Donna Huston Murray’s cozy mystery series features an amateur sleuth much like herself, a DIY headmaster's wife with a troubling interest in crime. Both novels in her new mystery/crime series won Honorable Mention in genre fiction from Writer’s Digest. FOR BETTER OR WORSE was a Finalist for The National Indie Excellence Award in Mystery.
In real life Donna assumes she can fix anything until proven wrong, calls trash-picking recycling, and although she should probably know better by now, adores Irish setters.
Donna and husband, Hench, live in the greater Philadelphia, PA, USA.
Tell us a litte about yourself.
A short story I read years and years ago went something like this: A woman thought the girl next door was nuts because she dressed up like someone different every day. Secretly, the girl pitied the woman for “living her only only only life.” Maybe I’m nuts, but I can’t resist imagining myself in other peoples’ shoes, especially if they’re doing something unusual. What better way to find out what you’re missing? So, yes, I love characters. And quirky facts, and solving problems, and playing with words. If I hadn’t read Rex Stout when I was ten and decided that writing mysteries seemed like fun, I might have studied business. Instead I published a series of seven cozies with St. Martin’s Press, took a break to stretch and experiment, then—fast-forward—decided to go into business for myself. No more waiting for someone else to make a decision, my fate in my own hands.
You were published successfully with a Big 6 publisher. With your newest novel, you’ve struck out on your own. Why go independent? Why now?
Expedience, freedom, money, and control are all factors. Also, the support you get from everyone involved is fantastic. I feel as if I’ve caught a wave, and that’s really exciting. For me, it’s much more fun being in business for myself. An entrepreneur at heart–who knew?
When amateur sleuth and DIY enthusiast Ginger Barnes gets transplanted from the “wrong side of the river” to Philadelphia’s tony “Main Line” by her husband’s job, she quickly learns crime can strike very close to home, no matter where home is.
A serious bout with Hodgkins disease in her twenties reduced Lauren Beck’s priorities to a minimum, yet her police training and penchant for justice keep the life she’s so grateful for far from simple.
Amateur detective Ginger Barnes would love to save her childhood babysitter, “Uncle Wunk,” from spending his retirement years in Federal prison. But how can she hope to convince a jury he’s innocent of antique fraud—and murder—if she fails to convince herself? Cameos by Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross.
Babysitting a treasure-filled chateau while his former Sorbonne roommate honeymooned was the least Richard could do. The vandals who’d been plaguing the museum wouldn’t dare return, and murders only happened in Agatha Christie novels, right? He should go. He really should. He was dying for a vacation.
On the heels of a nasty divorce, a dog trainer is blamed for her ex-husband’s suspicious death. As the accused is being led off to jail, she begs her friend and sometime sleuth Ginger Barnes to save her guard dog, an assignment that also includes solving the murder.
A daylight burglary turns to murder when Ginger Barnes’s neighborhood friend returns home at the worst possible time. Thefts and threats and wild accusations swiftly follow, but it’s the attack on elderly eccentric Letty MacNair that hammers home the message—anybody could be next.
Fierce competitor Iffy Bigelow gets herself strangled at the world-famous Philadelphia Flower Show, and if she ever wants to hear the end of it, Ginger Barnes must sift through hundreds of suspects to unearth whoever killed her mother’s dear old friend.
Finalist, The National Indie Excellence Award
Back to her spunky self after the loss of her husband, amateur sleuth Ginger Barnes faces her most perplexing mystery yet—men. Men who mistreat their wives, men suspected of murder, and men who ask her out.
Writer's Digest Honorable Mention in genre fiction
Murder or suicide? To ease concerns about a questionable death, Lauren Beck joins a yacht full of suspects on a trip to the Caribbean. Can she keep her police background secret long enough to learn the truth, or will she end up swimming with the fishes?
Lauren Beck’s phone, home, credit and credibility are gone, severed with surgical precision by an enemy intent on framing her for murder. Is it one of the insureds she was hired to investigate? A fellow employee she upstaged? Does her landlady's daughter hate her even more than she thought?
Whoever targeted her should beware. A former cop and cancer survivor knows how to fight for her life.