Mulbridge House stood, silent and decaying, deep in the woods at the heart of Oakwood, Ohio, long before the passing of Augusta Mulbridge. Yet suddenly everyone in town seems to have a stake in its fate: the greedy heirs, eager to tear it down for a tidy profit; the local preservationists, determined to maintain it as an historic site; the angry neighbors, staunchly opposed to the construction of a modern subdivision. Even Charley Carpenter is forced to admit that her beloved shop, Old Hat Vintage Fashions, could use an infusion of the estate’s treasures.
The clock is ticking. The wrecking ball is ready to swing. All that stands between Mulbridge House and oblivion is one final vote. That, and murder . . .
The trouble begins when Charley walks into auctioneer Calvin Prescott’s office to find her cherished family friend crumpled on the floor. Detective Marcus Trenault quickly connects his death to a string of increasingly violent burglaries plaguing Oakwood. But when Charley uncovers a link to a massive land swindle worth millions, not to mention a drug ring operating out of the manor’s abandoned outbuildings, that theory crumbles faster than Mulbridge House. Now Charley’s racing to catch a killer before everything falls apart.
The Antique House Murders is the second book in the Oakwood Mystery series. I really enjoyed The Book Club Murders, the 1st book in the series, so I had been looking forward to this one.
In this installment, Charley ends up investigating after finding a family friend murdered. It doesn’t take long for Charley to uncover a shady million dollar deal, and for us to realize that she may be in over her head this time. Fast paced and full of twists, this mystery kept me guessing right along with Charley until the final chapter.
I am so excited to have Leslie Nagel here to answer a few questions today. Read on for her responses, and be sure to check out the rest of the blogs on the tour for more reviews of The Antique House Murders, and even more interviews with Leslie.
Do you have any particular writing rituals that you adhere to, or unique methods of overcoming writer’s block?
I do a great deal of prewriting. For this reason, I’ve never faced an honest-to-goodness BLOCK. I have this blank wall that I love covering with sticky notes and index cards. I build my stories fact by fact, filling in character traits, interesting words, scene ideas, and so on. When I’m not sure where to take my characters next, and when they’re also stubbornly silent on this question, I go to my wall and work my outline for awhile. I constantly add to, change, throw away, and move around my notes–anything to keep the story ideas flowing. Even 15 minutes of “wall work” is enough to get me unstuck and moving forward.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer? Have you been able to devote yourself to writing full time?
I kept my dream of becoming a writer locked away for many years. As a busy career woman, then a busy newlywed, then a busy mom, then a busy working mom—well, the years have a way of flashing by, don’t they? Once my kids were mostly grown and I’d switched careers to something less insane than corporate management, I finally had the time to write.
I’d been toying with the idea for my first book for several years. After some soul searching—and a couple glasses of wine—I decided the idea and the opportunity were both finally within my reach. I knew that this story was THE ONE, because it’s exactly the kind of book I love best: fast paced and twisty plot, vivid characters, red herrings, danger, and a dash of romance.
I still teach college English, but that’s a part time gig, so I am able to devote at least part of every week to writing. It’s rare for me to go more than two or three days without working on something.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
My husband says I’m restless, but I like to call it a desire to keep busy. I garden, play tennis, walk, read—of course, and cook. I also spend a lot of time talking to my daughter on the phone. What did we do before cell phones?
Which genres or authors do you like to read? Are there any books or authors in particular that you’d say have influenced your desire to write?
I read a ton of genre fiction. Mysteries and thrillers are my go-to, but I also enjoy a well plotted romance. Lately I’ve been reading some YA and finding them a lot more complex and engaging than I expected.
My list of favorite authors is too long to list. However, if I had to name a few who inspired me to become a writer, the list would have to include Mary Higgins Clark, Elizabeth George and Suzanne Brockman. These women all raised families and worked while trying to get a secondary writing career going—and they succeeded.
What are you reading now?
Summer is my catch up season, and I’ve been anticipating diving into some of these for months.
A Great Reckoning and Glass Houses by Louise Penny: I love the Inspector Gamache series, and I’ve fallen woefully behind.
Also, the latest from one of my all time favorite authors: Full Wolf Moon by Lincoln Child was released this month. FINALLY.
Sisters of Blue Mountain by Karen Katchur. I’m saving this one for my western adventure with my daughter later this summer.
And just for fun – Coffee or Tea?
How is this even a question? Who soaks yard debris in water and calls it a beverage? COFFEE, forever and always.
Thank you Leslie!
Leslie Nagel is the USA Today bestselling author of The Book Club Murders, the first novel in the Oakwood Mystery series. She lives in the real city of Oakwood, Ohio, where she teaches writing at a local community college. After the written word, her passions include her husband, her son and daughter, hiking, tennis, and strong black coffee, not necessarily in that order.
Follow the Tour – Check out the other blog stops for more reviews and interviews!
May 26th – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
May 27th – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW
May 27th – The Girl with Book Lungs – INTERVIEW
May 28th – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
May 28th – Storybook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
May 29th – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
May 29th – The Books The Thing – REVIEW & INTERVIEW
May 30th – The Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW
May 30th – Bella Reads & Reviews – REVIEW
May 31st – Sleuth Café – SPOTLIGHT & REVIEW
NOTE: I was provided with a free copy in exchange for an honest review – all opinions expressed are my own.