Key to a Murder: An Antique Hunters Mystery
4th in Series
Cozy Cat Press (August 12, 2016)
Print Length: 176 pages
A mysterious woman appears on the doorstep of Great Aunt Sybil’s Attic in the middle of the night. Owner Anne Hillstrom lets her in, only to have the woman die in her arms. With no final words, and only an old lantern clutched to her chest, the dead woman provides Anne and her partner CC precious few clues to discover her murderer or why she spent her last moments in their antique store. The two Antique Hunters search for clues, finding themselves entangled in a centuries-old mystery leading them to a cemetery in Ireland where a ghost from the past has left them a cryptic message, and a killer has left them no choice but to discover his identity before he kills again. On their journey, the two best friends encounter antiques, romance and the key to a murder.
I’m often asked where my ideas stem from for the antique hunters series. I have to respond everyday life. I am surrounded by ideas, only limited for time. The most recent book, Key to a Murder, includes references to a historic Chicago event and the last book, Killer Finds, involves a mystery surrounding the famous Georges Seurat painting, Sunday on La Grand Jatte.
Each year in grade school, we would take a trip to the Art Institute of Chicago and stroll among the impressionists. There I would study Seurat’s example of pointillism and marvel at his use of color, shade and texture to convey emotion. It is truly a masterpiece and deserves its place amongst the Monets, Van Goghs and Gaugins.
My entire life has been seeped in history whether it be at the Art Institute or further away from my home. Each summer, we would take a family vacation traveling around the country. We visited Concord and Lexington, the birthplace of American freedom. We wandered around Williamsburg, joining the revolutionary militia. We traveled north to Fort Henry, learning about the French trappers.
Those history lessons intertwined with visits to authors’ homes. It was in Concord where we toured Louisa May Alcott’s home, Orchard Place. Not only was she the author of the Little Women series but also a gothic novelist. It is while in Canada that we trekked to Prince Edward Island and discovered the home of L.M. Montgomery. My father bought me the complete collection of Anne of Green Gables books. All these books had strong female characters and were set in the author’s current days.
My antique hunting series has two strong female characters. It chronicles the adventures of Anne Hillstrom and CC Muller, two best friends who enjoy shopping and stumble upon murder. They are loosely based on my two best friends, two strong women who both define themselves in different ways. Like in the books, the real life Anne loves to shop and has never met a sale she could resist. The real-life CC is an intrepid journalist who strives to share her knowledge.
Their tales intersect with my own real life adventures. My husband and I traveled to Nashville last summer, and that journey is shared in Pickin’ Murder, the second book in the Antique Hunters series. I love to combine real life locations with fictional events.
I, nor my close friends, Anne and CC, have never encountered a murder in real life, but we do share many adventures. We have attended a Downton Abbey costume exhibit at the Driehaus Museum, a barn sale in the middle of nowhere and several estate sales, including one of a long-time Illinois elected official. Bits of these adventures work their way into my stories and often provide me with inspiration.
Where will the next inspiration come from? I am always curious to find out. I love looking for pieces of history, the more unusual the better, when I go to area estate sales, auctions or even garage sales. I stop and look, hoping to find source material for the next adventure for my two antique hunters, Anne and CC. I hope you’ll join them.
About the Author
With a passion for shopping and antiques, Vicki Vass turned in her reporter’s notebook to chronicle the adventures of Anne and CC, two antique hunters who use their skills to solve a murder case.
Vicki has written more than 1,400 stories for the Chicago Tribune as well as other commercial publications including Home & Away, the Lutheran and Woman’s World. Her science fiction novel, The Lexicon, draws on her experience in Sudan while writing about the ongoing civil war for World Relief.
She lives in the Chicago area with her husband, writer and musician Brian Tedeschi, son Tony, Australian shepherd Bandit, kittens Terra and Pixel, seven koi and Gary the turtle.
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Check out the other great blogs on this tour
November 1 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW
November 2 – Books,Dreams,Life – REVIEW
November 3 – Grace. Gratitude. Life. by Marie McNary – REVIEW(Killer Finds)
November 3 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
November 4 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too ! – SPOTLIGHT
November 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 5 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW
November 6 – Lisa Ks Book Reviews – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 7 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW
November 7 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
November 8 – Nadaness In Motion – REVIEW, GUEST POST
November 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW
November 10 – Book Babble – REVIEW
November 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 11 – StoreyBook Reviews – GUEST POST
November 12 – A Holland Reads – REVIEW, SPOTLIGHT
November 13 – Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST
November 14 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW