Today on the blog, I welcome author Joanne Guidocci, author of the Gilda Greco series. She’s here to talk about cozy mysteries and to offer an excerpt from her new novel, Too Many Women in the Room, and a giveaway, too! Thanks so much for stopping by on your blog tour, Joanne.
Whenever I introduce the Gilda Greco Mystery Series, I often encounter frowns and puzzled looks. Not too many people have heard of cozy mysteries. To them, the word “cozy” conjures up images of steaming cups of herbal teas, overstuffed chairs, and purring cats.
While those images can exist in cozy mysteries, the sub-genre contains many more intriguing elements. Written in the Agatha Christie tradition, these mysteries appeal to readers who wish to be engaged but not horrified.
In short, a cozy is a mystery that includes a bloodless crime and contains little violence, sex, or coarse language. The crime takes place “off stage” and very few graphic details are provided. Sex, if there is any, is behind closed doors. It is not unusual to read about a couple enjoying a romantic dinner and then turn the page to find them waking up to breakfast.
The sleuth is usually female and not a medical examiner, detective, or police officer. A bright and intuitive woman, the sleuth gravitates toward such “people” professions as librarian, florist, teacher, homemaker, caterer, and nun. Very social and involved in her community, the sleuth has at least one unresolved personal issue in her life: a difficult child, an alcoholic parent, or a secret past. Gilda Greco, the protagonist of my series, has never gotten over a disastrous early marriage. She’s also surrounded by interfering friends and relatives who don’t always respect her boundaries. And she keeps finding dead bodies in her wake!
While the local police force doesn’t take sleuths too seriously, these enterprising women find connections to classified information. In A Season for Killing Blondes and Too Many Women in the Room, Gilda is a career development practitioner and the chief detective on the case is her former high school crush.
The cozy takes place in a small town or village. While I’ve stretched it a bit and based the novel in the mid-size Canadian city of Sudbury, I have introduced characters who are intertwined; many of them grew up in Gatchell, the Italian section of town. Gilda’s interfering friends and relatives offer many opportunities for subplots and comedy relief.
A certain fantasy element exists in all cozy mysteries: the sleuth always solves the case, justice is served, and all loose ends are tied. But only for a short time…Another murder to solve is just around the corner.
Now, read on for an excerpt from Too Many Women in the Room:
I turned and came face-to-face with Carlo’s daughter and her two sons. Tania’s facial features tightened as she gave me the once-over. “It’s his day off, you know.” She stepped closer. “He didn’t need this aggravation.”
So much of Carlo could be found in her crystal clear blue eyes and strong jaw. And the twins were miniature Carlos. Regardless of my feelings toward her, I couldn’t ignore the DNA I loved and admired. I didn’t want to lose my temper in front of the children, so I chose my words carefully. “What happened last night wasn’t my fault.”
“But you were there. And—” She turned and knelt down in front of her children. “Why don’t you go inside and surprise Grandpa? If you can’t find him, drop by Irina’s office.” She smirked in my direction.
So, there was something brewing between Carlo and Irina. Or maybe Tania dropped that morsel to upset me. I don’t imagine she would be too pleased with any woman who put the moves on her father. And a young, beautiful siren would be less welcome than me. Or maybe not. I didn’t know Tania well enough to know who she would approve of as a potential stepmother.
Both boys clapped their hands and ran toward the entrance. Tania waited until they reached the building before turning in my direction. Her blue eyes blazed. “Don’t you get it? He still feels responsible for you and believes you need protecting.” She paused to take a breath. “Or maybe you do and you’re manipulating events again. I wouldn’t put anything past you.”
Was she accusing me of murder? “I had nothing to do with Michael Taylor’s death. After Luke watches the security tapes from my building, I’ll be off the hook.”
“How convenient for you.” She stepped closer. “Everything has always worked out for you, hasn’t it? You win a lottery. You get cleared of murders you provoke. You play Lady Bountiful and buy love and affection. You get my father—”
“Stop right there. I don’t provoke murders. I don’t hold myself responsible for anyone else’s behavior. As for Carlo, he’s free to see me or not.” Her Lady Bountiful comment hit a bit too close to home. After winning the lottery, I had paid off loans and major debts. It did cement several relationships, but it also created acrimony among friends and relatives who believed they should have received more.
“Well, prepare for more of not. The last nine days have been bliss for me and my sons. We are a balanced group of four, and we don’t need a fifth wheel.”
Amazon (US): https://is.gd/NRjAXT
Amazon (Canada): https://is.gd/1pX3Bn
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In 2008, Joanne Guidoccio retired from a 31-year teaching career and launched a second act that tapped into her creative side. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.
Where to find Joanne…
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