I’ve invited Judi Lynn to join us today to tell us about the inspiration behind a tradition in the family life of her character, Jazzi Zanders, in The Body In The Wetlands. I’ll let you take it from here, Judi:
Hi, I’m Judith Post and I write cozy mysteries under the pen name Judi Lynn. A few reviewers have commented that they enjoy the close relationship Jazzi has with her family in The Body in the Wetlands. Her live-in boyfriend, Ansel, isn’t so lucky. His family kicked him out the minute he graduated from high school. They own a dairy farm and only wanted to split the profits so many ways.
Jazzi works with her cousin, Jerod, and Ansel as house-flippers. Jerod loves to give her a hard time, but he’s a devoted family man, too. He’s crazy about his wife, Franny, and their two kids. So that everyone can keep in touch with each other, Jazzi has her entire family to her house every Sunday for Sunday meal. Her parents. Jerod’s parents. Her sister and her boyfriend. Gran and her live-in helper, Samantha. She does all of the cooking, but people throw money in a jar to help pay for all of the food.
I got the idea for Sunday meal from my family. When I got married, my dad insisted on getting together every Thursday night for supper. One week, we’d go to Mom and Dad’s house, and the next week, they’d come to ours, along with my two sisters. My mom was a wonderful cook. I’d never even peeled a potato, so cooking for everyone every other Thursday was a daunting task, especially since I taught all day and Dad wanted his food on the table at five. But I started out simple with pot roasts, etc. and got hooked on cooking and braver until my dad warned me not to get too fancy. He liked simple food.
Somehow, after not poisoning anyone for months, I got signed up to have Thanksgiving and Easter for the entire side of Mom’s family at our house, too. My grandmother, Aunt Phyllis, and my cousin Jenny—who all lived together—came. They, in themselves, were an interesting crew. Grandma had been married to a truck driver and cussed like one. Aunt Phyllis was deaf, and Jenny had cerebral palsy. My uncle, his wife, and four kids came, too. My husband’s parents also came. So we ended up with about twenty people for most holidays. And it was wonderful. So wonderful, I wanted the same for Jazzi.
Thanks for your insight into your character Jazzi’s life. Let’s tell readers a bit more about the book:
High summer in River Bluffs, Indiana, is always sweltering and sweet. But the heat is really on when a decidedly dead body turns up in the neighborhood.
When established house flippers Jazzi Zanders and her cousin Jerod donate a week’s worth of remodeling work to Jazzi’s sister Olivia, they’re expecting nothing more than back-breaking roofing work and cold beers at the end of each long, hot day. With Jazzi’s live-in boyfriend and partner Ansel on the team, it promises to be a quick break before starting their next big project—until Leo, an elderly neighbor of Olivia’s, unexpectedly goes missing . . .
When the friendly senior’s dog tugs Jazzi and the guys toward the wetlands beyond Olivia’s neighborhood, they stumble across a decomposing corpse—and a lot of questions. With Jazzi’s pal Detective Gaff along to investigate, Jazzi finds her hands full of a whole new mystery instead of the usual hammer and nails. And this time it will take some sophisticated sleuthing to track down the culprit of the deadly crime—before the killer turns on her next . . .
The Body in the Wetlands is available at the following retailers:
About Judi Lynn: Judi Lynn received a Master’s Degree from Indiana University as an elementary school teacher after attending the IPFW campus. She taught 1st, 2nd, and 4th grades for six years before having her two daughters. She loves gardening, cooking and trying new recipes.