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Guest Post by Lynn CahoonThanks for having me over today! I wanted to introduce you all to my newest small town adventure.Aspen Hills, Colorado, the fictional small town in my new series, The Cat Latimer mysteries, is that kind of community. Being a college town, people in town are all about education. In A Story to Kill, the first book in the series, we’re invited onto the college campus and into the library. In my head, the library at Covington College looks a lot like the one I spent so much time in at Boise State University where I got my undergrad degree and played at getting a Masters in several different fields, including creative writing.Even though Boise is the largest city in Idaho, it still has that small town feel. Or it did the last time I visited. The chapel where I married my first husband is right on the river and on one of the major streets heading into downtown. We have skyscrapers, but not too large or too many.Aspen Hills feels like Boise to me. People are more active, wanting to get out into the surrounding mountains, no matter what the weather. Cat Latimer, my protagonist, likes to walk and think about what’s bothering her. I have the same habit. My current walking path isn’t as pretty as the one Cat gets to use, but I make do.I also love the way people know too much about your business in small towns. Cat has a very nosy neighbor who likes to get and spread town gossip. I’m always amazed at how much people know about me, even now. And especially on line.So why Colorado? Cat’s story was born on a road trip to Idaho from St. Louis. A long road trip. My husband likes to drive rather than fly, so since he was trapped in a vehicle with me for hours on end, he got to help me plot out Cat’s life. We were going through Colorado at the time and I’ve always wanted to buy a large, run down Victorian to fix up. Since part of writing is letting the author’s wishes come true, I got my wish. Without the work of sanding down floors and painting walls.My husband always cringes when I see an old house. Mostly because I see the possibilities the house could become. He sees the work it’s going to take to make it match my mental image. Books are like that when I start writing too. I see the finished product long before I’ve put in the work to get the manuscript to that point. Optimism is a good trait to have whether you are writing a novel or remodeling a house. It’s what gets you passed the bad times.I loved working with the supporting cast in this story. Author's are a funny lot and you may see a few mannerisms in the retreat guests that your favorite author also has—or you may not. Sometimes we’re pretty good at keeping that hidden.So what about you? Do you like remodeling and DIY projects?
By Lynn Cahoon
A Cat Latimer Mystery, Book 1
Publisher: Kensington Books
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Genre: Cozy Mystery/Female Sleuth
Length: 320 Pages
About the book:
Former English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado, hosting writers’ retreats in the big blue Victorian she’s inherited, much to her surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband! Now it’s an authors’ getaway—but Cat won’t let anyone get away with murder…
The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook is among its first guests. Cat doesn’t know why he came all the way from New York, but she’s glad to have him among the quirkier—and far less famous—attendees.
Cat’s high school sweetheart Seth, who’s fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat…some of them a little overpowering. But it’s her uncle, the local police chief, whom she’ll call for help when there’s a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun?
About the Author:
New York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho expat. She grew up living the small town life much like the settings she now writes. Currently, she’s living with her husband and two fur babies in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. Guidebook to Murder, Book 1 of the Tourist Trap series won the 2015 Reader’s Crown Award for Mystery Fiction. Find out more at: www.lynncahoon.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/LynnCahoonAuthor
Website - http://lynncahoon.com/
Amazon author page - http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
A dead ex-husband, a writer’s retreat and a local college full of mystery take center stage in A Story to Kill, the first book in the Cat Latimer Mystery series by Lynn Cahoon. Good world building, colorful and likeable characters and two solid mysteries kept me turning the pages right from the start. If you like female sleuths and getting in on a new series from the very start, then this is a series you’re going to want to read.Ms. Cahoon does an excellent job setting the stage for her characters right from the start. While it’s no longer something we see much of, Cat Latimer, former professor turned writer, was listed as the next of kin, and heir in her ex-husband’s will. Upon inheriting their former house, which he kept in the divorce, Cat moves back to Colorado with her best friend, Shauna, and opens a “Writer’s Retreat”, where published and non-published authors can come to “get away from their regular lives” and work on their craft. I have to admit that I was a bit ambivalent at first about Cat’s character; she’s still hanging onto elements of the past she can’t change and she’s somewhat of an introvert; which isn’t the best combination for someone opening up their home to strangers who she’ll have to interact with. I did grow to like her as the story progressed, though occasionally I wanted to shake her and tell her to “get over it”, and by the end of the story I was definitely a fan.I absolutely adored Shauna, her best friend and a great secondary character. Shauna is everything Cat is not; she’s outgoing, a great cook, extremely organized and she desperately wants both of them to have a fresh start and happy lives. She’s really a great best friend. I also liked Seth, Cat’s former high school boyfriend, who becomes their handyman and still carries a torch in his heart for Cat. I’m rooting for their relationship to continue to re-develop as the series continues. I also loved “Uncle Pete”, Cat’s uncle and the town’s police chief. He loves Cat, is very supportive of her efforts and is willing to put up with her conducting her own simultaneous investigation into the murder that takes place during Cat’s first retreat.The mystery is well developed and I had a hard time trying to decide the killer’s identity. There were plenty of suspects, and some strange characters, who had plenty of motive for wanting the dead man’s death. Especially since he was apparently going to publish a “tell-all” book about himself and his friend/acquaintances, something that never bodes well for a writer. There is a second mystery, involving Cat’s ex-husband and his death, which pops up in the story about half way through, and I’m very interested in seeing how Ms. Cahoon works this arc throughout the series. Ms. Cahoon’s voice as an author is established, enjoyable and easy to read.Will Cat discover who murdered the famous writer at her first writer’s retreat? Will she give her high school crush a second chance to win her heart? And will she have to go on a diet because of Shauna’s fantastic cooking? You’ll have to read A Story to Kill to find out, I enjoyed it and can’t wait to read Fatality by Firelight, the second book in the Cat Latimer Mystery series, which will release in February 2017.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 CrownsFTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the Publisher via NetGalley for a fair and honest review. This review is my opinion, and my opinion only, of the reading material provided. No compensation was involved.