Friday, January 27, 2017

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for One Dead, Two to Go by Elena Hartwell

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, for One Dead, Two to Go by Elena Hartwell.  Please leave a comment or question for Elana to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  Good Luck!  Please check back for my review which will be posted by Sunday. 

Small Towns Can Be Murder by Elena Hartwell

I live in a small town. Elk on the road is the most common traffic problem. We describe how to get to our house with information like, “across the bridge over the middle fork” and “turn right at the row of mailboxes.”

I write about small towns. The Eddie Shoes Mystery Series is set in Bellingham, Washington. Bellingham has a population of 80,000 people, which isn’t tiny. My town of North Bend—ninety-minutes south and slightly east of Bellingham—boasts a population of 6,000. But still, in the scheme of things, a population of 80,000 is small.

I like small. There’s a lot to be said for a slower pace. It also makes for an interesting contrast when a murder occurs.

One of my reasons for choosing Bellingham, is that statistically, the town has one murder a year. Many of you may know about the “Cabot Cove” problem. In the television show Murder, She Wrote, about three hundred murders occurred in Cabot Cove, Maine, over a short period of time. Which would have put it up there as one of the most violent communities in America. It adds a layer of creativity for me to figure out when, where, and how Eddie comes across a murder victim.

There’s fiction and then there’s … fiction.

While I don’t pretend to have everything accurate in my novels, I do know you can’t kill a person a week in a town the size of Bellingham without causing a stir. Granted, I’d love to have Angela Lansbury play my character Chava on the televised version of One Dead, Two to Go—she’d be perfect—but still, I didn’t want to create another Cabot Cove. That could only be done successfully once.

People sometimes ask me why I didn’t set my series in North Bend.

It has, after all, already been made famous as the location for filming Twin Peaks. People might even believe in the potential for several murders a year in the small town where Laura Palmer died.

But it didn’t feel right to kill off my neighbors, even in fiction.
I love reading mysteries in big cities. I’m a huge fan of Dennis Lehane, who locates his Kenzie-Gennaro series in Boston and Michael Connelly, with Bosch kicking ass in Los Angeles. I still binge-watch Castle’s love affair with the 12th precinct in New York and who doesn’t love death in New Orleans, James Lee Burke style, but sometimes it’s fun to explore other parts of our American Landscape.

One of the first writers I fell in love with was Tony Hillerman. I am fascinated by the wide open spaces of the Four Corners area and the inclusion of the Navajo. William Kent Krueger gave us the Iron Range and the wilds of northern Minnesota. Kinsey Millhone inhabits a small fictional town in California.

I once lived in a trailer in a canyon halfway between Gaviota and Goleta, the real neighbors to Santa Barbara, which Sue Grafton thinly disguises as Santa Teresa. I love to visit that area again and again, riding in the passenger seat of Kinsey’s Volkswagen bug.

Fiction allows us to travel. It lets us sink our teeth into gritty cities and violent times from the safety of our armchairs. It also lets us spy on the residents of the small towns, where everyone knows your name, no one locks their door, and no one sees it coming, when one of the neighbors just … snaps … and murder finds its way into even the sleepiest of places.

I think small towns are to die for.

One Dead, Two to Go  
By Elena Hartwell
Eddie Shoes Mystery, Book 1

Publisher: Camel Press
Release Date: April 15, 2016

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1603813112

Buy Links:  Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes | IndieBound

About the book:

Private Investigator Edwina “Eddie Shoes” Schultz’s most recent job has her parked outside a seedy Bellingham hotel, photographing her quarry as he kisses his mistress goodbye. This is the last anyone will see of the woman… alive. Her body is later found dumped in an abandoned building. Eddie’s client, Kendra Hallings, disappears soon after. Eddie hates to be stiffed for her fee, but she has to wonder if Kendra could be in trouble too. Or is she the killer?

Eddie usually balks at matters requiring a gun, but before she knows it, she is knee-deep in dangerous company, spurred on by her card-counting adrenaline-junkie mother who has shown up on her doorstep fresh from the shenanigans that got her kicked out of Vegas. Chava is only sixteen years older than Eddie and sadly lacking in parenting skills. Her unique areas of expertise, however, prove to be helpful in ways Eddie can’t deny, making it hard to stop Chava from tagging along.

Also investigating the homicide is Detective Chance Parker, new to Bellingham’s Major Crimes unit but no stranger to Eddie. Their history as a couple back in Seattle is one more kink in a chain of complications, making Eddie’s case more frustrating and perilous with each tick of the clock.

About the Author:

After twenty years in the theater, Elena Hartwell turned her dramatic skills to fiction. Her first novel, One Dead, Two to Go introduces Eddie Shoes, private eye. Called “the most fun detective since Richard Castle stumbled into the 12th precinct,” by author Peter Clines, I’DTale Magazine stated, “this quirky combination of a mother-daughter reunion turned crime-fighting duo will captivate readers.”

In addition to her work as a novelist, Elena teaches playwriting at Bellevue College and tours the country to lead writing workshops.

When she’s not writing or teaching, her favorite place to be is at the farm with her horses, Jasper and Radar, or at her home, on the middle fork of the Snoqualmie River in North Bend, Washington, with her husband, their dog, Polar, and their trio of cats, Jackson, Coal Train, and Luna, aka, “the other cat upstairs.” Elena holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego, a M.Ed. from the University of Washington, Tacoma, and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia.

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  1. The relationship between Chance and Eddie sounds like it'll add a nice component to the mystery.

  2. Love this post and loved the book even more. Can't wait for the second in the series!

  3. Great interview. New author for me, looking forward to catching up in the series.