Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines (A Sassy Cat Mystery) by Jennifer J. Chow
About Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines
When a local teacher is found dead, LA’s newest pet groomer Mimi Lee finds herself in a pawful predicament—with her younger sister’s livelihood on the line.
Mimi Lee is on top of the world. She has a thriving pet grooming business, the sweetest boyfriend, and a talking cat to boot. When she arrives at the elementary school where her sister Alice works, she's expecting a fun girls' night out—but instead finds a teacher slumped over in her car, dead.
Alice was the last one to see Helen Reed, which instantly marks her as the prime suspect. Unable to sit quietly and let the authorities walk all over her sister, Mimi starts snooping and talks to Helen’s closest contacts, including one jumpy principal, a two-faced fiancé, and three sketchy teachers. With the help of her sassy but savvy cat, Marshmallow, and a cute kitten named Nimbus, the clock’s ticking for Mimi to get to the bottom of yet another case before her sister gets schooled.
About Jennifer J. Chow
Jennifer J. Chow is the author of the hiss-terical Sassy Cat Mysteries, the Winston Wong cozies, Dragonfly Dreams, and The 228 Legacy. She lives in Los Angeles, where she hunts for all things matcha. Connect with her online and sign up for her newsletter at www.jenniferjchow.com. You can also find her on social media under @jenjchow.
Two Books, One Pandemic Year by Jennifer J. Chow
2020. I’d looked forward to this magical year ever since I signed a contract with Penguin Random House for my Sassy Cat Mystery Series. I’d planned on attending at least two mystery conventions happening in my state: Left Coast Crime and Bouchercon. I even debated on flying across the country to go to Malice Domestic, an essential conference for cozy writers like me. Everything, of course, shut down right after my debut with a Big Five publisher came out. (Mimi Lee Gets A Clue released around mid-March.) However, I didn’t just publish one book—but two—in this pandemic year.
Here are my thoughts as a writer publishing during these interesting times. First, let me share the negatives. I attended a few hours of the Left Coast Crime convention before the event shut down, and all the participants were kicked out. Other cancellations soon followed. Book events I’d scheduled in advance (and invited friends to attend) disappeared.
What I miss most about have in-person events is the opportunity for more interaction. I like seeing readers face-to-face and having a chat. I’ve since substituted bookplates for signed copies, but it’s not really the same experience.
This second time around publishing in a pandemic (for Mimi Lee Reads Between the Lines), I won’t be getting any physical advance reading copies. Due to printer issues, I won’t have those early books to unbox, ooh over, and give away to reviewers.
I also won’t be having a launch party for Book Two in my Sassy Cat series. Although it’d be nice to celebrate with family and friends, I think I’ll wait until more usual times. I’m not even opting to have a virtual party.
On that note, online events have been the wonderful silver lining of publishing my books in 2020. Although I didn’t get to truly mingle at the short-lived Left Coast Crime and at the virtual Bouchercon, I’ve gone to other online conventions that I wouldn’t have been able to do before because of distance, things like Murder and Mayhem in Chicago, and New England Crime Bake. That’s another bonus: no travel and lodging expenses. I can also wear comfier clothes while attending.
What I love about authors who are publishing during this year is the strong desire to collaborate. My own cohort of 2020 Debuts truly understands what it’s like to launch a book right now and have been champions of one another’s work.
Limited in-person events have also led to innovative opportunities to connect authors and readers together. When the community of A Mighty Blaze first started, I made sure to support their efforts. I’m also excited about the efforts of The Back Room, an online experience which offers cocktails and conversations with authors. The Back Room provide readers with a chance to see a panel of authors and to also talk to them in smaller breakout rooms—all for the tiny price of a purchase from an indie bookstore.
Authors tend to be solitary, especially when immersed in their craft, but this year really reminded me of the primal need to be in touch with other writers. I’m indebted to groups like Crime Writers of Color, the #2020debutsofcolor, and Chicks on the Case, who’ve all given me both the writing and emotional support I needed this year.
How would I rate my experience of birthing two books in 2020? Overall, I think the pros have outweighed the cons. It’s definitely different, but also strangely exciting to be publishing right now. I’m hoping that future years will combine both virtual and in-person events for the best of both worlds as more amazing books launch.