In "Panic Button," Josie meets a woman who's inherited a button charm string. A little history here: in the late 1800s and the early 1900s, many young women collected buttons and put them on charm strings. The trick was that you were supposed to have only one of each button on your charm string and you were never supposed to buy any of the buttons. Young women got buttons as gifts and traded them. Legend said that when you had 1000 buttons on your charm string, you'd meet your Prince Charming.
Well, Angela, who owns the charm string in the book, isn't worried about meeting her Prince. She's convinced the charm string is cursed and she can't wait to get rid of it. Josie, ever practical, is sure she doesn't believe in such nonsense. That is, until Angela is found strangled, the charm string around her neck.
How did you come up with this series?
Actually, the series is an excuse to indulge my love of old buttons. Sound crazy? Next time you have a chance, take a look at some old buttons. They are really amazing, tiny little pieces of art. A couple years ago when I was browsing through buttons at an antique shop, I realized it would be a perfect setting for a mystery series.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I'm working on the fourth book of the series. I 'm calling it "The Button of Doom." We'll see if my publisher sticks with that! I'm having great fun with this one. I won't tell you what it's about, but I will give you a hint: voodoo and buttons. A great combination!
If you could be any fictional character from any book you have read who would it be and why?
There's no way I could make a choice! I love certain characters for their special qualities. For instance, I love the Flavia de Luce character from Alan Bradley's books because she's precocious and curious. I love Amelia Peabody from Elizabeth Peters's mysteries because she's got great wit and she knows how to use an umbrella as a weapon. Miss Marple is so good at seeing little things and figuring out what they mean. Sherlock Holmes, of course, has wonderful powers of observation. The list goes on and on!
What book are you reading right now?
At the moment . . . nothing, unfortunately. That's because I'm knee deep in this book and when I'm writing, I seldomly read fiction. I find it much too distracting. I can tell you that the last book I read was "One Mountain Away" by Emilie Richards. Wonderful and moving women's fiction.
Josie Giancola, owner of the Button Box shop, knows her buttons. But when she comes into contact with a rare charm string, she never imagines it will lead to murder…
Josie is approached at her shop to appraise a very rare item—a complete charm string. In Victorian times, girls strung buttons on long strings to make the charms. Once the string reached 1,000 buttons—no two alike—the legend was that the owner would meet her beloved.
But the owner of this charm string is not looking for love—she’s desperate to donate the piece to a museum and be rid of it. She believes the string is far from charmed—it’s cursed. When Josie finds the woman strangled with the charm string, she doesn’t know whether the curse is real…but the killer certainly is.
Panic Button comes out on Dec 31st~!