Thursday, January 08, 2015

Please Welcome Mystery Author Tj O'Connor

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Tj O'Connor
with Tj O'Connor

We are delighted to welcome back mystery author Tj O'Connor to Omnimystery News.

Tj's second mystery in his Gumshoe Ghost series, Dying for the Past (Midnight Ink; January 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats), is published today, and we asked him to tell us a little more about his series character. He responded by providing us with an interview with the gumshoe ghost himself, Detective Oliver "Tuck" Tucker.

— ♦ —

Tj O'Connor
Photo provided courtesy of
Tj O'Connor

Introduction: What follows is an interview with Detective Oliver "Tuck" Tucker, former detective with the Frederick County, Virginia, Sheriff's Department. A point of fact — Tuck is dead. He was murdered more than a year ago and was back at the job the next day. You could say he now investigates post mortem.

Question: Before we ask some personal background, how about a quick summary of your first case.

A: Well, Dying to Know was not my first case. I've been a homicide cop for more than fifteen years. But it was my first case as a dead detective. The Gumshoe Ghost is my moniker now — and I'm not fond of that, but oh well. Anyway, Dying to Know was how it all started, right? See, I was killed in the beginning of the case and had to come back and help my old partner and wife solve my murder. They were lost without me as always. And what a case! First, poof, I'm dead and back. Then holy-crap-on-a-peanut-butter-sandwich, everyone was a suspect — well, everyone but Hercule. But the wildest thing you ever heard of was that two young wraiths sought me out to solve their homicide, too. Except theirs was fifty years ago. And, along the way, some other bodies were piling up, too. Someone in sleepy Winchester, Virginia, had been very, very bad. Believe me, it was my toughest case — and not just because I was solving my own murder either.

Question: Now, some background, Oliver. Tell us about yourself and your family.

A: First, lose the "Oliver" — I'm Tuck. Oliver was my grandfather's name. Funny about that, I didn't know any of my family until I was murdered. You might say they started coming out of the closet then. I never liked "Oliver," it always reminds me of that sniveling little shit in Oliver Twist. I'm more a Raymond Chandler or Mickey Spillane type. You know, tough, rugged, chiseled jaw, and to-die-for looks.

Question: But you don't have a chiseled jaw and you don't look so rugged. So …

A: Look, I'm dead. So I have to-die-for looks, right? Oh, that could be another of my author's books, "Dying for Looks."

Question: Your author?

A: Yeah, Tj O'Connor. He thinks he's the brains behind me. But, I do the heavy lifting — chase the bad guys, get killed, catch the bad guys, and then … wham … he writes the books and takes all the credit. Yeah, yeah, he was a government agent and international consultant and all that dribble. He chased spies and terrorists — blah, blah, blah … he never lets me forget it either. But I ask you — did he ever get killed? No. Did he ever get shot? No. Do the dead hire him to solve their cases? No. I rest my case.

Question: Sure, okay. So, back to your background …

A: Okay, so, I've been a cop for more than twenty years. I live in Winchester, Virginia — an amazing, historic town in northwestern Virginia. My partner is Bear Braddock — here's a hint, he ain't called Bear because of his darling personality or his gymnast figure. Then, there's Angel — Angela Hill-Tucker — my brilliant university professor and wife. She put the vava in the voom. And Hercule, too, my best pal. He got Angel and I back together after my murder. Oh, he's a dog, too. A black Lab. But don't bring that up, he might chew something up — like you. Last but not least, there's Doc, my dead great grandfather who is my mentor these days. There are a few more, too, but I'll talk about them later.

Question: What was being killed like? How has it affected you?

A: How the hell do I know? One minute I was racing to save Angel and the next I was standing in my den looking down at my body in the foyer. Somewhere in between, I was shot in the heart by a madman. Poof, I was watching me carried out of my own house ten toes up. For the longest time, too, only Hercule could see and hear me. I had to figure everything out on my own, too. I watched a lot of old movies and they gave me a very bad idea of what being a ghost was about. Especially that old movie, Topper — which by the way, our (Tj and my) beautiful and talented agent, Kimberley Cameron, says our books are like. But I figured it out. Poof here. Poof there. As I said in Dying to Know, it's like watching T.V. I just change the channel and I'm where I want to be. Except sometimes, I don't know where I need to go and I have to channel surf.

Question: How is your newest case — Dying for the Past — going? Are you making any headway?

A: Oh, hell yeah. I already solved the case. Although Tj took credit. You can tell he didn't have a clue — he chased false leads and almost nabbed the wrong suspect. I let him dangle for a while before I saved his butt, er, his ending. And what thanks did I get …

Question: Ah, Tuck, the case?

A: Yeah, right. So in Dying for the Past, Angel threw this big-shot charity gala. All the rich and famous were there. Let me tell you, she was looking hot, too. Tj nailed it — "A woman with shoulder-length auburn hair and sparkling green eyes stood in the middle of the mansion's ballroom. Her long, silky gown was icing poured hot over sultry curves." Then, while the champagne and money were flowing … bam! Some mysterious big shot was murdered — shot right through his carnation in front of a hundred witnesses, too. Of course, nobody saw sh … anything. A guest jitterbugged in and murdered Mr. Carnation to Benny Goodman.

And that's just the crime scene!

Then there are the suspects — As always, there's Poor Nic again with one hand in the cookie jar and the other around the Russian mob. Add in a missing federal witness, a tough-as-nails federal prosecutor, a ghost-investigator, the beautiful, conniving widow, and you've got a cast of wild and crazy suspects! Did I mention Vincent? He's the spirit of a 1930's gangster looking for his lost book holding the secrets to modern-day spies, gangsters, and corruption in Washington DC — and oh, my, he's got Sassy on his arm. She's a young, wild vixen giving me a wink and a pinch every time I turn around. You wouldn't believe what everyone is willing to do for that damn book. Or maybe you would.

Dare I go on? No. You'd never believe it.

Question: So, who dunnit?

A: The killer, of course.

Question: No, I mean …

A: I know, I know. But, you can't expect me to tell you, right? Who would buy our book? (Hear that, Tj, our book). And then Tj would blame me, bang his head on the wall, and run around screaming like a baby. Nope, I'm not getting into that!

Question: Okay, on a personal note … what do you like most about being the Gumshoe Ghost, er, dead detective?

I like solving the dead cases — or I should say, the cases for the dead. Their killers think they got away with murder, and for the longest time, maybe they did. Then, surprise! Those victims find me and I'm on the case. I get to dispense a little overdue justice. Yeah, I sure like that.

Question: What do you like least?

A: Oh, where to begin? Well, once you see my Angel, the thing I miss most will be obvious — but it's a cozy (or so my publisher says) so I can't spell it out for you. Let's just say "laughter, bourbon, hangovers. Long nights on stakeouts. Long nights with Angel. Aching for sleep, praying it never came … "

Question: Any closing comments? Thoughts on Dying for the Past?

A: As for me, if you're gonna murder someone — look over your shoulder at the shadow or the wisp in the wind. Listen for the bump in the night or the sigh just beside your ear. That'll be me. And once I find you. It's all over. (Boy, I love the melodrama and the cheap dime store lines, don't you?) As for my partner, Tj, he'd be pissy with me if I didn't say "buy the books." Yes, it's a cheap promotional stunt, but if I didn't pass it along, he might get me exercised, or get exorcised, one or the other.

— ♦ —

As an international security consultant and former government agent, TJ O'Connor has conducted security consulting, investigations, and anti-terrorism operations around the world. Today, he provides independent security consulting to government agencies and private businesses. He lives in Winchester, Virginia.

For more information about the author, please visit his website at or find him on Facebook.

— ♦ —

Dying for the Past by Tj O'Connor

Dying for the Past
Tj O'Connor
A Gumshoe Ghost Mystery

Dying is not for the faint of heart … Neither is the murder of a mysterious philanthropist with ties to the Russian mob and 1939 gangsters …

At an A-list charity ball organized by his wife, Angela, former detective Oliver "Tuck" Tucker is doing his best to prove that ghosts know how to have a good time — until a man is murdered in cold blood on the dance floor.

Never one to let a mystery go unsolved, Tuck is on the case with help from Angela and his former police-detective partners. Together, they must be the first to read "the book" — deceased gangster Vincent Calabrese's journal that names names and reveals the dirty secrets of several modern-day spies.

As Tuck learns the book's secrets, he begins to unravel his own family's wayward past, leading to the question — is being a ghost hereditary? Even while chasing a killer, the biggest challenge Tuck must conquer is how to be back amongst the living … but not one of them. Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)  Kobo eBook Format


Post a Comment

Omnimystery Blog Archive

Total Pageviews (last 30 days)

Omnimystery News
Original Content Copyright © 2022 — Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites — All Rights Reserved
Guest Post Content (if present) Copyright © 2022 — Contributing Author — All Rights Reserved