Bookshop Mystery

We’re well into 2023. The Christmas decorations are gone until December, winter is trying to see itself out, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. I suppose enough time has passed that I should talk about my next project.

I think people who know me know that I enjoy cozy mysteries. I love Murder, She Wrote, and shows like Law & Order: SVU. I love true crime if it’s not exploitative and disgusting. However, I lean more toward the cozy side. I like a mystery where the blood and guts aren’t front and center, the case has twists and turns, and justice is found at the end.

If you throw in an amateur detective to solve the crime, all the better!

I’ve wanted to write a cozy mystery for as long as I can remember. They’re full of quirky characters, cute little idyllic towns full of secrets, and, of course…murder.

A cozy mystery tends to sway in the direction of less coarse language, nothing bloody or gory, the camera panning away love scenes, and a softer approach to observing and solving the crimes. The crime is the main event, but the quirky characters and the idyllic town full of secrets are just as important.

If you’ve read JACOB MICHAELS IS… or POSSIBLY TEXAS, you know I love this shit.

Anyway, I steered clear of cozy for a long time for fear that I might not be able to plot out a murder intricately enough to make it challenging for readers to try and solve while still making it fun, light, and a good time for all. Once I finally got over the mental block of that, and I read an excellent industry book WRITING THE COZY MYSTERY by Nancy J. Cohen, I felt confident I could do it.

Months and months later, tons of research and plotting, character development and world-building, and…I had a new book ready to share with readers.

After development and rounds and rounds of editing, of course.

So, I would like to be the first to introduce you all to Head Rock Harbor. It’s the fictional, quaint, idyllic town (full of secrets) where our murder takes place. Set along the shore of the equally fictional and idyllic Lake Wilder in Central Iowa, it’s a place where murder is the last thing any of its residents would expect.

However, as our story opens on a nippy spring morning, a body is found in the harbor–and it’s all the gossip in Head Rock Harbor Bookstore. Our main character–and amateur detective–Jackson Harper hears the whispers throughout his bookstore all morning…right before his cat accidentally attacks the shoppers in the Sci-Fi section.

It’s the setting and beginning of any classic cozy mystery. But I’m Chase Connor. I’m here, I’m queer, and I’ll never shut up about it. Most cozies take place in heteronormative worlds. Head Rock Harbor, on the other hand, may be small, but it’s not small-minded. This cozy is queer-friendly. Not to say that there are some in Head Rock Harbor who aren’t the best people–there’s a murder after all!–but all in all, this series of cozies will be perfect for queer readers who love cozies.

Rounding out some of our cast of characters are Detective Jeremy “Germ” Morris, Charlene Hardy (a chocolatier), Lardell Simmons (the owner of Munchies Cafe), Deborah “Deb” Harper (Jackson’s mother, who owns and runs the town’s only trailer park and Harper’s Bar & Grill), Lula and Mark Wagner (the mayor and her husband), and more.

So, when the time comes, and the book is ready, you’ll all get to read about an artist whose body is found in the harbor and how the murder is solved. Who had the motive to kill him? Was it an angry employee of his? A jealous artist? A closeted character afraid their secret would come out? A rebuffed lover? A small business owner who felt jilted? A betrayed friend? Prescott Pemberton was not a beloved man, so the list of suspects is daunting.

Stay tuned. Murder is coming to Head Rock Harbor…

Tremendous Love & Thanks,

2 thoughts on “Bookshop Mystery

  1. I can’t wait. I love a cozy queer murder mystery. And I can’t think of anyone better to write one.
    Hope it’s out soon.

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