Posted in Cozy, Guest Post, Monday, mystery, Spotlight on March 9, 2015

I will be reviewing this book in the next month or two but wanted to share it with you before then because it sounds like a fun book and I think you should pick it up and read it!

out from under


Three small town, middle-aged women with big town dreams open up The Pea Pod Girls’ Investigations. Gigi VanWey, the Amazon Queen, Tallulah Dewy Townz, the pint-sized rebel who can open a can of whoop ass, and Babs Rosencrantz, the Jewish Guru, had no idea how much trouble they could stir up with their first case. These extremely resourceful women are three peas in a pod who know how to get a job done.

Their first client, trophy wife and recovering-sugar-daddy-addict Cyndi Lou Montgomery, wants to find out how one minute she’s watching the Douglas County 4th of July celebration and the next, waking up in the Douglas County Prize Bull Barn in a most un-lady-like situation. Now Cyndi is being blackmailed, and given specific instructions to follow.

The Pea Pod Girls didn’t know that a home explosion, being shot at, missing evidence and unwanted help from the new town sheriff, Jackson Lee – who, by the way, is so hot you could fry an egg on his fine ass – would be part of the job.

The case comes to a head when the Pea Pod Girls set a trap for the blackmailer at the annual Midnight Madness Costume Ball.

Will the Pea Pod Girls be able to solve the mystery before the clock strikes midnight?


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I asked if the authors would contribute a little something to let us know how they collaborated on this book and what brought them together.  This is what they told me:

The three of us met at work at our local juvenile center in town. Dee and Suz were there first and Mel came along a few years later. We all worked in different departments and had different duties, but we found each other through a mutual love of Halloween. From then on, our friendship grew. We went for lunch weekly and met outside of work for fun. At one of our lunch meetings, Suz mentioned that she had to go pick up a car for her daughter in San Francisco, CA. She was planning to make the trip alone, since her daughter was unavailable due to her college schedule. Suz didn’t want to drive back alone, so Dee automatically piped up and said, I’ll go with ya!” It didn’t take much coaxing to get Mel to go too.

During the planning stages of our trip you never would have known we were adult women. We secretly orchestrated our departure as if we were teenagers planning to sneak out to a kegger. We planned our trip and flew from Wenatchee to Seattle, then from Seattle to Oakland. From then on, we were going from one place to the next. We had one day to explore Frisco, the next day was spent in wine country, and then a family function. The next thing we knew, it was time to get our road trip started. We headed out from Frisco and drove to Portland, OR. On this trip back to Wenatchee, the Pea Pod Girls were born. We totally lost track of time as we started discussing how we grew up, what our dreams were and shared life experiences. One of the things we all found that we had in common was that we have never fit in with our peers. We also discovered that we were all very loyal and trust was important to us. We had no time or interest in gossip or negativity. This solidified our bond with each other and we decided we needed a name for our new-found exclusive group. Ideas were thrown around like The Green Bean Girls, The Rutabagas and The Beets. Mel came up with The Pea Pod Girls which was like an epiphany; we are three peas in a pod. It is not very often that you find friends that are like family and we do not take that for granted. We do not abuse our friendship in any way. It is very valuable to us.

On our way home, we talked about writing down all the adventures we had while on our trip. Our memories made us laugh so we thought they might make others laugh too. When we got back home, Dee gave us all Pea Pod Girl journals and asked us to write down memories of our trip in our perspective. Dee took the first step and started the story of the Pea Pod Girls Investigation Agency. When she read it to us, we loved it and thought the idea of writing was a good one. We shared ideas with each other when we met for lunch or coffee and discovered that writing was fun and we liked it. We made three goals: Write a book, publish the book, and make a movie from the book directed by Clint Eastwood.

From then on, we were bound and determined to reach our goals. We all had the same goal in mind so there was not much disagreement during the writing process. The only things we can remember disagreeing on are the use of a certain word in a sentence. Sometimes we would go back and forth again and again searching for the right word. If we didn‘t agree, we would vote and majority ruled. We are so in tuned with one another, that we would be synchronized in our thoughts and complete each other’s sentences. Writing evoked so much laughter not only from the material we wrote but from the writing process itself. We found it to be therapeutic. When we wrote, each of us were assigned a main character to establish. The characters are fictitious, but still took on some of our personality traits. We enjoy keeping our readers guessing as to “who dun it” and hope our readers can identify with our characters. When we develop a character, we try to create pictures in the reader’s mind. We want to provide a cheap vacation for the reader and we want to make them laugh and feel good after reading our book. We are happily ever after girls, damn straight!

Just thinking about it, the three of us were the most unlikely friends. Suz is from an upper class family, she is a big city girl whose Jewish background has been influential in her life. You could say she’s an intellectual. She has a Master’s Degree. She comes across as very proper and composed. She is very worldly and loves to travel. She is also very giving and kind. She has a direct connection to the universe and physical and emotional balance is important to her. She visits with psychics, has her palm and charts read, and believes in energy healers.

Mel is a small town country girl that came from a poverty-stricken family with a history of drug abuse and domestic violence. She rose above the cycle with the help of her Christian background and is a survivor. She is a high school graduate and loves learning. She is very smart and doesn’t take shit from anybody. She is not the most tactful person, but always wants the best for all in situations. She is creative and is open to new experiences and learning new things. She is silly and has a hidden diva that comes out with the Pea Pod Girls. She is a strong, spiritual woman who is down to earth and accepting of others. She loves her family and friends and would do anything for them.

Dee came from a lower middle-class, blue collar home. She grew up in an abusive environment that was compounded by alcohol abuse. She is college-educated and struggles with learning disabilities. She is super creative, almost to the point of driving herself crazy. She has notebooks full of ideas written down for future books. She is not afraid to say what needs to be said. Dee is funny, silly, and goofy but also very smart, loving, and generous. She is eccentric and ok with who she is. Dee is determined and always has a plan A…B…C…and even D when necessary. She is a dreamer that takes the steps to make her dreams happen and encourages others to do the same. She is a great communicator and cares for those around her. She is a spiritual woman who was raised Catholic. After a near death experience, her faith was brought to a deeper spiritual level.

These three, middle-aged women working full time and raising families persevered and came out from under their circumstances and proved to themselves and everyone around them that dreams do come true.

About the Authors

Melanie Donithan, Dee Middleton-Taylor, and Suzanne Curry

Mel, aka Pea Pod Girl Number One, is a forty-something mother of two. She works in the legal field in her hometown of Wenatchee, WA, and is a member of Write on the River.

Dee, aka Pea Pod Girl in the Middle, lives in Wenatchee with her husband Glenn and American Bulldog Abbee. She has a BS in Corrections and has worked in the criminal justice field for more than 28 years. She expresses her abundance of creative energy through writing mysteries, drawing, remodeling her home, sewing Pea Pod costumes, and cooking

Suz, aka Pea Pod Girl Number Three, lives with her husband Dennis in Tucson, AZ, where she enjoys watching sunsets, practicing tai chi, painting, and Skyping on a regular basis with Mel and Dee. Suz has a Master’s degree in school counseling and has worked with at-risk youth and families for the past 20 years.

The longtime friends are hard at work on Book 2 in the Pea Pod Girls Series. This is their debut novel.

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