“Guidebook to Murder”
ALTON – Somewhere in Alton, fingers are furiously hitting keys, the tapping interrupted by occasional claps of thunder. For resident Lynn Cahoon, it is murder, she wrote.
“Guidebook to Murder,” the first in a series entitled “Tourist Trap Mysteries,” was released through eKensington Publishing earlier this month. Cahoon says the book is set in the fictional town of South Cove on the California coast.
“All Jill Gardner wants is to keep her store, Coffee, Books and More, open and running,” Cahoon, 53, says. “So why is she caught up in the business of murder?”
When the protagonist’s friend is murdered, Gardner undertakes a quest to find the murderer, uncovering more than she bargained for.
“Guidebook to Murder” is the first in a series of three standalone books with Jill Gardner as the main character. “Mission to Murder” and “If the Shoe Kills” both are finished and will be out by the end of the year.
Originally from Idaho, Cahoon moved to the Highland, Ill., area to be near her husband’s family before settling in Alton.
“I love the history here,” the author says. “Something all of my books have in common, including this newest one, is that they are all small-town stories. Even one set in St. Louis was still a ‘neighborhood story.’
“They have the small town quirks and small town atmosphere that I love so much.”
Cahoon says she began writing 15 years ago, but it took a back seat until a bout with breast cancer helped remind her that each day is sacred, and there is no time like right now.
“I am seven years cancer-free, but the experience taught me to get serious about my writing,” she said.
“Guidebook to Murder” is Cahoon’s eighth published novel. Following a series of romance and paranormal projects, she decided to return to a mystery story she had never finished.
“I have always loved mysteries,” she said. “I was the little girl with all the scary books, all the Nancy Drew books. I had this unfinished story, and when I started hanging out with a mystery writer she encouraged me to finish the book.”
As a general rule, Cahoon spends about three months writing a book before setting it aside for a period of time and returning later to read and edit the story “fresh” before shopping it around to publishers.
Upcoming books include a contemporary romance novel set in Nashville and a new mystery project taking place in her home state of Idaho.
For more information or to order “Guidebook to Murder,” visit the website at www.lynncahoon.wordpress.com.