Rory Chasen, manager of the Lucky Dog Boutique in Destiny, California, hopes her new line of good-luck doggy toys will be a hit, especially the stuffed rabbits with extra-large feet. The timing of the line’s debut proves ill-fated, though, as several local shops—including Rory’s—are ransacked and vandalized with spilled salt and other unlucky charms.
The most likely culprit is disgruntled real estate agent Flora Curtival, whose issues with the town give her a motive. But when Flora is murdered and one of Rory’s toy rabbits is found with the body, Rory needs all the luck she can get while trying to determine just who killed the superstitious vandal.
Q: Rory, thanks for stopping by Island Confidential. Why not tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something they might not guess?
My name is Rory Chasen, and my stories are being told in the Superstition Mysteries,. I’m still not sure how I feel about that, but if it helps other people learn to deal with superstitions, whether or not they actually cause the effects they’re reputed to, well, that’s okay with me.
I don’t think it will be surprising to readers, but I’ve always enjoyed pets, most especially dogs. That was why I happen to own, or be owned by, my spaniel-terrier mix Pluckie, whom I found out was actually good luck, since she’s a black and white dog. Before I moved to Destiny, California, I worked in a chain pet store, so I arrived here with most of the skills I needed to manage the Lucky Dog Boutique, which is what I do now.
One thing that readers might not know was that I was a fairly ordinary person when it came to superstitions, before my beloved fiancé Warren walked under a ladder and was killed by a car right afterwards. I did the usual things of crossing fingers and knocking on wood, almost without thinking. And now? Every time I do either of those things, or engage in any other superstitious behavior, I think about it a lot!
Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best? Why?
Once again I don’t think what I’m about to say will be surprising to readers, but the person in my stories that I get along with best is Justin Halbertson, the Destiny Chief of Police. We’ve been getting closer…. Also, I certainly get along well with Gemma Grayfield, my bff, who’s moved to Destiny partially to hang out with me.
Q: Which other character do you have a conflict with? Why?
Ah… that’s a pretty strange thing and might juice up my superstitious agnosticism. It seems as if the people here in superstitious Destiny who’ve rubbed me the wrong way end up dead. That happens even when I’m not the main murder suspect, as I am in my latest adventure UNLUCKY CHARMS.
I suppose if I had to name a person I sometimes have trouble with here who’s still around, that’s probably Mayor Bevin Dermot. He is so pro-Destiny that sometimes he does or says things that he may believe are in the best interests of the town, but I don’t always agree with him.
Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
Who–Linda O. Johnston? She’s wonderful in many ways, since she tells my stories so well. On the other hand–well, since I’ve become just a bit superstitious, I wonder if it’s a good idea for her to be telling the whole world about all of this. Could it bring me bad luck? Could it bring herbad luck?
Q: What’s next for you?
Actually, I’m not sure. I hope to continue my wonderful life in Destiny with all my friends, most especially Justin. I’m not currently anticipating any more murders, and therefore there may be no additional books about me. But who knows? Even thinking such a thing could jinx me in the universe, so maybe I’ll have more adventures sometime in the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Linda O. Johnston’s first published fiction appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and won the Robert L. Fish Memorial Award for Best First Mystery Short Story of the year. Since then, Linda, a former lawyer who is now a full-time writer, has published more short stories, novellas, and 38 romance and mystery novels, including the Pet Rescue Mystery Series, a spinoff from her Kendra Ballantyne, Pet-Sitter mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime, and Harlequin Romantic Suspense as well as the Alpha Force paranormal romance miniseries for Harlequin Nocturne. She additionally writes the Superstition Mysteries for Midnight Ink.
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