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Today we are really pleased to welcome bestselling author, Daryl Wood Gerber, to Alternative-Read.com
A Sprinkling of Murder and A Glimmer of a Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber
A Sprinkling of Murder and A Glimmer of a Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber are the first installments in the new Fairy Garden Mystery series. Even with a death and a mystery these stories will put a smile on readers’ faces. Anyone who remembers the Peter Pan line, “Do you believe in fairies,” will enjoy this enchanting book that has charm and wit, friends and foes, murder and mayhem with fascinating characters.
The heroine of the series, Courtney Kelly, owns a delightful fairy garden and tea shop, called “Open Your Imagination,” in Carmel Valley. It teaches customers how to make their own fairy gardens. Although most people can’t see the real fairies, Courtney and a few others around her can, because they believe. In both books readers get more than just a mystery. There are tips in making fairy gardens, great quotes before each chapter that relate to fairies, and playful animals.
A Sprinkling of Murder has Courtney suspected of homicide after discovering neighboring dog-grooming business owner Mick Watkins dead beside her patio fountain. To clear her name and find the real killer, Courtney gets a little help from an unexpected source, real-life fairy Fiona. She is a fairy in training because she has not earned all of her wings due to mischievous behavior, and now has to help a human by doing good deeds. She is having fun with helping Courtney, while trying to get into the good graces of the fairy Queen. Fiona and Courtney find clues that reveal the real killer to clear Courtney’s name.
A Glimmer of a Clue starts out with Courtney having to break up a fight between a nasty local art critic, Lana Lamar, and Courtney’s friend Wanda who she considers a mother-type. After the fight has been stopped, Lana once again escalates by threatening a lawsuit. At an elegant fundraiser Lana is found stabbed on the floor with Wanda standing over the body in an obvious daze, holding the letter opener used to kill Lana. She is not a victim readers will be sympathetic to since she is very nasty, a hypocritical art critic, and gets into very public fights with multiple people in the community. Courtney and Fiona are determined to find the real culprit and eliminate Wanda as a person of interest.
With each book Fiona is gaining her wings, while Courtney is getting her sleuth hat. Memorable characters, humans, pets, and fairies alike, will find readers immersed in the detailed magic of the story.
A Sprinkling of Murder
A Glimmer of a Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
Daryl Wood Gerber: I wanted to come up with a new cozy idea. I attended the Renaissance Fair and saw a booth with darling garden decorators that had little fairies. They were just charming, these fairy gardens. After attending I looked for and found a fairy garden place in Orange County that had planters. They instructed me on what to do. It made me think about this darling little shop that could be a nice place to set a cozy mystery. I would have a fairy, named Fiona, come alive to be a sidekick to the store owner, Courtney.
EC: Why the setting?
DWG: I spent a lot of time in Carmel-By-The-Sea because I grew up in the Bay area. It has a lot of artists and creativity. Even though crafting is not my thing, making fairy gardens is a form of storytelling. Both fit in perfectly for me.
EC: Do you believe in fairies?
DWG: LOL. Yes! I came up with four different types. A righteous fairy; an intuitive fairy; a guardian fairy; and a nurturer fairy. There is no bad fairy, and they enjoy sweets, poetry, and gardens. They like calming people and helping them solve problems.
EC: How would describe the fairy, Fiona?
DWG: She is a righteous one. Now a teenager, she was kicked out of the fairy world because she had too much fun. To get her adult wings she has to help humans solve problems. I consider her a sleuth fairy.
EC: How did Courtney connect with fairies?
DWG: She believed in fairies because of her mother. After her mom died when Courtney was ten, she was not as much as a believer. But now, deciding to open her shop she saw Fiona and once again has fairies in her life. She got the idea for a shop after going to a Renaissance Fair. This is a case of art imitating life.
EC: How would you describe Courtney?
DWG: Whimsical and creative. She can be sarcastic, stubborn, creative, independent, and a problem solver.
EC: Please explain the fairy quotes?
DWG: I put one before each chapter. Because of copyrights I had to find quotes before 1921. Any book or poem published earlier is public domain. I wanted to bring the readers into the fairy world, so I put one with each chapter. I consider my books part fantasy and party cozy mystery. I call it a mystical mystery.
EC: How would you describe the secondary characters in the second book, Meaghan and her mom Wanda?
DWG: Meaghan is Courtney’s best friend. She was not from Carmel but fell in love with it and decided to stay. She followed her true passion, art. She is dark to Courtney’s light. Her mom, Wanda, is much more structured. Courtney, Wanda, and Meaghan consider each family.
EC: Relationships are important in your stories?
DWG: Yes. The friends, fairies, family, and pets are an extended family. I like to have strong women protagonists who are problem solvers and caring. I want my books to have an entertaining mystery with people who care about other people.
EC: To paraphrase Peter Pan, adults who do not want to grow up will love your books?
DWG: I did have some Disney references, naming a horse Bambi and a tour guide Peter Pan. But my editor wanted the story to be more adult, so I took out the Disneyesque references. I made sure each fairy has their own personality, looks, and abilities. With each new book the fairy world will grow.
EC: Are you a dog or cat person?
DWG: A dog person. I have a Golden Doodle named Sparky. I had Courtney’s pet a kitten named Pixie because cats can be left alone in either the shop or the house. But in the first book I did have many dog breeds.
EC: Can you give a heads up about your next book?
DWG: It will be out next year and is titled A Hint of Mischief. The plot has a wealthy person having a 40th birthday party. One of her pals is a well-known actress who got a facial she was unhappy with. Twyla, Tish’s daughter who left a cult had given the facial. Because the actress is found dead Twyla becomes a suspect.
If you liked this article you may like to read :
A Glimmer of a Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber
Courtney Kelly has a shop full of delights, a cat named Pixie, a green thumb—and a magical touch when it comes to garden design. But in Carmel-by-the-Sea, things aren’t all sweetness and fairy lights . . .
When Courtney’s friend Wanda gets into a ponytail-pulling wrestling match in public with a nasty local art critic, Courtney stops the fight with the help of a garden hose. But Lana Lamar has a talent for escalating things and creating tension, which she succeeds in doing by threatening a lawsuit, getting into yet another scuffle—in the midst of an elegant fundraiser, no less—and lobbing insults around like pickleballs.
Next thing Courtney knows, Lana is on the floor, stabbed with a decorative letter opener from one of Courtney’s fairy gardens, and Wanda is standing by asking “What have I done?” But the answer may not be as obvious as it seems, since Wanda is prone to sleepwalking and appears to be in a daze. Could she have risen from her nap and committed murder while unconscious? Or is the guilty party someone else Lana’s ticked off, like her long-suffering husband? To find out, Courtney will have to dig up some dirt . . .
Praise for Daryl Wood Gerber’s A Sprinkling of Murder
“Enchanting series launch from Agatha Award winner Gerber . . . Cozy fans will wish upon a star for more.”
“A winner. . . . Fans of Laura Childs’ work will enjoy.”
A Glimmer of a Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber
Book Beginnings / First Chapter First Paragraph / Tuesday Teaser!
“That woman is going to be the death of me, Courtney.”— A Glimmer of A Clue by Daryl Wood Gerber