A Plague Among Us
A Chautauqua Murder Mystery
by Deb Pines
September 1-30, 2021 Tour
When Al Martin, the editor of a satiric newspaper in Chautauqua, N.Y., reportedly dies of COVID-19, the local consensus is: good riddance.
A sister suspects foul play. She wonders why Al was cremated in a hurry.
The police stay out of it.
So it takes reporter and relentless snoop Mimi Goldman to try to find which of Al’s haters— including an estranged wife, three bitter siblings, a secretive caregiver, old enemies and the many targets of Al’s poison-pen sarcasm—might be a ruthless killer.
The novel, No. 8 in a series called “an Agatha Christie for the text-message age,” once again offers page-turning suspense. Wit. And the unforgettable setting of Chautauqua, a quirky, churchy, lakeside, Victorian cottage-filled summer arts community that launched an adult-education movement Teddy Roosevelt called “the most American thing in America.”
Kirkus Reviews calls A Plague Among Us “an intriguing and engaging crime tale” and “enjoyable novel” with “captivating characters.”
Published by: KDP
Publication Date: July 1, 2021
Number of Pages: 280
Series: Mimi Goldman Chautauqua Mysteries, Book 8 | Each book can be read as a Stand-Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Deb Pines, an award-winning headline writer for the New York Post, is the author of seven Mimi Goldman novels and one novelette all set in the Chautauqua Institution in southwestern New York where they are top sellers.
A former reporter, Deb is also a lover of puns, show tunes and indoor cycling. She lives in New York City with her husband Dave.
Q&A with Deb Pines
What was the inspiration for this book?
A tabloid news story at my “day job” as a New York Post copy editor. A son of a very minor celeb, Niels Lauersen, once dubbed “The Fertility Doctor to the Stars” or “Dyno Gyno,” asked a court to determine if Lauersen really died of COVID – or murder. Lauersen, it turns out, really died of COVID. But I thought: Hmm, what if a death blamed on COVD was really due to foul play.
What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?
Deciding to self-publish. After writing mysteries for at least ten years without getting published traditionally (but getting very close with a big-shot agent), I was discouraged. I quit. Then in 2013 I decided to tweak and self-publish IN THE SHADOW OF DEATH, a murder mystery I wrote on a typewriter in 1997 that had gotten zero interest. The book, set in Chautauqua, an historic, Victorian cottage-filled, lakeside summer arts community in far western New York state (left) where my in-laws own a house, sold a few copies. So I wrote another. Then another. Now, up to Book #8 with a growing following, I’m writing a mystery a year.
What do you absolutely need while writing?
☕️ ☕️ ☕️☕️ ☕️ ☕️
Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?
I have to write around my 4 p.m.-to-8:30 p.m. Post shift that I now do three days a week. So that means mostly writing mornings and on my days off. Confession: I’m way more diligent (i.e. frenzied) in March, April and May, racing to finish a book before Chautauqua’s nine-week summer season begins in late June.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
My hero Mimi Goldman. We share a journalism background, both being reporters and New York Post copy editors. We’re both grandmothers. We’re both New York Jews. But Mimi, throughout the series, is much braver, brainier and relentless in pursuing justice and the truth.
Tell us why we should read your book.
Pure escapist fun. In real life, justice often feels elusive. But in a quick 250 pages, Mimi and her elderly sidekick Sylvia Pritchard, always solve the mystery, right the world’s — and make us laugh a little along the way. The pair, underestimated and often in over their heads, are easy to root for.
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?
This book includes a few history lessons in a made-up lecture series on “Pandemics That Changed History” and a snapshot of life with masks, social distancing and Zoom meetings in the summer of 2020.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I hope you enjoy this book and stay in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
York Law Journal and other newspapers. I love word games, hiking, indoor cycling, classic rock and show tunes and I live with my husband Dave in New York City. Some of my Post headlines have enjoyed their own celebrity. BEZOS EXPOSES PECKER (about Amazon’s Jeff Bezos’ feud over lurid sexts with the National Enquirer’s Andrew Pecker) appeared on “Saturday Night Live.” THIS IS YOUR CAPTAIN FREAKING (about a JetBlue Pilot’s mid-flight mental breakdown) was a “Jeopardy!” clue.
What’s next that we can look forward to?
Another Chautauqua mystery in 2022 and some short essays, reflecting on my New York Post years.
Catch Up With Deb Pines:
BookBub – @debpines
Instagram – @pinesdebbie
Twitter – @pinesdeb
Facebook – @deborah.pines.9
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
ENTER TO WIN:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Deb Pines. There will be 2 winners who will each receive one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway runs September 1 through October 3, 2021. Void where prohibited.