Tag Archives: mystery

Guest Character Interview: Nica S.T.A.T.Ic.

PictureLast December I interviewed Sue Perry, author of the FRAMES series of speculative detective novels. Sue is back today with an interview with her private eye Nica. Take it away, Sue and Nica!

1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?
I’m Nica S.T.A.T.Ic. Correct, my last name is an acronym. My full name is Veronica Sheridan Taggart Ambrose Taggart Ickovic. My acronymic identity is constructed of family, first love, big mistake, ever hopeful (wishful thinking) revisit of first love, tragic true love. The last couple years of my life have been as stable as old dynamite, so I was happy to discover this acronym, this promise of no more disruption.2. How old are you?
People are obsessed with age. Youth. Aging. Age differences. I’m not going to buy into that by answering this question. Let’s just say I’m old enough to have learned some stuff and young enough to act on what I’ve learned.

3. Tell us about your family. What do you like and not like about them?
My family is full of lovely, interesting, supportive folks. Unfortunately they are all dead.

4. Who was your first kiss, and what did you think of it?
My first kiss was with Jenn, my best friend since third grade. Kissing seemed like such a big deal and we wanted to find out why. Our experiment did not enlighten us.

5. What is your occupation?
I recently started calling myself a detective and – amazingly – I got clients right away! Private investigator. We’ll see how long I stick with it. I’ve had more jobs than all my friends, combined. But this one feels different. It feels right. And I need one that feels right.

6. What are your best and worst qualities?
I’m always willing to try something new – which makes me brave, if you squint at it right. Meanwhile, I get lost inside my head and distract myself at all the wrong times.

7. What quality do you value most in a romantic partner?
Best of all, I like it when he makes me laugh.

8. What is your favorite thing to do?
I can’t remember how I would have answered this a few months ago but nowadays my favorite thing is to Travel the Frames, which as near as I can figure are other dimensions. It turns out there are an infinite number of Frames all around us in all directions, with all kinds of life, all living simultaneously in their Frames.

9. What is your greatest fear?
Among the fears I can face, my number one fear is boredom. Among the fears I don’t dare acknowledge, my greatest is that Ben Taggart, my first and third ex-husband, will die of a heroin overdose.

10. What is your most treasured possession?
Now that I know about the Frames, I can’t even think about an answer to this – makes me feel like a slave trader. What may seem like an object in this Frame could be a sentient animate being elsewhere. In just a few short months, I’ve been attacked by books, protected by a volcano, informed by a lawn chair, befriended by a pickup truck. And either saved or threatened by a cat. (It’s hard to tell with cats.) I’ll never again be able to think in terms of possessions.

The FRAMES series is a quartet of speculative detective novels.

Book 1, Nica of Los Angeles, is available now.
When rookie private eye Nica takes on a mysterious case, she enters a world of multiple dimensions called Frames, where buildings and lawn chairs can be sentient, a stray cat has great powers, books can be killers, and clouds can be spies. At home, Nica tackles missing person cases, while in the larger reality of the Frames she is swept into an escalating battle with stakes that could not be higher…

Book 2, Nica of the New Yorks, is coming soon.

Nica is available as an ebook and trade paperback from all the usual places on-line, including
Amazon | AppleBarnes&Noble | Smashwords

Stay in touch with Sue:
blogTwitterFacebook | Goodreads


Author Spotlight: Sue Perry

Sue PerryIntroducing author Sue Perry and her latest novel, Nica of Los Angeles (Frames #1):

1). Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a seasoned yet new writer. I published a novel in hardcover with Bantam-Doubleday-Dell some 20 years ago, then stopped writing until recently. In that hiatus, I was a low-budget TV producer, a disaster scientist, a college professor, and more, until I finally acknowledged that writing is the only work that matters to me.

2). When did you start writing, and why?

When I was growing up, teachers always told me I was a writer, and at some point I came to believe them. However, for a long time, I had little to say. So I would start writing then stop, pick up again then set down. Nowadays, however, the “stopping” is over and I feel considerable urgency to write.

3). What do you write, and why? What do you enjoy about what you write?

I write novels, and the occasional novella, about whatever most preoccupies me at the time – I have many interests! To date I have written a psychological thriller involving split brain research, animal rights, and a love quadrangle (“Was It A Rat I Saw”); a novella about an oddball group of scientists and techies who solve crimes (“C.R.I.M.E. Science”); literary fiction about a family with secrets (“Scar Jewelry”); and a fantasy detective adventure (“Nica of Los Angeles”). Although my books span many genres and perspectives, they share key features. They all have smartass dialog, strong female characters, and stories that unfold like mysteries. There will always be a cat, and there will usually be a musician.

4). What is your latest book or series? Any forthcoming books?

“Nica of Los Angeles” is my latest novel, the first in a quartet of novels that will make up the speculative detective series FRAMES. Book 2 in the series, “Nica of XXX” (location currently embargoed), will be out in the first half of 2015.

5). “Welcome To My Worlds”: Tell us a little about the world of your latest book or series.

Frames are dimensions, and there are an infinite number. No one has been to them all. Landscapes are similar from Frame to Frame, but structures and beings vary. What seem to be inanimate objects in one Frame may in fact be animate and/or sentient beings in other Frames. You just never know. For example, a lawn chair, a volcano, and a building – among other non-human characters – are all sentient in “Nica of Los Angeles”.

Nica of Los Angeles6). Introduce us to some of your characters. What do you like about them?

Narrator Nica S.T.A.T.Ic. (Sheridan Taggart Ambrose Taggart Ickovic) has recently appointed herself as a private detective. She is an upbeat person in a very noir world. She never loses her wits, her wit, or her enthusiasm for life, and she never lets details like fear or inexperience slow her down.Miles and Monk are siblings. In our Frame, they are known as the tallest of the Watts Towers, inanimate folk art sculptures. In other Frames they are animate as well as sentient. Monk is a quiet philosopher given to inscrutable remarks; Miles is a lively gadabout and a flirt.

7). A fun fact you would like your readers to know about you or your book.

I’m adopted and as an adult, met my birth family, who (luckily!) turn out to be awesome people with amazingly similar attitudes and senses of humor. Turns out that, after I was adopted, my parents got together and had five more kids. I wrote about some of this in my novel “Scar Jewelry” (Btw, that wasn’t a spoiler – that isn’t the secret the characters grapple with in SJ.)

Nica of Los Angeles (Frames #1):
When rookie private eye Nica takes on a mysterious case, she enters a world of multiple dimensions called Frames, where buildings and lawn chairs can be sentient, a stray cat has great powers, books can be killers, and clouds can be spies. At home, Nica tackles missing person cases, while in the larger reality of the Frames she is swept into an escalating battle with stakes that could not be higher.

Read a three-chapter excerpt from Nica of Los Angeles here.

Nica of Los Angeles is available at:
Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes&Noble | Kobo | Apple

Where to find Sue Perry:
Blog | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon author page | Smashwords author page
I rarely post to my Facebook fan page, but it does exist: https://www.facebook.com/SuePerryAuthor

Music is crucial in the shaping of my novels. As user “scperryz” I have playlists on Spotify for “Scar Jewelry” and “Nica of Los Angeles”.
Nica of Los Angeles: http://open.spotify.com/user/scperryz/playlist/61lXhpNJCeYEcAVwOXvnyO
Scar Jewelry: http://open.spotify.com/user/scperryz/playlist/5515fvDrOfhpwBqYye4atP

COYER Book Review: The Case of the Misplaced Hero

The Case of the Misplaced HeroThe Case of the Misplaced Hero, by Camille LaGuire

Camille LaGuire is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I love her Mick and Casey stories (Have Gun, Will Play) and there’s always something interesting going on on her blog, so I decided to give some of her other mystery/adventures a try.

In The Case of the Misplaced Hero, Alex’s eccentric aunt once gave him a special ring and advised him to go jump in a lake. One evening, while escorting his drunk professor, Thorny, home from the bar, Alex discovers what she meant when he and Thorny fall in the river. On the other side, they find themselves in a different world, in the middle of mysterious goings-on involving a train wreck, a missing spy, and an assassination plot.

The action is fun and exciting, with plenty of twists and turns (the story was originally posted as a serial on Ms. LaGuire’s blog and follows that same structure), and the characters are enjoyable and well-drawn. I especially like Alex, Thorny, and Rozinshura, the much-put-upon captain of the garrison in the town where the train wreck happened and where Alex and Thorny washed up to everyone’s confusion. There’s also plenty of humor – “Anarcho-Bureaucracy” is my favorite political system that I’ve ever come across in a novel.

Plots are discovered, mysteries are solved (though there are loose ends which hopefully will be continued in the companion story about the Baronness of Beethingham, aka Plink), and Alex learns that when the time is right, anyone can be a hero. A fun, fast-paced, and enjoyable read.

See my main COYER post for reading list and review links.

COYER Book Review: The Tease


The Tease (Darling Killer Trilogy, #1) by Nikki M. Pill

Therapist by day, burlesque dancer by night, Anna works hard to keep the two halves of her life compartmentalized. That all falls apart when a patient confesses to a creepy fixation and the latest in a series of bizarre murders hits too close to home.

I really enjoyed this. Well-written, suspenseful, with well-drawn characters and a puzzle that kept me guessing. There are a lot of possible suspects, both obvious and not so obvious, and I found myself really getting nervous whenever Anna interacted with any of these guys in her life who could (maybe?) be the Darling Killer. Is it the guy who’s obvious? The guy who’s less obvious? The guy who’s too obvious? The guy who couldn’t possibly be a killer?

And I loved Anna’s imperious half-Siamese cat, Caprice.

My only complaint is that the book is a little strident in proclaiming its message of female empowerment through taking your clothes off in front of strangers. Yes, celebrate your body and all that, I agree with the underlying sentiment, but not with that particular expression of it. But, whatever. The burlesque scene (as opposed to more sordid strip clubs) is an interesting setting for a murder mystery, especially in contrast to Anna’s straight-laced day job.

Otherwise, I completely enjoyed this book; I stayed up way too late last night to finish it, and then I couldn’t sleep because the ending was so creepy. Be warned: this is the first book in a trilogy, so the mystery is only partially solved, but the parting shot is a doozy.

See my main Clean Out Your eReader post here.