Monday, 25 March 2019

Checking The Traps by Joan Livingston - Guest Post



Meet Isabel Long’s ‘Watson’: Her Mother

By Joan Livingston

Many private investigators have a sidekick. You know the famous ones. Isabel Long, the protagonist of my mystery series, has one who’s close to her — her 93-year-old mother, Maria.M
Maria Ferreira, or Ma, is a smart and spunky mystery-loving woman. So is the person who inspired her — my own mother who is 94. Being a big reader and a fan of my books, she gave her whole-hearted approval. Yes, my mother is indeed a character in my mystery series.
Both Isabel and her mother are widows. Maria came to live with her in the tiny town of Conwell in Western Massachusetts — population 1,000 — because both were tired of living alone. It’s been a bit of an adjustment for Maria moving to the sticks. But the town has a library that supplies her with those mysteries and smutty romances she likes. And she’s found a whole new way of life in the country.
Maria likes to stay up late reading and watching TV. Being Portuguese, she makes family favorites like kale soup.
What else can I say about Maria? She has a fun sense of humor, keen observational skills, and the nosy gene. She gives great advice. So, she makes a good partner in crime — on the good side, of course.
And she has gained the reputation of being one cool old lady.
When Isabel takes on her first case, her mother gave her wholehearted support. In fact, she goes with her on interviews and shares her insight on leads. Isabel frequently asks for her opinion.
In Checking the Traps, she is alongside Isabel for her third case — when a bad boy drug dealer, who terrorized Isabel in her second case, hires her to find out how his brother died. Maria goes with Isabel to the bridge where the brother supposedly jumped. She sits in on interviews with sources and suspects.
Besides, Isabel is banged up with a broken collarbone from the previous case, so she needs her mother’s help with a lot of mundane things. (The injury happened when Isabel crashed her mother’s car during a high-speed chase.)
Here’s an excerpt. Isabel’s daughter, Ruth, is helping her bake a cake for Maria’s 93rd birthday. By the way, Ruth doesn’t approve of Isabel taking on cases.

I can’t help smiling when Ruth clears her throat. I’m certain about what’s coming next. Well, I asked for it.
“Are you still going to take cases?” she asks.
Bingo!
“Yes, I am. It keeps your grandmother and me off the streets,” I say although I detect my humor doesn’t please her. “I’ll just try to be more careful next time.”
Ruth slides the cake pans into the oven then sets the stove’s timer.
“That’s what you say now. But you’ll get carried away like you always do.”
I laugh.
“Me?”
“Yeah, you.” She wipes her hands on her apron. “Don’t tell me you have another case already.”
I keep Gary Beaumont’s call last night to myself.
“No, not yet. Why? Do you have one for me to solve?”
There goes that eye rolling again.
“No.”
“Don’t worry. Something good will turn up. Right, Ma?”
“I can’t wait,” my mother says. “I hope it’s another murder.”
I laugh.
Ruth huffs.
“You two are impossible.”
I raise my one good arm.
“I won’t deny it.”


About The Book

Isabel Long is a bit banged up from her last case with a broken collarbone and her arm in a sling. But that doesn’t stop her from pouring beer at the Rooster Bar or taking her third case with Gary Beaumont, a local drug dealer who once terrorized her. Gary is convinced his brother didn’t jump off a bridge known for suicides. Somebody pushed him.
Gary’s brother was a boozer who drove for a highway crew. But what interests Isabel and her ‘Watson’ — her 93-year-old mother who lives with her — is that the man wrote poetry.
The chief suspects are one of Gary’s business associates and a famous poet who plagiarized his brother’s poetry for an award-winning book. Yes, he was that good.
As a journalist, Isabel did regular meetups with her sources for stories. She called it checking the traps. She does the same as a private investigator, and this time, she’ll make sure she doesn’t get caught in one.
Purchase Links:
Author Bio
Joan Livingston is the author of novels for adult and young readers. Checking the Traps, published by Crooked Cat Books, is the third in the mystery series featuring Isabel Long, a longtime journalist who becomes an amateur P.I. The first two are Chasing the Case and Redneck’s Revenge.
An award-winning journalist, she started as a reporter covering the hilltowns of Western Massachusetts. She was an editor, columnist, and the managing editor of The Taos News, which won numerous state and national awards during her tenure.
After eleven years in Northern New Mexico, she returned to rural Western Massachusetts, which is the setting of much of her adult fiction, including the Isabel Long mystery series.
Social Media Links –
Website: www.joanlivingston.net

Twitter: @joanlivingston 

Goodreads: www.Goodreads.com/Joan_Livingston

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