In the October issue of RT BOOK REVIEWS RT's Stephanie Klose profiled a few of our favorite new cozy mystery series. We adore these fun stories that feature small-town amateur sleuths, so we are keeping the fun going! Today we asked award-winning author Peggy Webb why she loves the subgenre and to get us up to speed on her series just before Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble hits stores next month.
Who is your sleuth?
One of my sleuths is the basset hound Elvis, who thinks he's the King of Rock 'n' Roll reincarnated. I believe a sleuth with four legs instead of two definitely qualifies as different! He is also one of the two major narrators.
How does the music theme play into the stories?
Ah, music...References to Elvis' many hit records are threaded throughout the book. It's fun to have Elvis and Lovie kidnapped in the fourth book, Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble, and to have my canine sleuth say, "I don't know whether to growl "Release Me" or "Reconsider Baby." I sing and play piano both, so I have music in my soul. "That's All Right, Mama!"
Where are your books set? Do you think the stories would work as well in another setting?
I am so fortunate that Elvis and I share the same birthplace — Tupelo, Mississippi, the perfect setting for mysteries starring my Elvis sleuth. I have also used Memphis and Graceland, another natural setting. Though I let my amateur sleuths travel to other places, such as Las Vegas and Mexico, they always begin and end back home. I can't imagine this mystery series set in any other town.
What does "cozy" mean to you?
Cozies are good, clean fun! I place my amateur sleuths in the right place at the wrong time — or is that vice versa — then lead them on a merry chase to solve the crime. Comedy is my forte' so you'll always find a belly laugh in the Southern Cousins Mysteries.
Want more from Peggy Webb? You can pick up the first three books in the series here, so you are ready when Elvis and the Tropical Double Trouble is released next month. And be sure to check back for our video interview with Peggy Webb coming soon. As always, you can find more genre coverage at our Everything Mystery Page!