Nellie H. Steele, author of Murder of Pearl, a Pearl Party mystery, is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about the inspiration for her Pearl Party mysteries series.
Welcome Nellie. I’ll turn the floor over to you –
I’ve had a lot of people ask me about the genesis of the idea behind one of my most recent releases. Murder of Pearl kicks off the Pearl Party Mysteries cozy mystery series. And more than a few people have been curious about how I came up with the idea of a team of sisters who sell pearl jewelry as the basis for a cozy mystery series.
The truth is the story is based on actual events! (At least the pearl party bit is, not the murder!).
The idea formed while I watched the real Kelly at one of her many pearl parties. She worked for a company called Vantel Pearls. They sold a variety of jewelry (and other pieces) with pearls inset into each piece.
The fun of the parties was the oyster openings. You’d pick a jewelry piece (or two, haha), and at the next live event, Kelly would open an oystery (or three!) for you and reveal the pearl that would go into your jewelry piece.
Sometimes seeing the pearl would make you change your mind entirely and buy a different item. The pearls came in a variety of colors and sizes. Kelly would reveal the color after cleaning the pearl and then measure it for you. (Just like Kelly Silverman does in the first scene of the book!).
The ”mystery” of seeing what you’d get: Would you get a big wedding white pearl? Would it be a little cotton candy pink gem of a pearl? Maybe it would be one of the coveted lavender pearls with a little dimple in the side. In any case, the allure of what you’d get kept people coming back for more.
And sometimes you’d be lucky enough to get twins (hello, new earrings!).
There are a lot of cozy craft mysteries out there (knitters, quilters, scrapbookers), and I figured there was room for a pearl connoisseur!
So, I got to work (after checking with the real Kelly, of course) creating a mystery around her fun pearl biz. I included all the details I remembered from the many pearl parties I attended with her and tossed in a body and, voila! A brand-new mystery series based around the super fun idea of shucking pearls for a business.
I hope you’ll check out Murder of Pearl and see what the pearl business is like…along with a few other surprises!
Thank you for sharing this with us, Nellie, and good luck with Murder of Pearl, a Pearl Party mystery.
The book is available online at Amazon
About Nellie H. Steele: Award-winning author Nellie H. Steele writes in as many genres as she reads.Addicted to books since she could read, Nellie escaped to fictional worlds like the ones created by Carolyn Keene or Victoria Holt long before she decided to put pen to paper and create her own realities.When she’s not spinning a cozy mystery tale, building a new realm in a contemporary fantasy, or writing another action-adventure car chase, you can find her shuffling through her Noah’s Ark of rescue animals or enjoying a hot cuppa (that’s tea for most Americans.)