Mystery/Suspense Author, Donna Huston Murray, likes to fix things, whether it’s a leaky faucet or a tricky situation she just made up. In WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU, The Mystery (Hon. Mention 23rd Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards), she challenged her female protagonist to escape a murder charge using only her wits.
Like Murray herself, the amateur detective in her cozy mystery series (originally with St. Martin’s Press), is a DIY headmaster’s wife transplanted to Philadelphia’s tony Main Line by her husband’s job. FINAL ARRANGEMENTS, set at the city’s world-famous flower show, achieved #1 on the Kindle-store Mystery list and #1 for Female Sleuths.
Murray’s husband, Hench, keeps a plumber on speed-dial.
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?
To investigate a questionable suicide, Lauren Beck conceals her police background from a yacht full of suspects. Can she keep her secret safe 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.