Trudy Genova has the best nursing job, working as an onset and script medical consultant for a Manhattan movie studio. No more uniforms, night shifts, or real emergencies. That is, until a soap opera actor Trudy has a tense relationship with dies suddenly while taping a hospital scene—but not before pointing his finger accusingly at Trudy.
Detectives Ned O’Malley and Tony Borelli view Trudy as a suspect, and in an effort to prove them wrong, Trudy interferes with their investigation. Then a second actor dies, and Trudy realizes she’s put herself right into the path of a killer.
Marni Graff had a successful career as a registered nurse who wrote on the side before writing full time. She has a degree in English Lit and studied Gothic Mystery at Oxford University in England. She also wrote articles for Mystery Review magazine, where she interviewed many of the authors whose work she admired. Marni is the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney Mysteries, set in England. The Blue Virgin introduces Nora, an American writer living in Oxford. The Green Remains and The Scarlet Wench trace Nora’s move to the Lake District where murder follows her. In process is The Golden Hour, set in Bath, England. Premiering in the next few months will be Graff’s new Manhattan series, Death Unscripted, featuring nurse Trudy Genova, a medical consultant for a New York movie studio. This new series is based on Marni’s favorite nursing job in real life.
Marni is also co-author of Writing in a Changing World, a primer on writing groups and critique techniques. She writes crime book reviews at Auntie M Writes and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press, an author’s cooperative. A member of Sisters in Crime, Marni runs the NC Writers Read program in Belhaven which allows writers experience reading their work out loud and getting immediate feedback.
The Nora Tierney Mysteries:
The Blue Virgin: A Nora Tierney Mystery (Oxford)
First Place Winner: Mystery and Mayhem Award for British Cozy, Chanticleer Book Media
The Green Remains: Book 2 (Lake District)
Short list for Mystery and Mayhem Awards
The Scarlet Wench: Book 3 (Lake District)
Death Unscripted: A Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery
One of my favorite things about being a book blogger, is that I am invited to participate in book tours of just about every genre. I was excited to sign up for this tour because it has been a while since I read a modern mystery, and I had a feeling I would really like this one. I was right.
The main character, Trudy, is a nurse with one sweet job: she helps the entertainment industry “get it right” when they portray illness, hospital scenes, medical equipment, etc. She consults on various movies and TV shows, but her steady gig is on a soap opera, Thornfield Place. She is also an avid reader of mystery novels. When there is foul play on set, she launches her own investigation to clear her name.
There are several aspects of the novel that I really enjoyed. Much of the novel takes place behind the scenes of a popular soap opera, and I found the interactions between cast and crew very entertaining. The book is in both First Person (when Trudy narrates) and Third Person (when scenes are focused on the detectives working the case). Despite being a murder mystery, there is no graphic violence or gore. The book takes place in New York City. Trudy is very short (“petite”), Detective O’Malley is very tall, and both are very observant.
The mystery is a good one, and you will find yourself reading as much and as fast as you can to keep up with the action. There are many names to keep up with, but it does not take long for the cast of characters to become familiar. I am adding Marni Graff’s other mysteries to my TBR list, and I look forward to reading more from this talented author.
1. Did you always want to be a writer?
When I was 12 I wanted to be Julie Andrews! I acted in school plays and musicals,but I quickly realized within about two years that I’d rather be the one writing the words they spoke. I’ve written everything, from poetry to creative nonfiction, screenplays and tons of interviews for Mystery Review magazine. But as often happens, I didn’t get to be a full time writer until I’d retired from a 30 yr nursing career~
2. Have any interesting writing quirks?
Interesting writing quirk, hmm, that’s a good one!I have this thing about little black Scottie dogs. Now we always have one or two dogs and I’ve never wanted to own that particular breed as I’ve heard they’re stubborn–but there’s something about the look of Scottie dog I love and so in every book I write you’ll find someone walking a black Scottie dog! Look for them!
3. When did you write your first novel?
I wrote my first full length novel, a mystery, when I was 50. Sadly, our house burned down and I lost the entire manuscript and all of the backup discs. It was while, with a move to NC in there, before I could finish another novel, when I was 57; I spent a few years trying to get it published traditionally through my agent in NYC before going with Bridle Path Press, so I’d just turned 59 when THE BLUE VIRGIN went to print.
4. What do you do when you’re not writing?
I’m a voracious reader. I also write a crime review blog, Auntie M Writes (www.auntiemwrites.com
) and so I read at least 3 books a week. I like to take walks with our Italian Spinone, Radar, a goofy clown. And my husband and I both enjoy cooking and travel. This summer we’re taking off for two weeks in Brussels, Normandy, London and Oxford.
5. What is a quality all good stories should have?
A good story has universality–something about it anyone can relate to–and for me that is usually a feeling of resolution at its end. It’s probably the reason I’m drawn to crime novels both in reading and writing, for that sense of the restoration of order at the end and the solving of the puzzle.
The author is giving away 2 signed copies of Death Unscripted