Lying, Cheating, and Occasionally Murder
by Ginny Fite
on Tour April 16 – May 18, 2018
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.
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 🔗
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
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.
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.
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.
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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.