The SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS column on Mondays and Wednesdays is a place at Shannon Muir’s author website open to interviews and guest posts from other authors. One thing Shannon firmly believes in for readers not only to learn about new books available, but about those who craft the tales behind them. As its name implies, SHANNON MUIR’S INFINITE HOUSE OF BOOKS weekly column features writers from all genres of fiction who want their potential audience to get to know them, and their works, better – and occasionally may offer features from Shannon herself that support readers to discover words.
Today features a guest post by mystery author Carl Brookins, whose titles include his latest release, GRAND LAC.
About the Book:
Paperback: 194 pages
July 3, 2017, $13.95
Also available in ebook format
A small group of investors has purchased lots on a mountain on the outskirts of Grand Lac in northern Idaho. One dark night one of the investors, Jack Ketchum, gets drunk, climbs aboard a large bulldozer and carves a raw track of destruction down the mountainside though the property of each of the other owners. Days later Ketchum is found dead in a ravine, a large-caliber bullet hole in his chest.
When a local day trader, young Sam Black, is jailed for the murder, his mother, Edie Black, calls her cousin for help. Marjorie Kane, ex-exotic dancer, enlists the aid of her partner, Alan Lockem. The pair are independent special investigators who specialize in solving unusual and sometimes strange case. The duo flies to Grand Lac to try to prove Sam innocent and catch the real killer. They quickly find themselves enmeshed in civic chicanery, corruption and other evils, which must be sorted out to save Sam from prison or worse.
Guest Post by the Author:
ON CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT
A great many influences, large and small, affect character development. That’s true for every kind of literature. My focus, naturally, is crime fiction. I began writing about a Twin Cities detective. Because one of my literary heroes as a randy teenager, was the enormously successful Richard Prather, I wanted to create a character who might accomplish what he did, but from the opposite perspective.
Prather sold more than 20 billion books in many languages. His detective was Shell Scott, a six-four former marine whose buzz-cut hair turned white due to his experiences in the South Pacific. He worked as a private eye in Los Angeles. He would bed any woman who could walk and he was quick to shoot anyone who looked at him cross-eyed. After some years I began to realize that the Shell Scott stories were not only good stories, but also satires of the genre, clever and in some scenes, excruciatingly funny.
My detective is named Sean NMI Sean. He’s not Irish. He’s short, barely an inch over five feet and he’s committed to a monogamous relationship with a wealthy woman who stands six-feet-four inches in her stocking feet. Sean has qualified with many different weapons but more often than not he does not carry and prefers to talk his way out of situations, rather than shoot someone. As he remarks, bullets cost money and the recoil hurts his elbow. When he gets knocked on the head, he goes to the hospital.
Sean has a thing about his shoes. When he learned Converse was going to discontinue a certain shoe, he bought 150 pairs of bright red white-soled tennis shoes so he’d have a supply for the rest of his life.
All this brings me to my new characters. GRAND LAC is my latest murder mystery. The aging population in America deserves an aging detective. Think a seventy-year old Travis McGee. Alan Lockem, a retired military intelligence officer, makes his living solving troubles in an unlicensed, often extra-legal way. His companion is a lusty former exotic dancer, stripper, headliner show-girl named Marjorie Kane, stage name, Kandy. She is a top-notch off the cuff evaluator of men, a high-level computer geek and an excellent foil and emotional companion for Lockem.
This pair, by combining their natural and learned talents are able to right many crimes for their clients often using their abilities to be overlooked. Think about it. Retired older people are largely ignored in our society. They are dismissed out of hand as being of little or no consequence in the society at large because they are retired and wield little professional influence, unless elected to a government position. They are essentially invisible, which, when they choose to, gives them a considerable advantage.
The next time you visit the mall and encounter an older gentleman or woman shuffling along, minding their business, pause and wonder what sort of life they may be leading. You might be surprised.
About the Author:
Before he became a mystery writer and reviewer, Carl Brookins was a counselor and faculty member at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Brookins and his wife are avid recreational sailors. He is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and Private Eye Writers of America. He can frequently be found touring bookstores and libraries with his companions-in-crime, The Minnesota Crime Wave.
He writes the sailing adventure series featuring Michael Tanner and Mary Whitney. The third novel is Old Silver. His new private investigator series features Sean NMI Sean, a short P.I. The first is titled The Case of the Greedy Lawyers. Brookins received a liberal arts degree from the University of Minnesota and studied for a MA in Communications at Michigan State University.