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Death by Intermission (An Abby McCree Mystery) by Alexis Morgan
About Death by Intermission
Abby McCree spends a summer showing family films under the stars—only to end the season with an unexpected slasher flick . . .
Ushered once again onto another committee by the mayor of Snowberry Creek, Washington, Abby is tasked with keeping the box office receipts of the town’s Movies in the Park nights. Cut to the director’s chair from where she’s suddenly organizing the summer’s last feature. From the opening scene through the final credits, Abby feels she’s earned nominations for best volunteer, best movie date with her tenant Tripp Blackston—and best daughter for ignoring her mother Phoebe’s own movie date with Owen Quinn.
Unfortunately, Abby and the others are treated to a post-credits scene: the body of local insurance agent Mitchell Anders. This discovery is followed by a plot twist revealing that the murder weapon comes from Owen’s food truck. With her mother’s boyfriend suspected of murder, Abby starts her own investigation determined to shine a spotlight on the real killer . . .
About Alexis Morgan
Alexis Morgan is the USA Today bestselling author of over forty-five novels, novellas, and short stories that span a variety of genres: American West historicals (as Pat Pritchard); paranormal and fantasy romances; contemporary romances; and cozy mysteries. A RITA® Award-finalist, Alexis Morgan is a member of RWA and Sisters in Crime. She lives in Washington State and can be found online at AlexisMorgan.com.
WHO IS REALLY IN CHARGE?
You would think after as many books as I’ve written that somehow I would have greater control over my characters and the roles they play in my stories. Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Yes, I determine all the easy things such as their names, height, and hair color. I also pick their current or at least former employment, but that’s about it. Much like with children in real life, I do my best to raise them right before turning them loose on an unsuspecting world.
There are a lot of different ways in which characters can surprise me over the course of a story. And, honestly, my amateur sleuth Abby McCree and her friends have really put me through my paces. I never expected Abby to be such an avid baker, one who loves to hand out cookies to all of her friends and sometimes even total strangers. Although new to Snowberry Creek, she’s also shown an amazing talent for making new friends from different walks of life. I think she’s as surprised as I am to find her on a first name basis with much of the Snowberry Creek Police Department. She’s also a bit of a pool shark—who knew?
When the reader first meets Tripp Blackston, he’s mowing the front lawn with his shirt off because of the hot weather. Clearly, all he wants to do is to be left alone to get the job done. However, several elderly ladies are watching his every move from Abby’s front window when they’re supposed to be attending to quilting guild business. Yet, as we spend more time with Tripp, we learn that he’s actually a nice guy with a great sense of humor. He tolerates the ladies’ continuing innocent flirtation and an endless supply of Jean’s tuna casseroles with a great deal of patience and good humor.
In DEATH BY INTERMISSION, we meet Abby’s mother for the first time. After seeing her daughter get involved in three prior murder cases, Phoebe wants Abby to leave her new life in Snowberry Creek. Their relationship is further complicated because Phoebe has started a dating a man with a mysterious past, Abby makes no bones about the fact she doesn’t approve. Watching that drama unfold against the backdrop of yet another murder case was a nonstop adventure!
Finally, there are the characters who were supposed to play a small part in the story but then unexpectedly demand to take on a more major role in Abby’s life. One such character is a rough and tumble biker. Gil was a suspect in one of the early books, but I knew when he showed up with a bouquet of flowers for Abby that there were surprising depths to the man that I wanted to explore.
I’m not really complaining about my characters taking charge of their own lives, often taking them in unexpected directions. As a writer, it is my job to set up the bare bones of a fictional world, but it’s the characters themselves that bring that world to life for the readers.