Emilie: A big welcome to Casey Daniels on her return visit to Southern Exposure. As part of the interview Casey has volunteered to give away a copy of A Hard Day’s Fright (the book which precedes Wild Wild Death) to one lucky commenter here. U.S. addresses only, please, to keep Casey out of long post-Christmas post office lines. Share your thoughts and random.org will choose a winner next Tuesday night.
Casey, it’s always a pleasure to see you here, so take it away, and tell us a little about the book.
Casey: I can’t think of a better way to kick off a new year than with a new book, so I’m happy to announce that Wild Wild Death, book #8 in the Pepper Martin mystery series, is now available.
I’m always excited about sharing one of Pepper’s adventures with readers. After all, she’s the world’s only private investigator for the dead. That means there’s always something interesting (and possibly dangerous) happening in Pepper’s life, and always a ghost tagging along for the fun.
This time, it’s a trip to the great Southwest. You see, Pepper’s been downsized from her job as a tour guide in a historic Cleveland cemetery, and she’s got some time on her hands and is looking for a little excitement. It’s a perfect example of Be Careful What You Wish For, when an odd package arrives in the mail. It’s a ransom note along with a watch that belongs to her friend, cute and scruffy paranormal investigator, Dan Callaghan. If Pepper doesn’t bring the bones of a long-dead Indian who is buried in Cleveland to New Mexico–and fast–the kidnappers say Dan is going to be killed.
Wild Wild Death takes Pepper to New Mexico and southern Colorado, a part of the country where I’ve spent some time. Like me, she’s bowled over by the beauty of the place, and intimidated by its wildness. If that was all she had to think about, it wouldn’t be a bad little get-away, but once she arrives, the bones get stolen, and bodies start dropping like the desert temperature once the sun goes down.
Pepper has to deal with kidnappers disguised as aliens, a too-hot-to-handle Pueblo police chief and one clever murderer–one whose idea of Boot Hill has nothing to do with Jimmy Choo.
Emilie: Tell us about the Pepper Martin series. How is Pepper different from the rest of us?
: Well, Pepper sure is different from me in that she’s always fashion forward (I prefer to work in fuzzy slippers and sweats). She’s different from most people, too, because she can see, hear, and talk to dead people. In fact, she’s the world’s only private investigator for the dead. Not that she’s thrilled about it, but ghosts are pretty persistent, and the ones she meets usually threaten to haunt her forever if she doesn’t help tie up the loose ends of the business holding them here so that they can cross over.
Emilie: Over the course of the series, how has Pepper changed?
Casey: Wild Wild Death is book #8 and there have been plenty of changes since Don of the Dead, book #1. For one thing, though she’s still not all that crazy about it, Pepper’s finally making peace with the fact that she can communicate with the dead. She’s also growing up. She was pretty shallow back in the day, but then, nobody can blame her. Before her cosmetic-surgeon dad went to prison for Medicare fraud, Pepper had quite the spoiled life! She’s self-sufficient now, and she can handle whatever the Universe throws at her, whether it’s the undead or an on again/off again boyfriend who refuses to talk about the fact that she can see dead people.
Emilie: Do you foresee more books in the series? I hope so, because I look forward to every one.
Casey: Thanks! Book #9 will be out in September. It’s called Supernatural Born Killers, and after Pepper’s trip to the Southwest, she’ll be back in Cleveland solving a very Cleveland crime! You see, Superman was created in Cleveland, and Pepper is up against some comic book fans who are a little more than obsessive.
Emilie: I grew up watching Superman on TV and reading the comic books, so will look forward to that. Meantime, tell us about your wonderful graveyard trolley tours in Cleveland. Any chance readers of this blog will be able to take one in the near future?
I’ve had so much fun with these tours! I work in conjunction with local libraries and we do a Pepper Martin Tour of Cleveland. We visit a whole bunch of the sites mentioned in the book, along with a host of historic cemeteries, some that have been featured in the books and some that are just too delicious not to tour! This fall, Bouchercon, the World Mystery Conference, is coming to Cleveland, and I’ll be leading a tour as part of the conference. So far, I’ve got six cemetery stops planned including Lake View Cemetery (grand and glorious) and Monroe Street Cemetery, scene of Pepper’s fifth adventure, Dead Man Talking
. For more information about Bouchercon, check out http://bouchercon2012.com/
Emilie: Finally, what else are you working on, and when can we buy it?
Casey: In addition to writing the Pepper Martin mysteries as Casey Daniels, I write the Button Box mysteries as Kylie Logan. They’re about a woman who owns an antique button store in Chicago. Book #1 was Button Holed, out last September. Book #2, Hot Button, will be released in June. In addition, I’ll be starting a new series next year. I’ll save the details for another interview, but I can tell you that the books are going to be set on the Lake Erie islands, and it’s going to be a whole lot of fun!
Thanks for sharing more about Pepper and the gang. I’m looking forward to this one a lot. Readers, if you don’t have a wonderful little indie
in your neighborhood, you can buy Casey’s book online at Amazon
, or Books-A-Million
. And all U.S. residents, don’t forget to comment for a chance to win Casey’s A Hard Day’s Fright