Lesley A. Diehl books about Sassy Country Gals Who Take on MurderI used to be a professor of psychology and university administrator, but when I retired, something more enticing called to me—murder, well really murder mysteries. I’ve loved them from the moment I picked up my first Nancy Drew when I was a kid until now when a mystery novel always accompanies me to bed every night.
Raised on a farm in Illinois, my country roots drew me back to rural life, and I moved to a small cottage in the Butternut River Valley in upstate New York. In the winter I migrate to rural Florida—cowboys, scrub palmetto, and open fields of grazing cattle, a place where spurs still jingle in the post office, and gators make golf a contact sport.
The women who live in my work are more at home in the country, perhaps like me, feeling protected by life little altered by a hostile outside world. But, Of course, we’re wrong. Murder does come to visit even the most tranquil settings, and my protagonists must confront it at their doorsteps. Are these women up to the job? You’ll find out when you meet them.
I spend a lot of my time writing, but I’m not always bent over my computer. I also garden, cook and renovate our 1874 cottage with the help of my husband, two cats and, of course, Fred our resident ghost, who gives artistic direction to our work. If it’s a particularly wet spring, we try to keep our cottage from floating down the stream. When we return south for the winter, we placate the hurricane gods by paying huge premiums on our home owners’ insurance.
As we say around our place, “Retirement is Murder”. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am author of several short stories. My first story attempt won me first place in the 2009 Sleuthfest Short Story contest sponsored by the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America. I liked doing short stories so much that I have several in anthologies published by Untreed Reads… and more to come! My mystery novels include the microbrewing series (A Deadly Draught; Poisoned Pairings), a rural Florida mystery series (Dumpster Dying; Grilled, Chilled and Killed),and A Secondhand Murder as well as Dead in the Water, books one and two in The Eve Appel mystery series. And because I know pigs can be both smart and snoopy. I couldn’t resist adding a pot-bellied pig and two angels to my usual country gal detective in my first standalone mystery Angel Sleuth.
Does my background as a psychology professor influence my writing? Of course, it does. In Murder is Academic, I bump off a college president and several faculty members. The protagonist is (you guessed it) a psychology professor, approaching retirement, blonde, chubby, prone to hot flashes and targeted by a killer who finds educated women a threat. On the other hand, she finds a construction worker and biker just her cup of hunky. Perhaps her hormone-addled brain can’t think this one out clearly. Or maybe she just needs a chocolate-filled donut.
For me humor and danger lurk in the most mundane places, even in the country where most of my protagonists think it’s safe. And I always prove them wrong.
I invite you to share the bumpy, but exciting rides of my sassy country gals, and share a laugh or two as well as the chilling delight of snooping into murder. They’d love to share their adventures with you.
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