We are delighted to welcome mystery author Peg Cochran as our guest blogger today.
Peg is one busy writer! She has two new series coming out this summer and has just published her first mystery in the Patron Saint series, Confession is Murder (April 2012 Kindle edition).
Today Peg tells us more about her "Patron Saint" heroine together with a list of her top ten favorite patron saints.
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"My name is Lucille Mazzarella. That's like mozzarella only with an 'a'." That's how my main character, Lucille, introduces herself in Confession Is Murder. The book is written in very close third person — in Lucille's unique "voice." It's the first and only time I've ever had a character speak so clearly to me. I always knew exactly how Lucille would put something. I knew what she wore, what was in her refrigerator, what kind of car she drove and what was in her heart almost from the moment I conceived her. I didn't need to fill out character profiles or write her biography — I knew exactly who she was from the minute I put my hands on the computer keys.
Photo provided courtesy of
I wanted to create an ordinary, middle-aged female heroine. Why? Because there are so few of them. And there are so many of us out here who are readers. Why didn't anyone want to write about us?
Lucille struggles with many of the things we all do — gaining weight, dealing with an elderly parent and a teenaged daughter who seems to be going nowhere, a husband having a seeming mid-life crisis. She is sustained by her faith (but this isn't a religious book even though Lucille's greatest wish is to have an audience with the Pope), her love for her family and her friends. Lucille is an ordinary woman who is a lot smarter than she realizes.
An early critique partner urged me to make Lucille "sexier." To write something like "only Lucille could make a pair of sweats look so sexy." I resisted. Instead, Lucille is always brushing lint, flour or dust balls off her sweatshirt, and even the elastic waist on her pants is getting tight.
I also wanted to write about a mature love affair. Lucille and her Frankie have been married for decades but "he still did it to her even after all these years," as Lucille puts it. Their relationship is threatened when Frankie does something unthinkable, and Lucille begins to worry, "Maybe he was tired of her old flannel gowns, the socks because her feet were always cold, the tattered robe she threw on every morning to make the breakfast."
This is a mystery story, but it's also Lucille's story. I feel privileged to have been able to get to know her.
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Lucille's Top Ten Favorite Patron Saints …
10. Saint Aldegundis, patron saint against sudden death. Because Lucille's brother-in-law's body suddenly dropped out of the confessional at church, and Lucille is pretty sure he's dead.
9. St. John Nepomucene, patron saint against indiscretions. Because it's highly unlikely that Lucille's family members can be persuaded to keep their mouths shut.
8. Saint Marguerite Bourgeous, patron saint against impoverishment. Because Lucille's mother's QVC addiction is sure to send them to the poor house.
7. St. Catherine of Siena, patron saint against temptation. Because Detective Richie Sambucco is hot even if her Frankie is hotter.
6. St. Catherine of Alexandria, patron saint of unmarried girls. Because Lucille's daughter, Bernadette, is pregnant and not married.
5. St. Catherine of Sweden, patron saint against miscarriages. Because Lucille can't decide if she wants St. Catherine to protect her daughter from a miscarriageÉor arrange for one.
4. St. Margaret of Antioch, patron saint of falsely accused people. Because the police are saying her Frankie did it, and Lucille knows that isn't true.
3. St. John of God, patron saint of heart patients. Because being held at gun point by a murderer is certainly going to give Lucille a heart attack.
2. Beatrice da Silva Meneses, patron saint of prisoners. Because someone is going to jail-that's for sure.
And Lucille's number one favorite patron saint …
1. St. Jude, patron saint of lost causes. Because Bernadette is pregnant and unmarried, her boyfriend is in jail, Lucille's husband might be playing around, her best friend could be a murderer, and Lucille has gained ten pounds thanks to her latest diet.
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Peg grew up in a New Jersey suburb about 25 miles outside of New York City. After college, she moved to the city where she managed an art gallery owned by the son of the artist Henri Matisse. After her husband died, Peg remarried and her new husband took a job in Grand Rapids, MI where they now live (on exile from NJ, she likes to joke). She has two cozy mystery series debuting from Berkley Prime Crime — the "Gourmet De-Lite" series set in Connecticut and the "Sweet Nothings Vintage Lingerie" series, written as Meg London, set in Paris, TN … which is also the setting for Confession Is Murder. For more information about the author and her books, visit her website at PegCochran.com.
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About Confession is Murder:
For middle-aged "Jersey girl," Lucille Mazzarella, only two things in life really count — her family and her friends. When her brother-in-law's body falls out of the confessional at church, everything she holds dear is threatened, especially when the police arrest her husband for the murder. Plagued by hot flashes, a thickening waistline, a mother addicted to the home shopping channel and tempted by a sexy old flame come back to town, Lucille really has her hands full. But while Lucille may not know much about solving crimes, she does know her patron saints. With some prayers, fast thinking and even faster talk, Lucille manages to nail the killer and restore order to her life.