by Lois Schmitt
June 1-30, 2021 Tour
When attorney Samuel Wong goes missing. wildlife magazine reporter Kristy Farrell believes the disappearance is tied into her latest story concerning twenty acres of prime beachfront property that the Clam Shell Cove Aquarium hopes to purchase. Sam works for multi-millionaire land developer Lucien Moray who wants to buy the property for an upscale condominium. The waterfront community is divided on this issue like the Hatfields and McCoys with environmentalists siding with the aquarium and local business owners lining up behind Moray.
Meanwhile, a body is found in the bay. Kristy, aided by her veterinarian daughter, investigates and discovers deep secrets among the aquarium staff–secrets that point to one of them as a killer. Soon the aquarium is plagued with accidents, Kristy has a near death encounter with a nine foot bull shark, and a second murder occurs.
But ferreting out the murderer and discovering the story behind Sam’s disappearance aren’t Kristy’s only challenges. When her widowed septuagenarian mother announces her engagement, Kristy suspects her mom’s soon to be husband is not all he appears to be. As Kristy tries to find the truth before her mother ties the knot, she also races the clock to find the aquarium killer before this killer strikes again.
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Encircle Publications
Publication Date: July 15th 2019
Number of Pages: 244
ISBN: 1948338793 (ISBN13: 9781948338790)
Series: A Kristy Farrell Mystery #2 || Each is a Stand-Alone Novel
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Encircle Publications | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
A mystery fan since she read her first Nancy Drew, Lois Schmitt combined a love of mysteries with a love of animals in her series featuring wildlife reporter Kristy Farrell. She is a member of several wildlife and humane organizations as well as Mystery Writers of America. Lois worked for many years as a freelance writer and is the author of Smart Spending, a consumer education book for young people. She previously worked as media spokesperson for a local consumer affairs agency and currently teaches at Nassau Community College on Long Island. Lois lives in Massapequa with her family which includes a 120 pound Bernese Mountain Dog. This dog bears a striking resemblance to Archie, a dog of many breeds who looks like a small bear, featured in her Kristy Farrell Mystery Series. Lois was 2nd runner up for the Killer Nashville Claymore Award for Something Fishy.
Q&A with Lois Schmitt
What was the inspiration for this book?
I love animals and I love mysteries, so I knew my books would be mysteries intertwined with the world of animals. Living on Long Island, I’ve seen cases involving disputes between land developers and environmentalists, so for Something Fishy. I decided that would be the theme. To connect it specifically to animals, I decided to make the land developer at odds with a local aquarium that wants to acquire the property for breeding grounds and for a research camp for marine scientists.
What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?
My biggest challenge is learning the social media skills necessary to really publicize the book.
What do you absolutely need while writing?
I need coffee—lots of coffee. I need to be in comfortable clothes in an uncluttered place. I also need a pad and pen, because I write my first draft long hand and then type it on my computer and edit it there.
Although this isn’t essential, it helps my writing a great deal if I can take a walk just before settling down to write. I like to take a half hour walk in our local nature preserve (which is only a block away from my home). While walking, I toss ideas around in my head.
Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?
Strict routine. I write five days a week for 2-3 hours each day. The specific days and times may vary. Usually, on Sunday, I look at my schedule for the coming week and block out five days and the times I want to write during each of these days.
When I finish a book, however, I usually take at least one month before I start writing again. During this time, I try to think of ideas for the next book.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
My favorite character to WRITE is Detective Wolfe. I don’t like him. He’s not a nice person. He’s blustery and a “know it all.” He’s the nemesis of my protagonist Kristy. He’s totally frustrated by Kristy’s interference and the fact that she is often one step ahead of him. The banter between them is sarcastic and humorous. So, he’s fun to write.
But Kristy Farrell is probably my favorite character in the book. She gave up a tenured teaching position to fulfill her lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. She is now pursuing her dream. Kristy has determination and persistent—she never gives up.
Tell us why we should read your book.
Two reasons to read my book are animals and puzzles. If you like animals or puzzles this is a great book for you.
First, let’s talk about animals. My book is full of them. There are the sea lions and other marine creatures at the aquarium, the canine and feline patients at Kristy’s husband’s veterinary practice, and Kristy’s two companion animals—a collie and a dog of uncertain heritage who looks like a small bear.
Next is that this book is a puzzle. My mysteries give you all the clues to solve the crime. Many are “hidden” in normal conversation. Some are provided early on in the story when you are not looking for anything. Can you put the pieces together?
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?
Unlike the “human” characters in my books (that are totally made up and contain a variety of characteristics taken from the many different people I’ve met), my protagonist’s two dogs are my two dogs. Brandy is Kristy’s collie (I had a collie named Brandy in real life). Archie (although described in the book as a large dog of uncertain heritage resembling a small bear) is very much like my Bernese mountain dog. The habits and characteristics of the two dogs in my story are true to my own companion animals. Friends of mine, who have read my books, recognize the dogs immediately.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope they enjoy the book. I always welcome feedback. I also wanted to mention that I introduced Kristy’s mom in Something Fishy and I got a lot of positive reaction to her, so I may be including her in future books.
I’d also like to tell any aspiring writers to hang in there and keep at it. Persistence, persistence, and more persistence.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I grew up reading Nancy Drew and have been addicted to mysteries ever since. As I mentioned before, I love animals and I love mysteries, but my professional career has nothing to do with either. I currently am an adjunct professor at Nassau Community College where I teach personal finance. Before that, I served as media spokesperson and education coordinator for the Nassau County Office of Consumer Affairs. I live on Long Island with my family.
What’s next that we can look forward to?
My series is called the Kristy Farrell Animal Lover’s Mysteries. My first book, Monkey Business, took place in a zoo. Something Fishy is set at an aquarium. Coming up next is Playing Possum, which takes place at a nature preserve and wildlife rehabilitation center. This book is tentatively scheduled for release in late November of this year.
In the future, I may take my character on one or two trips, such as a visit to Alaska, or an African photo safari.
Catch Up With Our Author:
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ENTER TO WIN:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Lois Schmitt. There will be TWO winners. TWO (2) winners will each receive (1) Amazon.com Gift Card of varying amounts. The giveaway begins on June 1, 2021 and ends on July 1, 2021. Void where prohibited.