Saturday, November 26, 2011

"Hickory Smoked Homicide"

As Riley Adams, Elizabeth Spann Craig writes the Memphis Barbeque series for Penguin/Berkley. Under her own name she writes the Southern Quilting mysteries (2012) for Penguin/NAL and the Myrtle Clover series for Midnight Ink. She blogs daily at Mystery Writing is Murder, which was named by Writer’s Digest as one of the 101 Best Websites for Writers for 2010 and 2011.

Adams applied the Page 69 Test to her latest Memphis Barbeque novel, Hickory Smoked Homicide, and reported the following:
From page 69:
“Sounds like a good plan,” said Cherry. “How do I figure into it?” She was talking around a mouthful of food, but Lulu managed to make out the garbled parts.

“Distract Dee Dee for me. I’m going to take you in there and say you’re wanting to change your look and I thought that Dee Dee had just the boutique to handle your style makeover.”

There was a spitting noise on the other end of the phone. “That’d be a makeover all right! No offence, Lulu, but Dee Dee’s shop is all floral prints and froufrou, girly looking stuff. There’s not a flashy or cool-looking garment in that whole place.”

“Which is exactly why you’ll need so much help,” explained Lulu.
I was interested in applying the Page 69 test to my recent release, Hickory Smoked Homicide. After finding the page in the mystery, I thought the results were interesting and spoke a little to my focus for that book.

Cherry started out in the series' first book as a bit player who just added some color to scenes. She was a supporting character, nothing special. Then, somehow, Cherry started hijacking my books. She demanded more screen-time, better lines, and a larger part. The next thing I knew, Cherry positioned herself into a sidekick role for my sleuth, Lulu. I think this scene (which sets up a scene where my sleuth discovers clues to the mystery), indicates Cherry's new status in the series and displays some of the moxie that got her there, but also shows that Lulu is in charge...and that Cherry can only be a sidekick.
Learn more about the book and author at Riley Adams/Elizabeth Spann Craig's website and her Mystery Writing is Murder blog.

Writers Read: Riley Adams.

--Marshal Zeringue