closely. Unlocking his unscathed office door, he first examined the gaping hole caused by the front of a car ripping through the side of his building, turned off the annoying printer beeping, looked around at the mess, and called the police, just in case the new automated security system hadn’t notified them.

Then he took photographs on his cell phone. He had insurance. He might as well use it. If nothing else, he could prove to his wife he really had gone to the office in the middle of the night.

Munson had been going northwest toward Martinsburg, based on swerve marks made by his tires on the two-lane Charles Town Road, when his car rammed into the insurance building opposite the Kearneysville Post Office five miles west of Shepherdstown.

When Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies arrived ten minutes after Weigle, they bolted out of their vehicles thinking Harold was dead drunk, slumped over the airbag like that, not moving and unresponsive to their increasingly loud, shouted commands: “Hands where I can see ’em. Step out of the car. Get out of the car now.”

Sheriff Harbaugh was sure he saw Munson blink as officers approached the closed window of the driver’s side door, guns drawn, yelling at him to surrender. They attempted to wrench open the door to pull him out of the car and discovered it was locked. Then, in quick succession, they noticed a smear of blood and brains on the passenger seat and dashboard and two small holes in the driver’s side window surrounded by rings of spider-webbed glass.

Drunk or not, Harold had been shot through the head. That might have been the cause of his leaving the road and plowing into the building. Whether he hit the building first or the bullet smashing through his brain had caused him to veer off the road would be determined by further investigation. At that point, the deputies called in the West Virginia State Police with its forensics apparatus and crime lab personnel.

After his initial reconnoiter of the Munson crime scene, a conversation with Weigle, whose cell phone alert app had recorded the moment of impact and whose photos of the scene might prove useful, Detective Sam Lagarde, assigned to the State Police Troop 2 Command, based outside Charles Town, reminded himself he was only a short trip on winding, narrow roads up and down a few hills from his eighteenth-century farmhouse. He decided to go home and let his horses out of the barn before he went back to the office to file his initial paperwork. When he got to his house, coffee was already brewing.

Lagarde stopped describing his new case and looked down into the mug of coffee Beverly Wilson put on the kitchen table in front of him. It was the right color. He took a sip. It had the right amount of sugar. He took two gulps. It was the right temperature. He felt like Goldilocks. He still wasn’t accustomed to having someone take care of him, or even give two hoots about how he liked his coffee. He marveled at his good luck. It was six in the morning, and Beverly was a tea drinker. He took a moment to savor this extraordinary gift. In a month or two, he knew, he would take it for granted.

He looked up at Beverly, then out beyond the kitchen door, which he’d left open to let in the bracing spring air, and glanced toward the barn. It was too much to ask.

“Yes, Sam.” Beverly made a face at him and then smiled and put a hand on Lagarde’s shoulder. “I let the horses out and made sure they have water and a few leaves of hay. They’re set for a while, unless you want to ride, in which case you’re the one who’ll have to catch Jake.”

That was all it took, the mild pressure of her warm palm on his shoulder for him to feel completely calm and that the world was in order. The whole thing—Beverly Wilson, in his house, sleeping in his bed, making slight snoring noises that forced him to acknowledge her presence was real—was a marvel to him.

Here she was talking to him as if it was the most normal thing in the world for them to be living together. How had this happened? He didn’t feel entitled to such a miracle. After love, women were the second most indecipherable mystery he had never solved. But then, neither had anyone else.

***

Excerpt from Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder by Ginny Fite. Copyright © 2018 by Ginny Fite. Reproduced with permission from Ginny Fite. All rights reserved.

 

Tour Participants:

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Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Ginny Fite. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 16, 2018 and runs through May 20, 2018. Void where prohibited.

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