Monday, May 16, 2016

A Conversation with Mystery Author Tracy Kiely

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Tracy Kiely

We are delighted to welcome author Tracy Kiely to Omnimystery News today, courtesy of Great Escapes Book Tours, which is coordinating her current book tour. We encourage you to visit all of the participating host sites; you can find her schedule here.

Tracy's second mystery to feature amateur sleuths Nic and Nigel Martini is Killer Cocktail (Midnight Ink; May 2016 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we recently had the opportunity to talk more about the series with her.

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Omnimystery News: Tell us a little more about your series characters. What is it about them that appeal to you as a writer?

Tracy Kiely
Photo provided courtesy of
Tracy Kiely

Tracy Kiely: The protagonists in my mystery series are Nic and Nigel Martini, and they were inspired by Dashiell Hammett's sophisticated sleuthing couple, Nick and Nora Charles. I grew up watching The Thin Man movies and loved the rapid-fire, witty banter between Nick and Nora. They were wealthy, glamorous, and urbane and obviously enjoyed each other's company. I thought it might be fun to create a modern-day version of this icon duo. However, in my series, Nic(ole) is the ex-detective and Nigel is the wealthy socialite. And instead of a wire-hair fox terrier named Asta, Nic and Nigel are aided in their investigations by a large bullmastiff named Skippy. (For those of you who were fans of The Thin Man movies, Skippy was the real name of the dog who played Asta.)

I think what most appeals to me about Nic and Nigel is their banter and, like their predecessors, they have a healthy appreciation for each other.

OMN: How do you expect them to develop over the course of a series?

TK: To me, the appeal of The Thin Man movies was the relationship between Nick and Nora. They very clearly adored each other. I don't think fans watched the movies to see them develop or grow either as individuals or a couple. In fact, I think the introduction of Nicky, Jr. was a huge misstep as Nora was suddenly was thrust into the role of "Mother." Hollywood was clearly uncomfortable with a glamorous, martini-swilling mom and Nora always dressed and behaved a bit tamer after the arrival of Nicky, Jr., and I think it negatively affected the series. So, with that thought, I have no plans to change the dynamic between Nic and Nigel with family additions or personal growth; their role, so to speak, is to amuse and solve crimes.

OMN: How would you tweet a summary of Killer Cocktail?

TK: Everyone wants to see Nic and Nigel's newly found footage from the cult classic A Winter's Night. But one person is willing to kill for it.

OMN: What kinds of books did you read when you were young?

TK: I grew up reading Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables, and anything by Louisa May Alcott (I think my favorite is An Old Fashioned Girl). I'm not sure when I moved on to Jane Austen, but my friends from high school say that I was something of a Pride and Prejudice pusher. Apparently, this behavior continued in college. The funny thing is, I really don't have any memories of thrusting random copies of P&P on unsuspecting people, but apparently I did. I also loved everything by F. Scott Fitzgerald, so much so that I began reading every book I could about him. From there, I became enamored with his wife, Zelda. Hers was a tragic kind of life. She was pushed into his shadow and relegated to being a pretty ornament, but she was very funny and quite a good writer in her own right. All of these books contributed to my own style, I'm sure. I love mystery, wit, but in a traditional setting. I also try to write strong female characters.

OMN: Create a Top 5 list for us on any topic.

TK: Top Five Favorite Films:

North by Northwest;
The Thin Man;
Murder by Death;
Death at a Funeral; and
Murder on the Orient Express.

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Tracy Kiely Book Tour

Tracy Kiely is a self-proclaimed Anglophile (a fact which distresses certain members of her Irish Catholic family). She grew up reading Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and watching Hitchcock movies. She fell in love with Austen's wit, Christie's clever plots, and Hitchcock's recurrent themes. After spending years of trying to find a proper job that would enable her to use her skills garnered as an English major, she decided to write a book. It would, of course, have to be a mystery; it would have to be funny; and it would have to feature an average person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. And while she does not claim to be Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, or Hitchcock (one big reason being that they're all dead), she has tried to combine the elements of all three in her books.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Killer Cocktail by Tracy Kiely

Killer Cocktail by Tracy Kiely

A Nic & Nigel Mystery

Publisher: Midnight Ink Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)Kobo eBook Format

Walking the red carpet at the Academy Awards with a bow-tied Bullmastiff draws Nic and Nigel Martini plenty of attention from the press. But that's nothing compared to the attention they receive at the A-list after party, when Hollywood royalty learn that Nic and Nigel have discovered behind the scenes footage from A Winter's Night, an acclaimed film known for backstage love triangles and the tragic death of its original star, Melanie Summers.

Returning home after the party, Nic and Nigel find their house in shambles and their employee DeDee Evans beaten within an inch of her life. And when the weapon used to pummel DeDee implicates beloved actress Christina Franklin, Nic and Nigel drink and banter their way into a modern-day version of a golden-era crime caper.

Killer Cocktail by Tracy Kiely. Click here to take a Look Inside the book.


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