Happy Saturday! Today's Leading Lady of Mystery is Caro Layton-Browning! Meet Caro and find out how her story came to life.
Caro Layton-Browning is a mystery writer whose life seems to uncannily mirror her books. Her hubby Gregory, a professor in international law at the local university, is the yen to her yang, the common sense to her abstract craziness. These two are the perfect example of opposites whose paths crossed over a cup of bad coffee while at university and whose marriage has been a roller coaster ride from their native Great Britain to the verdant countryside of upstate New York.
Caro makes her first appearance in A BIRD IN THE HAND (2015), Book 1 in the Proverbial Crime Mysteries. She’s a walking conundrum, the product of a childhood spent absorbing books by Agatha Christie, Georgette Heyer, and Dorothy Sayers. Her parents, while not neglectful to the point of completely ignoring her, left her to own resources as they pursued their careers. Because of this, Caro’s best friends resided between the covers of works written decades ago, by authors whose vocabularies (‘lexicons’, according to Caro) were as dated as the books themselves. Needless to say, Caro tends to sound a bit ‘stuffy’ at times, even to her sweet spouse.
Caro and Greg land in Seneca Meadows, New York, a town with a sleepy past and one of the best bakeries around. This is a good thing, since Caro has a sweet tooth that doesn’t quit! Because of this, health-conscious Greg is always trying to get her to exercise a bit more. She finally agrees to take the family dachshund Trixie out for a stroll, more to get Greg off her back than to work off some of those bakery goodies. When she literally stumbles over a dead body in the local park, she’s off and running – figuratively, of course – in an attempt to find out whodunnit.
In WHEN THE CAT’S AWAY (Book 2, 2016), Caro is determined to loosen up, both with her word choice and her social life. Thanks to her new pal Meredith Holmes, Caro has found more time to stop and smell the proverbial roses. Unfortunately, her rose-smelling coincides with another death in picturesque Seneca Meadows, and once again Caro is hip-deep in murder and mayhem. With Merry in tow, the two gals fuel up on coffee and sugar as they try to solve the mystery…before becoming statistics themselves.
On a side note, Caro wants all and sundry to know that she named her dog after the girl sleuth Trixie Belden, heroine of her own mystery series (Julie Campbell, author). She highly recommends reading the books; in her opinion, which she tends to toss around with abandon in spite of resolving not to, these are far superior to the ‘other’ girl detective. For once, I’m in complete agreement with her!
One last thing: It wouldn’t be a series about a writer without a section filled with writing tips! Be sure to check out the back of each book for some great ideas, both for the casual writer to the serious novelist. (Caro has to give credit to her creator here, something that tends to stick in her craw. Still…)
About the Author
DANE McCASLIN, author of the new Proverbial Crime mystery series, resides in the state of Arizona with her very patient husband. She has been writing all of her life: poetry, short stories, journals, letters (yes, those old-fashioned epistles that require pen and paper), and now she brings her talents to the cozy mystery genre.
In addition to being an author, Dane McCaslin is an educator. She currently teaches advanced language arts classes for grade 11; additionally, she teaches beginning writing classes at the local university. Being an educator is an important part of her life, and passing on her passion for reading and writing to her grandchildren and to her students is one of her great joys.
Giveaway: Dane and Caro will be giving away an autographed copy of A BIRD IN THE HAND and WHEN THE CAT'S AWAY, as well as a Caro-inspired treat box. For a chance to win please leave a comment and email below. Winner will be announced on February 29th @12:00 AM EST. Good Luck!