I have to tell you a bit of a story about finding Steven Rigolosi. It was this year at Malice and what lead to finding him is this. I was there with Tom and we were looking at buying books from the book room. Well I was captivated by this cover, didn't know a thing about the book just that I knew I loved the cover and had to get it. Well when I went back it wasn't there so I had thought for sure that I missed out. Well long story short, as this isn't my post, I went back the next day and there were a pile f his books. The gorgeous cover and all! So I bought it, then the hunt was on! Jeff Cohen and I went looking for him because I had to meet the Brilliant author of this book. We searched and searched with no luck. Tom however found him for us and made my day. Steven is a great guy and I am very glad to have met him and read his book! It's Amazing!!
Here is the cover:
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Welcome Steven and thank you for joining us today.
Between Worlds with Miss Felicity Prim
by Steven Rigolosi
Many who’ve seen the jacket of my debut cozy, The Outsmarting of Criminals: A Mystery Introducing Miss Felicity Prim, ask about the period in which it’s set. Admittedly, the cover – illustrated by the supremely talented J.E. Larson – evokes a feeling of bygone days, with its black-and-white motifs and its winking nod to Edward Gorey and the heroines of Gothic fiction. But the setting is contemporary: The book takes place in modern-day Manhattan and far-suburban Connecticut, to which Miss Prim flees after being mugged.
I love when I hear the book described as “old-fashioned,” because I think many lovers of the cozy mystery use that phrase as a compliment. By using the phrase, I think, they point to the fact that the book has almost no profanity. The murder (because of course there has to be one) takes place off stage, and there’s no sex (though there is some romance and a burgeoning love triangle with Miss Prim at the apex). The Outsmarting of Crimimals is old-fashioned, too, in that most of it takes place in a traditional New England village, with a green, a square, a popular local tavern, and a motley crew that comprises the local police force. Finally, I think, the book’s traditional quality is cemented by Miss Prim’s insistence that she will solve the case using her little gray cells and her understanding of human nature, not forensic evidence and databases.
And yet, while acknowledging the book’s old-world qualities, I would argue that Miss Felicity Prim lives in two worlds, as so many of us do. For she is a modern woman. She has a career; she lives alone and takes care of herself. She has friendships and relationships, and she’s intrepid. She has the ability to make her own choices, and she makes them. She’s not Miss Havisham, living alone in a decrepit mansion; she’s a contemporary woman who decides to follow her dream of becoming a sleuth – or, as she prefers to think of herself, an outsmarter of criminals. How does she happen upon this job description? An excerpt from page 2 follows:
How she admired the protagonists of her books, those worthy men and women of crime fiction! They did not work in a doctor’s office ten hours a day, five or six days a week. They did not get mugged while walking along city streets and minding their own business. They took charge of their lives. When they encountered a mysterious situation, they took matters into their own hands. Uncooperative politicians, corrupt corporate raiders, overworked policemen, those who insisted that everything was perfectly lovely despite the heroine’s fears: None of these stood in the sleuth’s way. In the end, justice was served and the universe was restored to balance. Why? Because, by the end of the novel, the sleuth had used her superior intelligence—not common violence—to outsmart the criminal.
Yes, Miss Prim has a distinct way of viewing the world, much of it passed along to her by her beloved mother and father, who taught her to see the good in people while also standing up for herself and making her own decisions. In a frantic world with ever-changing technologies, Miss Prim has created a world that makes her happy. She wants to read physical, printed books—so she does. She doesn’t think Facebook or Twitter will help her social life; she’d rather develop friendships in “real time.” She loves her English mysteries and has always wanted to live in a traditional English cottage—so that’s what she buys. Overall, Miss Prim tries to focus on what will make her happy—friends, helping people, a cup of tea with a handsome detective, her family—and she simply tunes out all the “noise” of the modern world. In a way, she does what we readers do when we pick up the book we’re reading: We tune out one world so that we can tune into a more pleasant fictional place.
Of course, Miss Prim’s place between two worlds does cause the other characters in The Outsmarting of Criminals to look at her askance from time to time. Miss Prim speaks somewhat formally because she believes that friendships are not instantaneous, but rather should be developed over time. References to modern music, film, and computer technologies often cause Miss Prim a bout of momentary confusion, because she’s simply not up on such things. But the book’s other characters love this about Miss Prim: They’re busy surfing the Internet and getting themselves involved in pop culture while Miss Prim happily reads her Golden Age mysteries and goes about her business. And, without getting into spoilers, Miss Prim’s traditional ways do get the mystery solved, so perhaps she’s onto something….
In the end, I like to believe that Miss Prim is proof that one person can make a difference with her good manners, correct grammar, heavenly cinnamon rolls, and devotion to her friends and family.
If you love the book jacket as I do, please leave a comment here for a chance to win a 24” x 36” poster of the cover.
If you want to buy this book , you can go here: It is a fantastic and Brilliant book! Don't miss it!