Glitter, Glam, and Contraband: A Delanie Fitzgerald Mystery
by Heather Leigh Weidner
- Delanie and Duncan are private investigators in your series. Have you ever wanted to be a PI in real life?
I’m a CK (cop’s kid). My dad was on the force in Virginia Beach for 46 years, so I grew up on the fringes of law enforcement. I think it would be interesting to be a private investigator, but like Delanie, I know I would get bored on long stakeouts.
- What’s the most difficult part about writing a character of the opposite sex like Duncan?
I think writing the dialog for male characters and making them believable are often difficult. I work in IT with a lot of guys, so I listen to how they speak and their dialogue patterns. My husband is also a big help. He gets a lot of “what would a guy say to this” type of questions from me.
- Duncan’s dog, an English Bulldog named Margaret, is a prominent character in the book. Is she based on a real dog? Is her full name Margaret Thatcher?
I never thought of that, but yes, she could be Margaret Thatcher. I love it! I have always loved bull dogs, and I thought one would be a great sidekick for Duncan. He works in IT, and he’s often sedentary, so I thought a chunky bulldog would be a perfect companion. She’s not based on a real dog. But since she made her debut in Secret Lives and Private Eye, I have met a lot of bulldog owners. (I also am part of the Mutt Mysteries series. My novellas in that collection are based on my Jack Russell Terriers and my uncle’s rottweiler.)
- Freeda’s is a drag show venue where things are disappearing in your latest book. Where did you get the idea for the setting? Do you love RuPaul’s Drag Race as much as I do (which is a whole lot)?
Freeda’s is a made up place, but there is a fabulous drag show in Richmond, VA at Godfrey’s, and they have the best Sunday brunch. I went there with a bunch of writer friends for research, and we had so much fun. I really enjoyed doing the research for this book. So many drag queens have blogs with makeup tips. I also have a close friend from college who is a die-hard RuPaul fan, and he sent me pictures from a lot of the shows he’s attended.
This is a group picture from Godfrey’s in Richmond, VA. My author friends are Fiona Quinn, Tina Glasneck, Rosemary Shomaker, and me.
- What is your favorite mystery book and why?
There are so many. I started out with Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie, so they’ll always hold a special place in my heart. The Crooked Bannister will always be my favorite classic Nancy Drew. I like suspense, thrillers, and cozies. My favorites are ones that have humor in them and zany characters. Right now, my favorite authors are Lee Child, John Grisham, Steve Berry, Sherry Harris, Maya Corrigan, K.L. Murphy, Janet Evanovich, and Lisa Scottoline.
- You have been published in multiple anthologies. What is different in the process of writing short stories compared to novels?
I think short stories are often harder to write than a full-length novel. You have limited space and fewer characters, and you need to have a plausible mystery. I like writing novels and short stories. The latter gives me an opportunity to experiment a little with my writing style. I can also introduce new characters and settings. The murders, while they don’t happen on the page, are a little grittier in the short stories, too.
- You mention in your informative writing blog, Crazy for Words at heatherweidner.com, that you love Post-It notes. What’s your favorite color and what do you use it for?
Pink is my favorite color for sticky notes. I use Post-It notes for everything. I am a list maker. They are stuck to my desk, monitor, laptop, and I’m sure there are three or four discarded ones in my purse right now. I like to plot stories with Post-It notes because I can use different colors for different scenes and move them around on my giant whiteboard.
- What’s up next for Delanie, Duncan, and you?
I just finished a short story with Delanie and Duncan that will be out next year in an anthology. They’ll also appear in a dog caper in the third Mutt Mysteries, To Catch a Villain. I am currently working on book two of cozy mystery series set near Charlottesville, Virginia. (And the amateur sleuth in this series has a Jack Russell Terrier for a sidekick.)
Delanie and Duncan own Falcon Investigations. Glitter, Glam and Contraband is the story of the cases they are working. They are helping a mayoral candidate and strip club owner get dirt on his rival candidates. Delanie is working undercover at a drag show while looking for a thief. She is investigating worker’s comp fraud cases. Duncan is trying to help a local business’ silent partner figure out what certain receipts and expenditures were for. Finally, Delanie keeps hearing weird sounds in the crawlspace above her desk.
I enjoyed meeting Duncan and Delanie. Margaret the English Bulldog was also a fun addition. Using a drag show and a strip club as settings in a cozy mystery was innovative. I liked that the cases were wrapped up in different times in the book—rather than waiting to the end of the book for all the mysteries’ solutions. I would have liked a little more romance for Delanie. Both of her love interests were out-of-town for the majority of the book. Overall, if you like cozy mysteries and drag shows, Glitter, Glam and Contraband is the perfect book for you. 4 stars!
Thanks to the author, Sandpiper Productions, and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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About the Book
Glitter, Glam, and Contraband: A Delanie Fitzgerald Mystery
Traditional Mystery/Female Sleuth/Humorous Mystery
3rd in Series
Publisher: Sandpiper Productions (November 19, 2019)
Paperback: 240 pages
Private investigator, Delanie Fitzgerald, and her computer hacker partner, Duncan Reynolds, are back for more sleuthing in Glitter, Glam and Contraband. In this fast-paced mystery, the Falcon Investigations team is hired to find out who is stealing from the talent at a local drag show. Delanie gets more than she bargains for and a few makeup tips in the process. Meanwhile, a mysterious sound in the ceiling of her office vexes Delanie. She uses her sleuthing skills to track down the source and uncover a creepy contraband operation.
Glitter, Glam, and Contraband features a strong female sleuth with a knack for getting herself in and out of humorous situations like helping sleezy strip club owner, Chaz Smith on his quest to become Richmond’s next mayor, tracking down missing reptiles, and uncovering hidden valuables from a 100-year-old crime with a Poe connection.
About Heather Weidner
Glitter, Glam, and Contraband is Heather Weidner’s third novel in the Delanie Fitzgerald series. Her short stories appear in the Virginia is for Mysteries series, 50 Shades of Cabernet, and Deadly Southern Charm. Her novellas appear in The Mutt Mysteries series. She is a member of Sisters in Crime – Central Virginia, Guppies, International Thriller Writers, and James River Writers.
Originally from Virginia Beach, Heather has been a mystery fan since Scooby-Doo and Nancy Drew. She lives in Central Virginia with her husband and a pair of Jack Russell terriers.
Heather earned her BA in English from Virginia Wesleyan University and her MA in American literature from the University of Richmond. Through the years, she has been a technical writer, editor, college professor, software tester, and IT manager.
Website and Blog: http://www.heatherweidner.com
Amazon Authors: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00HOYR0MQ
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