by P.J. MacLayne
(Harmony Duprie Mysteries, #4)
Publication date: May 12th 2019
Genres: Adult, Mystery
A firebug is stalking Oak Grove and internet researcher Harmony Duprie is on the case. It starts as a simple data analysis project for Police Chief Sorenson, but things get personal when the house she renovated is targeted.
The arsonist is in it for the glory, posting videos of his exploits on social media. So, Harmony calls for backup from her favorite computer hackers, Eli, Lando, and Scotty. Complications arise when Fiesker, a fire investigator with a chip on his shoulder, is brought in to unmask the culprit and put an end to the fires. Then there’s the mysterious emails being sent to the town’s firefighters. And who is leaving a trail of Celtic brooches behind?
Harmony finally gets a break when Jake, her ex, stumbles across information that might lead to the guilty party.
Can Eli, Lando and Scotty help Harmony track down the pyromaniac before someone gets hurt? Or, worse yet, killed?
Q & A with P.J. MacLayne
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m a reformed poet who has taken to writing stories as my creative outlet. By day I’m a computer geek, by night I spend my time in front of a different computer crafting my tales. When I’m not writing, you might find me exploring the back roads of the mountains and plains near my home.
For those readers who aren’t familiar with your books, tell us a little about the Harmony Duprie Mysteries and Harmony herself.
When I started writing the first book, now called The Marquesa’s Necklace, I thought I was going to write a paranormal romance. Then I thought I was going to write a romance series set in the little town of Oak Grove. But Harmony quickly let me know I was wrong, and the book turned into a mystery which turned into a mystery series. It may have been the first time, but it wasn’t the last she let me know I wasn’t telling her story the way it needed to be told.
The Contessa’s Brooch is the 4th book in the Harmony Duprie Mysteries. What was your inspiration for this story?
I wanted to write a mystery without any murders. Oak Grove, the small town where Harmony lives, has its share of crime, but not enough murders to have one in every book! Plus, I wanted to give Harmony a chance to show off her intellectual skills and not have them buried by physical action. I think it was harder to write this book because I had to make sure all the little piece fit in place and I couldn’t solve the mystery with a car chase.
What do you like the most about Harmony? What do you dislike about her?
I love Harmony’s loyalty to her friends and her community. Of course, that loyalty is often what brings trouble to her life. Which keeps me busy telling the stories!
What don’t I like about her? The same thing that annoys many of her friends, her resistance to change. There are so many things I’d like to have her try, but I know they wouldn’t be true to her character, so I can’t. Her experiences are slowly breaking down some of the barriers she’s erected, but not fast enough to allow me to stop worrying that it’s going to get her into more trouble that I can get her out of.
What’s next for Harmony?
I see at least two more books coming. There’s an overall story arc I’d like to resolve. The problem is that the minor character involved (Jake, her ex) isn’t telling his secrets. Yet. I’ll get him to share one way or another.
What do you want readers to get from your book?
How about several hours of enjoyment and an escape from their everyday lives? I don’t expect anyone to learn any major life lessons from the Harmony stories, but I hope when they close the book or shut off their ebook reader there’s a little smile on their face.
Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
Signed copies of the first three books in the Harmony Duprie Mysteries. (US and Canada only) an international winner will recieve ebook copies of the books plus signed postcards.