Writing a series had been on my to-do list for a while. But what kind of series and what would it feature? After some thought, I decided to do a murder mystery series with romance mixed in, along with the character solving a murder. Voilà! The Minx Tobin Murder Mystery Series was born with THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO as the first case.
Who is Minx Tobin, you ask? Minx is a fitness instructor newly relocated to Los Angeles, California, who has a knack for solving puzzles--puzzles concerning dead bodies. For fun, romance, and... unexpected corpses, follow her adventures in this murder mystery series!
For the Minx Tobin series, I like to plot a story on the basis of the title. I also enjoy the challenge of creating a meaningful title with the two words starting with the same letter. Strange but true! Beginning this series is The Bloodstained Bistro. Naturally, the bistro location figured prominently in the book.
Artist’s rendering of a possible cover
TO LIVE... AND DIE IN L.A.
Newly relocated Minx Tobin likes to help her friends. She also has a knack for solving puzzles. A huge puzzle in the form of a dead body soon gets dropped into her lap. Did waitress Brandi Evans murder her ex-boyfriend? Minx doesn't think so, but can she crack the Case of the Bloodstained Bistro?
Overworked homicide lieutenant Gabe Harris has his fill of women... and dead bodies. The women he can handle. The dead bodies -- unfortunately they keep piling up. But on this particular case he meets a young woman that not only impedes his investigation, but she also has no interest in him. A healthy ego like his can't handle that. He'll have to keep an eye on Ms. Minx Tobin.
Here’s a picture of me conferring with the legendary detective, Sherlock Holmes on Minx Tobin’s latest case!
Desert Breeze Publishing has published all six (to date) Minx Tobin novels and have received great reviews including 4.5 stars from Sensual Reads and 5 stars from Single Titles Reviews. The books are available both electronically and in print.
Eating at Valentin's Bistro can be hazardous to amateur detective Minx Tobin's health, so why does she continue to dine at this restaurant?
Here is a popular book trailer for THE BLOODSTAINED BISTRO:
Now for the slices of real life. Inspiration for Minx came from my own fitness background; I worked for an exercise program shown on public television--behind the scenes. This experience also came in handy when I wrote my English murder mystery TAINTED TEA FOR TWO. I always admired personal fitness trainers who made exercise look so easy!
And speaking of personal, Minx Tobin’s stomach tends to talk when she’s hungry. I confess; mine does too! This can be embarrassing, but does serve a purpose when advancing the story line. Here’s an example. Minx is getting ready to leave L.A.P.D Headquarters when Homicide Lieutenant Gabe Harris walks over to her car in the parking lot.
Harris nodded. "What are you doing at headquarters?"
"Leaving." Minx’s actions weren't any of his business, thank goodness.
He folded his arms across his chest, and for some reason, she reconsidered her answer. Maybe he subtly intimidated her. "I thought I'd visit Brandi Evans to cheer her up, but she's at the medical clinic."
There. Minx fulfilled her duty as obedient citizen, didn't she? As she extended her arm with the key toward the car lock, her stomach growled. Loudly. Loud enough to be heard. She felt herself flush.
"Hungry?" he asked with a touch of humor lightening his voice.
Why bother answering the obvious? She turned the key in the lock. Her stomach spoke again.
From out of the blue, Harris said, "I'll take you to dinner."
She bristled. "Will you?" The nerve of the man! He just assumed she would acquiesce, that she'd be grateful. He didn't ask her, he told her. Well, he had another thing coming.
"I'm not that hungry, Lieutenant." Unfortunately, her traitorous tummy denied her words. She finished unlocking the car door, looking for a swift escape.
He leaned closer, and she could smell his masculine scent. Her heart beat faster. Why? Anticipation?
"Look, Ms. Tobin, I'm off duty. I need dinner and so do you. Why don't we eat together?"
I hope you enjoy Minx and Gabe’s adventures. There are lots more surprises in store for them as the series progresses. Case Number Two is THE ILL-GOTTEN INSURANCE.
Susanne Marie KnightRead outside the box: award-winning Romance Writing With A Twist!