A Cozy Christmas Featuring Deb Pines #ACozyChristmas

A Cozy Christmas at Brooke Blogs

A Cozy Christmas at Brooke Blogs is a celebration of wonderful cozy mystery authors and their books. Stop by daily from 12/11/16 through 12/25/16 for special posts and be sure to enter the grand prize giveaway. Curl up and get cozy this holiday season!

In the Shadow of Death by Deb Pines

In the Shadow of Death by Deb Pines

A Chautauqua Murder Mystery #1 in series
418 pages large type
Re-released in 2016 (with a new map drawn by my 90-year-old mom)
“If you enjoy an old-fashioned whodunit, it’s perfect,” says the Jamestown (NY) Post-Journal

Reporter Mimi Goldman expects peace and quiet when she leaves New York City to work for a small-town newspaper in the Chautauqua Institution in far Western New York state. But when her landlord drops dead at the Old First Night Run, a community race she’s covering, watch out!

Mimi suspects foul play. She finds many potential killers, including a trophy wife, gardener brother, violinist daughter and house-husband son, lurking in the lakeside paradise of concerts, lectures and quaint Victorian cottages. When more digging sparks more violence, Mimi and her teen-aged son Jake find themselves in a race of their own to catch a killer . . . before the killer gets them.

Shadow, Book #1 in an Agatha Christie-like mystery series by award-winning New York Post headline writer Deb Pines offers page-turning suspense. Romance. And the unforgettable setting of Chautauqua, a quirky, churchy, historic summer arts community that, in 1874, launched an adult-education movement Teddy Roosevelt called “the most American thing in America.”

Goodreads | Amazon

How is your “day job” (as a copy editor and tabloid headline writer for the New York Post) like writing your mysteries?

I love both. Headline-writing, of course, is much quicker, more like a sprint vs. the marathon of novel-writing. But I see at least three similarities.

I. Structure. In both kinds of writing, I try to hold something back – the punchline in a tabloid headline (the last word in the three examples below) and the whodunit and other surprising twists in a mystery.

II. Tone. In both kinds of writing, I strive for consistency. In The Post, I want to sound like The Post, an irreverent, in-your-face tabloid best known for its front-page headline HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR. To do that, I sometimes use tough-guy words like perv, fiend and thug. I also do some name-calling (like below, when I call Donald Trump “King Leer” and dub our Mayor de Blasio “de Waaasio”). In my mysteries, I alternate points of view in each chapter and try to sound like the characters. That’s easiest when writing as Mimi (whom I describe as me but younger, braver and prettier). It’s harder in Shadow when writing as one of two elderly church-going, cat-loving sisters; a bitter teen-aged townie; or the anonymous spooky killer.

III. Playful inspiration. In both, that’s what I hope for most: some headline or phrase or plot twist that just, inexplicably and way too infrequently, jumps into my brain. Below are the two front-page headlines I’m most proud of: About a JetBlue pilot’s mid-air mental meltdown and a plan to ban trans-fats.

About Deb Pines

Deb Pines, author
Deb Pines, a native of Brooklyn, grew up in Miami Beach, Florida.
A newspaper reporter for two decades (for the New York Law Journal, the Indianapolis Star and other publications), Pines now writes mysteries by day and award-winning tabloid headlines for the New York Post by night.

Her two novels in the Agatha Christie-like Mimi Goldman mystery series, In the Shadow of Death and Deliver Us from Evil, are top sellers in the Chautauqua Institution where they are set. She’s also written a series novelette, Where’s the Beef? and stand-alone short story, Gone Fishin”, as she finishes a third Mimi Goldman mystery.

A mother of two and Brown University grad, Pines is a former chair of the Mystery Writers of America, NYC chapter. She’s also a Chautauquan by marriage, SoulCycle indoor cycling nut, hiker, cook, lover of puns, music and Scrabble who lives in New York City with her husband Dave.

Learn more about Deb Pines:

Other books by Deb Pines:
Where’s the Beef?: A Chautauqua Mystery Novelette #2
Deliver Us From Evil: A Chautauqua Murder Mystery #3
Gone Fishin’: A Grisly Chautauqua Short Story

A Cozy Christmas Facebook Event

Stop by the Facebook Event for even more fun! Surprise flash giveaways and more ways to earn entries into the grand prize giveaway. Be sure to RSVP by clicking ‘Going’ and follow along on Facebook. 🙂

What’s A Cozy Christmas without a giveaway? Enter the widget below to be entered in the grand prize giveaway! Every awesome cozy mystery author participating (+ your lovely hostess) has donated prizes to the grand prize giveaway. Each day, new author entries will be added, so be sure to stop back every day! Deb Pines is graciously donating three signed books to the grand prize giveaway! Good luck!

Several winners will be randomly selected at the conclusion of the giveaway from all eligible entries. Winners will be contacted via email at the conclusion of the promotion and must respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be selected. Void where prohibited. Giveaway is open to US residents only. Mandatory blog comment entry must be completed each day or entries will not count. If you have any questions, please feel free to e-mail me (brooke [at] brookeblogs.com). Please use the contact form on my contact page or e-mail me if you are interested in participating in my next author promotion.


9 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Our little town has an informational series at the library called The Chautauqua. I didn’t know the origination of the name until now. That tie in makes me want to read your books.

    1. Good question. At work, we’re on deadline. So no room for writer’s block. I have to submit an average headline which we either use or my boss improves. With my mysteries, I have a few tricks when I’m sluggish. I do some research, reading or calling someone, and that often inspires me. I change my writing location — to a different room in my apt. or go to a different coffee shop. I set daily writing goals and try (but sometimes fail) to meet them. Good luck!!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.