Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Please Welcome Back Mystery Author Wendy Tyson

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Wendy Tyson
with Wendy Tyson

We are delighted to welcome back author Wendy Tyson to Omnimystery News.

Wendy's second mystery to feature image consultant Allison Campbell is Deadly Assets (Henery Press; July 2014 trade paperback and ebook formats) and in her guest post for us today she tells us why she chose this particular profession for her series character.

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Wendy Tyson
Photo provided courtesy of
Wendy Tyson

In the world of traditional mysteries, Allison Campbell is an unlikely detective. As a professional image consultant on the wealthy Philadelphia Main Line, Allison spends her days helping her clients — ambitious executives, the recently-divorced, local politicians and victims of corporate-downsizing — reinvent themselves. Although she's viewed by most as an insider in a world of insiders, Allison is really an outsider. That's what makes her good at her job — and at amateur sleuthing.

Born in a small town on the outskirts of the Philadelphia suburbs, Allison is one of three daughters. She grew up poor, and her mother suffered debilitating headaches throughout Allison's childhood, leaving her and her sisters in the hands of an abusive father. Allison escaped to go to college and, later, graduate school for psychology, but in her mid-twenties, her world fell apart. Left with nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Allison Campbell reinvented herself.

Despite her eventual success, the old Allison, the one who never quite fit in, lurks beneath the surface. The tragedy that led to her undoing haunts her, and while she likes the tidy, predictable life she's created for herself in Villanova, that neat life — along with the illusion of safety — is shattered, first in Killer Image and now in Deadly Assets.

So why an image consultant? The whole concept of image, of things not being quite what they seem, appealed to me. Like Allison, I have a background in psychology. I enjoy reading mysteries and psychological thrillers with complicated plots and complex, multi-dimensional characters. When I was first creating the main character behind the Campbell series, I envisioned someone who could move in a world of wealth and power, but who would not get completely caught up in it. Someone who could understand what it means to create (and deconstruct) a façade, but who was still vulnerable. Someone who could be a true opponent to another main character at play in the Campbell series: the setting.

In the Campbell series, the Main Line serves, at times, as antagonist, keeping Allison from obtaining her goals and acting as mysteriously as any worthy foe. The Philadelphia Main Line is really a cluster of affluent towns that were built along the old Main Line of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Philadelphia's elite once built their "country" homes along the Main Line. Today, the Main Line is still a very wealthy and beautiful area, with sprawling estates, upscale shopping and numerous private schools. Here, image is important — but looks (and money) can deceive. The perfect place for a crime.

In the end, I decided on a woman schooled in psychology, with demons of her own, who could see beneath the surface — and thus, Allison was born. I've since realized that a well-connected image consultant living and working on the Philadelphia Main Line can find herself involved in quite a few adventures. Look for the third installment in the Campbell series, Dying Brand, next spring.

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Wendy Tyson's background in law and psychology has provided
inspiration for her mysteries and thrillers. Wendy lives near Philadelphia with her husband, three sons and two muses, Labs Molly and Driggs.

For more information about Wendy, please visit her website at or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Deadly Assets by Wendy Tyson

Deadly Assets
Wendy Tyson
An Allison Campbell Mystery

An eccentric Italian heiress from the Finger Lakes. An eighteen-year-old pop star from Scranton, Pennsylvania. Allison Campbell's latest clients seem worlds apart in every respect, except one: Both women disappear on the same day. And Allison's colleague Vaughn is the last to have seen each.

Allison's search for a connection uncovers an intricate web of family secrets, corporate transgressions and an age-old rivalry that crosses continents. The closer Allison gets to the truth, the deadlier her quest becomes. All paths lead back to a sinister Finger Lakes estate and the suicide of a woman thirty years earlier. Allison soon realizes the lives of her clients and the safety of those closest to her aren't the only things at stake. Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)  iTunes iBook Format  Kobo eBook Format

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful guest blog, Wendy. It is fascinating to read about the decisions you made to create Allison.

    -Social Media Intern


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