by Susan Hunter
on Tour June 4 – 15, 2018
When teenager Heather Young disappeared from the small town of Himmel, Wisconsin everyone believed her boyfriend had killed her—though her body was never found. Twenty years later, his little sister Sammy returns to town. She begs her old friend, true crime writer Leah Nash, to prove her brother Eric isn’t a murderer.
But Sammy has no new evidence, and her brother doesn’t want Leah’s help. Leah says no—but she can’t help feeling guilty about it. That feeling gets much worse when Sammy is killed in a suspicious car accident. That’s when the independent, irreverent, unstoppable Leah takes up her cause. Her investigation takes her to some dark and dangerous places, and the truth she finds has an unexpected and shattering impact on her own life.
Published by: Himmel River Press
Publication Date: November 2016
Number of Pages: 348
ISBN: 1540356477 (ISBN13: 9781540356475)
Series: Leah Nash Mysteries #3 (Each is a Stand Alone Mystery)
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Google Play 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗
Q&A with Susan Hunter
Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Not directly, but things that have happened to me, or to friends or family sometimes spark imagination and I use them as a starting point. I keep a file of things that I come across online or elsewhere that strike me as possibilities. I’ve also been known to use snippets of overheard conversation to get me started.
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 with the victim first. I think about who is killed and build out his or her backstory so that I know why, and who the suspects could be. Then I create backstories for all of the suspects and find ways that their lives intersected with the victim and sometimes with each other. I usually know who the killer is, and how the story will end, but when I’m writing I typically only plan about five chapters in advance and see where that takes me.
Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
No, although I sometimes lift a physical description, or a mannerism or voice.
Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I write at my desk in my office, which when I start a book is always pristine. By the time it’s reached the midpoint, there are piles of papers, sticky notes affixed to my printer and desk, and lots of cookie crumbs and the occasional half-empty cup of tea. I like to use large sheets of paper—the kind you’d use at a work brainstorming session—and stick them up on the wall to work out my timelines.
Tell us why we should read this book.
Well, probably not everyone should. But if you enjoy a mystery with lots of surprises, a strong female lead who is funny, flawed and fierce, and a plot that allows the characters to grow a little, then I think you should read it.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Reginald Hill, Louise Penny, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, Liane Moriarty, John Irving, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Michael Connelly, Laurie King
What are you reading now?
The Sea Detective by Mark Douglas-Home. It’s very good.
Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
Yes, I’m writing the fifth Leah Nash Mystery. The victim is Laurel Sheridan, a creative writing teacher on the faculty of Alcott College, a liberal arts school about 10 miles away from Leah’s stomping grounds in Himmel. Leah is pulled into the investigation when her ex-husband becomes a person of interest to local police investigating the murder. As in all Leah Nash mysteries, there are plenty of suspects, a few twists and turns, and (I hope) a solution that surprises. A familiar cast of supporting characters, and some new ones, will also be part of the story.
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
That’s a fun one to think about. Off the top of my head—Anna Kendrick for Leah, Chris Pratt for Coop, January Jones for Rebecca, Jamie Lee Curtis for Leah’s mom, Michael Trevino, Miguel.
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
Reading, watching classic movies from the 1930s and 1940s
Grilled rainbow trout, green beans, baked potato. For dessert, chocolate cake with vanilla buttercream frosting—and I like to think of the cake as primarily a means to convey the frosting.
Thank you for stopping by CMash Reads and spending time with us.
Susan Hunter is a charter member of Introverts International (which meets the 12th of Never at an undisclosed location). She has worked as a reporter and managing editor, during which time she received a first-place UPI award for investigative reporting and a Michigan Press Association first place award for enterprise/feature reporting.
Susan has also taught composition at the college level, written advertising copy, newsletters, press releases, speeches, web copy, academic papers and memos. Lots and lots of memos. She lives in rural Michigan with her husband Gary, who is a man of action, not words.
During certain times of the day, she can be found wandering the mean streets of small-town Himmel, Wisconsin, dropping off a story lead at the Himmel Times Weekly, or meeting friends for a drink at McClain’s Bar and Grill.
Read an excerpt:
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Susan Hunter. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com gift Card. The giveaway begins on June 4 and runs through June 17, 2018. Void where prohibited.