Thursday, October 22, 2015


And The Creation of a Mystery Series 

by Jackie King

Grace Cassidy was born fully clothed and in a peck of trouble. Hot and tired from a long walk, she was thoroughly ticked off with her philandering husband Charlie’s antics. But alas and alack, as soon as Grace walked into my head, things grew much worse for her.
Jackie King looking deviously sweet

Like Grace, I was staying in a B&B on the northern coast of California and had exhausted myself walking from the charming old mansion, once the property of a sea captain, to the beach. Once back to my room, I threw myself on the authentic wedding-ring quilt to rest.

When a writer’s body rests, her (or his) mind wanders. Almost without conscious thought, I began to play my favorite game: What if?

What if I walked into my room and found a corpse? And…what if he was naked and his clothes were nowhere to be found? And…what if I had no friends? No money? No credit cards? And worst of all, no job skills? Would determination, brains, and moxie be enough? Especially if life were complicated by a teenaged son and a cat?

These are the quandaries that morphed my character Grace Cassidy into life. Soon after, I began writing book one of a new Bed & Breakfast mystery series.

To make the series more fun for readers and more interesting to me, I decided that Grace would discover her true self and evolve into a stronger woman in each book.


In this beginning book, Grace learns that she is made of a tougher fiber than she thought. With the help of some zany strangers she hires on as the temporary inn sitter where she bakes, cleans, and entertains as she works her way through a maze of conflicting stories told by the eccentric guests. Her detecting doesn't go quite as she plans, but she muddles her way through and solves the crime.

Grace’s conclusion at the end of this book: I CAN survive without a husband or family money.

With one solved murder under her belt plus a glimpse at her true identity as a woman, Inn-Sitter Grace Cassidy sets her face to evolve from the lady-like people-pleaser she has always been. During this journey, life throws some dangerous road-blocks under her feet. Her son is accused of attempted murder and rape. Trouble, her cat, finds a dead body in the bathtub. And if that isn’t enough, her Ex-husband Charlie, returns and wants to reconcile.

Grace’s conclusion at the end of this book: I like this person I’m becoming, but I’m still scared of a committed relationship with a man. The trouble is, I may be falling in love with Sam Harper.


Grace's latest adventure includes danger and romance

Grace Cassidy comes back to her hometown, Tulsa, Oklahoma. She needs to file for divorce and has an inn-sitting position—she thinks. Much to her dismay, she learns she’s smackdab in the middle of another murder mess. Grace’s son is in line to inherit 80 million dollars IF HE CAN STAY ALIVE. This in-the-making catastrophe started 50 years earlier, but is just now catching up with Grace. Her running buddy Theodora, has to explain what the word TONTINE means.

Thank goodness her almost-boyfriend Sam Harper shows up to give a hand.

To learn Grace’s conclusion at the end: You have to read the book.


Bill Kirton said...

Tantalising, Jackie. Interesting, too, in that, seemingly without any conscious effort on my part, the main characters in my own series have also developed through their 5 books. I suppose it's partly because the author changes over the few years it takes to compile a series, but also the characters' experiences form them, bring out more of some of their aspects and suppress others. I'm constantly surprised at how this writing business works, how realities and fictions seem interchangeable at times.

Jackie King said...

Very true, Bill. Profound, actually. But isn't it fun?

Thanks for your input.

Jean Henry Mead said...

A thoroughly enjoyable and interesting series that I've enjoyed, Jackie.

Jackie King said...

Thanks, Jean. I treasure your opinion.