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When high-powered executive Roxanne Howard dies in a pool of blood outside the Moonshine Inn, Richmond, Virginia’s premiere redneck bar, the victim’s sister enlists Hazel Rose to ferret out the killer. At first Hazel balks—she’s a romance writer, not a detective. But Brad Jones, Rox’s husband, is the prime suspect. He’s also Hazel’s cousin, and Hazel believes in doing anything to help family. Never mind that Brad won’t give her the time of day—he’s still family.
Hazel recruits her book group members to help with the investigation. It’s not long before they discover any number of people who feel that a world without Rox Howard is just fine with them: Brad’s son believes that Rox and Brad were behind his mother’s death; Rox’s former young lover holds Rox responsible for a tragedy in his family; and one of Rox’s employees filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against her. The killer could be an angry regular from the Moonshine Inn—or just about anyone who ever crossed paths with the willful and manipulative Rox. When a second murder ups the ante Hazel must find out who is behind the killings. And fast. Or she may be victim #3.
Q: Hazel, welcome to Island Confidential. Tell us a little bit about yourself–both something we learn from Murder at the Moonshine Inn and something that readers might not guess?
A: My name is Hazel Rose and I write romances for baby boomers. I’m happily married to Vince and we live with two frisky and lovable cats. Except for my cousin Lucy, I’m not that close with my family, but I’d do anything I could to help them. I’m a founding member of the Murder on Tour book group and over the years I’ve bonded with the members. We love reading and talking about books.
You wouldn’t think a romance writer would get entangled in a murder investigation but I have two to my credit. I think it’s my strong sense of justice that gets me in trouble. And my willingness to help that family of mine.
My fictional characters travel widely, which means that I get to travel! I haven’t mentioned this to anyone yet, but I want to arrange a cruise for the Murder on Tour book group.
Q: Who’s the character in the book you get along with the best?
A: There are two—Vince, my husband, and Lucy, my cousin. They’re both loving, easy to be with, and supportive.
Q: Which other character do you have a conflict with?
A: My cousin Brad. I recently discovered him on my family tree and would like to forget I ever did. He thinks I’m after his money and refuses to even meet me. He also thinks I’m a busybody and a troublemaker (he may be right about the busybody part).
Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of your creator, Maggie King?
A: She has enough story ideas to keep me busy for years. She lets me be me and doesn’t try to contain me. She goes overboard with the characters—thankfully, she has a good editor who advises her to weed out some of them.
Q: What’s next for you?
A: Last I heard, “wonderful author” wants me to become a mystery writer. I need a change of pace, so it’s fine with me. After all, most mysteries have romance, and most romances have mystery.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maggie King is the author of the Hazel Rose Book Group mysteries, including the recently-released Murder at the Moonshine Inn. She contributed the stories “A Not So Genteel Murder” and “Reunion at Shockoe Slip” to the Virginia is for Mysteries anthologies.
Maggie is a member of Sisters in Crime, James River Writers, and the American Association of University Women. She has worked as a software developer, retail sales manager, and customer service supervisor. Maggie graduated from Elizabeth Seton College and earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration from Rochester Institute of Technology. She has called New Jersey, Massachusetts, and California home. These days she lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband, Glen, and cats, Morris and Olive.
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