Debra Sennefelder is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Sleuthing in Stilettos, her latest novel in the Resale Boutique Mystery series.
Welcome, Debra. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about your novel. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
SLEUTING IN STILETTOS is the fifth book in the Resale Boutique Mystery series, which features Kelly Quinn, a fashionista-turned-resale shop owner. She inherited her granny’s old, tired consignment shop and moved back to her hometown of Lucky Cove, NY. She found that returning to the place where she started wasn’t easy. Still, over time, Kelly has reconnected with friends and family and is now making a life for herself in the last place she thought she’d end up. Kelly is taking on way too much between her boutique, community involvement, and the murder of Miranda Farrell. She finds her uncle Ralph Blake, a local businessman. His personality could be summed up as a bull in a china shop standing over Miranda’s body. The two have had heated arguments and a history that goes back twenty years. Unfortunately for him, he had a motive and opportunity. So when her cousin asks for her help to clear Ralph, Kelly can’t say no. Besides, her curiosity has been piqued and she’s helped the police in the past solve a few murders.
Where did the idea for the mystery that is central to the story come from?
First came the title. Then the idea for a shoe shop to be prominent in the story. And then everything else came tumbling into place for the story.
Is there a theme or subject that underlies the story? If so, what prompted you to write about it?
I think a common theme in my stories is that we really don’t know people as well as we think.
How do you create your characters? Do you have favourite ones? If so, why are you partial to them?
It depends on the character. For main characters, it takes a while to flesh them out since I’ll be spending a lot of time with them. Not just writing, but also thinking about them all the time. Even when I’m doing mundane things like laundry I think about my characters and their stories. Then there are characters that come onto the page for a specific reason, do their thing and then they’re gone. I don’t spend a lot of time on those fleshing those characters out. The protagonists of my each of my series are my favourite characters.
How do you bring to life the place you are writing about?
I tend to write about locations I’m familiar with so it’s easy to bring them to life. Kelly lives on Long Island, New York and I grew up in New York City and spent time on Long Island throughout the years. My other two series are set in Connecticut and that’s where I live.
What research do you do to provide background information to help you write the novel?
How much research I do depends on the book. I write contemporary fiction and since they are cozy mysteries, there isn’t a lot of police procedure in them. When I do have questions about how the police would handle a situation, I have access to an online group of law enforcement officials who are willing to answer questions and also my nephew who police officer. For this series, I use my background of working in retail years ago and for my Food Blogger Mystery series I use my time as a food blogger to sprinkle details into the stories.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about the book?
There’s so much I’d like to tell readers about SLEUTHING IN STILETTOS because I love the book so much. But I don’t want to give away any spoilers.
Thanks for answering my questions, Debra, and good luck with Sleuthing in Stilettos, the latest book in Resale Boutique Mystery series.
The novel is available online at the following retailers:
About Debra Sennefelder: Debra is an avid reader who reads across a range of genres, but mystery fiction is her obsession. Her interest in people and relationships is channeled into her novels against a backdrop of crime and mystery.
Her first novel, THE UNINVITED CORPSE (A Food Blogger mystery) was published in 2018. When she’s not reading, she enjoys cooking and baking and as a former food blogger, she is constantly taking photographs of her food. Yeah, she’s that person.
Born and raised in New York City, where she majored in her hobby of fashion buying, she now lives and writes in Connecticut with her family. She worked in retail and publishing before becoming a full-time author. Her writing companion is her adorable and slightly spoiled Shih Tzu, Connie.