This week on Tea & Company, I welcome mystery author PJ MacLayne, author of the delicious mysteries, The Marquesa’s Necklace and Her Ladyship’s Ring
About The Marquesa’s Necklace: Harmony Duprie enjoyed her well-ordered life in the quiet little town of Oak Grove—until her arrest for drug trafficking. Cleared of all charges, she wants nothing more than to return to the uneventful lifestyle of a historical researcher she once savored.
But when her beloved old car “George” is stolen and explodes into a ball of flames, it sets off a series of events that throws her plans into turmoil. Toss in a police detective that may or may not be interested in her, an attractive but mysterious stranger on her trail, and an ex-boyfriend doing time, and Harmony’s life freefalls into a downward spiral of chaos.
Now she has to use her research skills to figure out who is behind the sinister incidents plaguing her, and why. And she better take it seriously, like her life depends upon finding the right answers.
Because it might.
Interview with Harmony Duprie from The Marquesa’s Necklace and Her Ladyship’s Ring.
- What’s your job?
I’m currently working as a researcher for a group of authors. Most of my research is on the English Victorian era, but I’ve also explored the life of the scientists at the McMurdo station on Antarctica and the Rockefeller family. Before that I was a librarian for the City of Oak Grove. Circumstances forced me out of that job.
- What’s your favorite place to visit?
I love the Washington D.C. area. The museums, the stores, the large number of activities. No matter how often I make the trip, I’m never bored. But I don’t want to live there, it’s too busy and too crowded for me to stay for more than a week or so before I want to go home.
- What’s your most important goal?
I want to be the chief librarian in a small-town library. I’ve got a Master’s Degree in Library Science, and until I was arrested from drug trafficking, I thought I had a change. I wasn’t, of course. Selling drugs, that is. But that’s still my dream. I may have to move to make it happen, and that’s what’s holding me back. I really like living in Oak Grove.
- What’s your favorite food?
Anything Italian, really. Spaghetti, lasagna, chicken parmesan. I don’t go as far as making my own pasta but I do make my own sauce. I usually make too much of whatever I’m preparing so that I have leftovers to either share with my landlords or have to eat later on.
- Are you wealthy, poor, or somewhere in between?
I don’t share this information very often, but I’m relatively wealthy, thanks to an inheritance from my parents. I just choose not to live that way. I’d rather live only on what I earn. I rent an apartment, buy my furniture second-hand, cook for myself. It’s simpler that way.
Excerpt from The Marquesa’s Necklace
“Have a seat, please,” he said, indicating an armless office chair—at least its seat was padded. He sat on the other side of a desk covered with an assortment of files and paperwork, and picked up a file from the top of the stack.
“Harmony,” he said tentatively.
“Detective Thomason,” He might be trying to be friendly, but I still hadn’t forgiven him for arresting me.
He cleared his throat, and set the file back on his desk. “Did you let anyone borrow your car today?” he asked.
“No, my keys are right here.” I started digging through the contents of my purse.
“I’ll take your word for it,” he said, after I pulled out my checkbook, a packet of pink tissues, and a paperback with an almost-naked man on the front cover and piled them on the corner of his desk. His mouth twitched. “Have you made any new enemies recently, Miss Duprie?” I guess he got my message about the terms of our relationship.
“Besides a certain insufferable cop?” Even in the artificial fluorescent light, I saw the red rising in his cheeks. I could almost hear him counting to ten as I pretended to consider the question. “I think Larry, the florist, is ticked off that I’m not receiving flowers anymore. And Bart at the grocery store yelled at me last week when I went through the ten items or less line with fourteen items. But what does that have to do with someone stealing and wrecking my car?”
Buy links for The Marquesa’s Necklace:
Author Bio: Born and raised among the rolling hills of western Pennsylvania, P.J. MacLayne still finds inspiration for her books in that landscape. She is a computer geek by day and a writer by night who currently lives in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. When she’s not in front of a computer screen, she might be found exploring the back roads of the nearby national forests and parks. In addition to the Oak Grove Mysteries, she is also the author of the Free Wolves paranormal romance series. P.J. MacLayne can be reached on:
From Mari: I’d like to send out a special thanks to Tina Gayle for inviting me to participate in her annual Egg-cerpt Exchange, which goes until March 31. I have a new author lined up for Thursday Tea & Co. every week during the Exchange. So be sure to check back next week!