Alexandra Amor: Award-winning author presents
It's a Mystery Podcast
Reader-focused interviews with mystery authors about their books, characters and the mystery genre. Introducing mystery fans to new authors they may not have heard of yet.
May 3, 2021
Volcanoes, Surfing, and a Missing Brother with Amy Waeschle
We begin in Costa Rica. Author Amy Waeschle's protagonist Dr. Cassidy Kincaid is a volcano seismologist. I had to ask Amy what that is exactly. Turns out it's the perfect profession for an amateur sleuth as it takes her all over the world, where she encounters mysteries of all kinds. Dr. Cassidy is a surfer, visiting Costa Rica in the excerpt Amy reads. And, from the Small World department, Amy herself learned to surf where I live, on the on the west coast of Vancouver Island. She's even written a memoir about her surfing adventures. If you enjoy Amy's reading from Rescuing Reeve you can get the full book for free at her website. This week's mystery author Amy Waeschle is a bestselling mystery writer who fell in love with mysteries while reading late at night under her covers. Agatha Christie, Trixie Belden, and Ridley Pearson were her favorites growing up. She learned to surf just before her 30th birthday, and the challenging experience inspired her to write her first book, a memoir about surfing and traveling called Chasing Waves. After that, Amy was hooked on storytelling, and wanted to combine her love for adventure with fiction, and has been writing adrenaline-spiked mysteries and heartfelt dramas ever since. To learn more about Amy and all her books visit AmyWaeschle.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the excerpt below. Remember you can also listen on , Excerpt from Rescuing Reeve After a sunset surf session at another remote wave, Cassidy slipped to the bow of the Trinity with her stack of documents, hoping to pick up where she left off, but found fellow surfer Benita leaning back against the railing, playing Reeve’s ukulele and singing softly. She must have seen the look on Cassidy’s face because she stopped mid-strum. “Is this yours? I found it on my bunk.” “Uh, no, I mean, yes, it’s mine.” Benita gave her a shrewd look. “You can play it. I don’t mind, I was just surprised, is all.” “This is actually a really nice one. Do you play?” “No,” Cassidy said, settling in on her cushion. She realized that her answers were not making much sense. “My son learned in school. He got really into it.” She looked up. “Do you have kids?” she asked.
April 26, 2021
Creole Culture and California Murder with Myra Jolivet
Mysteries and mysticism. Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis is a former therapist turned detective. And she's got a body on her doorstep. After author Myra Jolivet reads to us from The Holiday Murder Melange, we talk about the influence of Creole culture in Sarah's life, what Pushed Times Chewing Pepper means (that's the title of the first full length novel in this series), and the courage and tenacity it takes to be a writer. This week's mystery author At six years old Myra was a poet and playwright, holding SRO productions in her Berkeley, California backyard. That led to a 20+ year career in TV news, politics and corporate communications. When her children went off to college she gathered the nerve to begin a series of cozy, paranormal murder mysteries, the Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis mysteries. Sarah’s life is a blend of Myra’s own California and Louisiana Creole cultures that have helped her create a world of mysticism, murder and humor. To learn more about Myra and all her books visit MyraJolivet.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the excerpt below. Remember you can also listen on , Except from The Holiday Murder Melange Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis removed freshly baked kale chips from her oven and uncorked a bottle of Luc Pirlet Cabernet, as velvety as her new purple Chesterfield sofa. She had planned to sit, sip and read. It was a gorgeous, sunny day in the San Francisco Bay Area, but two interruptions pissed all over her one-person peaceful Saturday afternoon. The first was a call from her mother, a mini-Lena Horne look-alike powerhouse of a woman who stood four feet, ten inches. Every greeting from her sounded like an order. “Good afternoon, Ma-ma.” “Good afternoon, Sarah. I hope you’re well. I want to run something past you.” “I get to have an opinion?” “Don’t sass. I think that this year you should host the family holiday dinner.” Sarah wanted to quiet the inner child begging for family validation, but couldn’t. “Oh, Ma-ma. Me? I’ve wanted to host since I was a kid. Wow, I get to pick the menu and set a gorgeous table, and . . .” Ma-ma cut her off. “That’s right. You’re good at all of that.” “Yes, but why me this time? I know it’s usually the married-with-children and I’m neither.” Creole holiday meals are major events and to be chosen to host is a woman’s rite of passage, like a Creole bat mitzvah. Men are never chosen to host in the culture; they’re served. Sarah had a love-hate relationship with Creole tradition. “Sarah,
April 19, 2021
Bootleggers, Mentalists, and Murder with Carolyn Marie Wilkins
Trouble is in Carrie McFarland's future. Carrie McFarland, the protagonist of Carolyn Marie Wilkins' book, Death at a Séance, isn't looking for trouble, but she finds it at her new job in 1920 Indiana. Carolyn is a woman with a wide range of interests, passions, and professions. She has been a Jazz Ambassador for the United States (I had to ask her what that is and she answers in the interview portion of the show), a music professor, a Reiki healer, a writer, and a medium, among other things. The dialogue and character voices that Carolyn performs while she reads her excerpt are amazing and she pointed out that this is due to her musical background. She has an ear for voices. This week's mystery author Carolyn Marie Wilkins is an author, a musician and a psychic medium. She is the author of three mystery novels: Death at a Séance, Melody for Murder and Mojo for Murder. She has performed with the Pittsburgh Symphony and represented her country as a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. State Department. In addition, Carolyn maintains an active private practice as a psychic medium and Reiki healer. To learn more about Carolyn and all her books visit CarolynWilkins.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the excerpt below. Remember you can also listen on , Excerpt from Death at a Séance The offices of Gaylord Wilson Entertainment were located on the third floor of a seedy walkup in the heart of Claxton’s red-light district. It was just before noon, and the streets were still quiet. No doubt the ladies of the evening were still recuperating from the previous night’s endeavors. This was my first time away from Aronsville since leaving Blockport. Claxton wasn’t much bigger, but it did feel more alive. The few people out on the streets at this early hour bustled with a sense of greater self-importance. The buildings were taller; the traffic more intense, the sense of danger somehow heightened. Maybe this impression was colored by the fact that I was about to meet the partner of the man who may have murdered Miss Parker. Whatever the reason, my heart was pounding a mile a minute as I knocked on the Gaylord Wilson’s office door. “Don’t just stand there,” a gruff voice of indeterminate sex barked in response. “Come in. It’s unlocked.” The small reception area had a large black desk facing the door. Once inside, I could see that the voice I’d heard belonged to a colossus of a woman ...
April 12, 2021
Secret Messages and Ancient Textiles with Jane Thornley
Magical Venice ...and murder. Jane Thornley was one of my very first guests. She joined me on episode 14 to talk about her Crime By Design books. Today she is back to discuss , the first book in the Agency of Ancient Lost and Found mysteries. Jane has always done a lot of traveling, which is reflected in all her books and that's true as well of the excerpt she reads to us. We begin in Venice, pre-Covid-19, and you can almost smell the damp and decay as Jane's protagonist, Phoebe McCabe makes her way through the city. I've never been to Italy, but am as desperate as ever to visit the floating city after hearing Jane read. This week's mystery author Jane Thornley has been creating stories forever, or at least, as far back as she can remember. Once a superintendent of schools, once a travel host, once a professional librarian, once and still a knitwear designer, now she remains passionate about travel, history and art. Though she's published many books, her new Agency of the Ancient Lost & Found series remains the most popular. To learn more about Jane and all her books visit JaneThornley.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the excerpt below. Remember you can also listen on , Excerpt from The Carpet Cipher Venice, February 2019 How long had it been since she had last ventured into the Venetian streets at night—five years, ten? Too long ago, in any event, and to do so tonight of all nights, when the carnival finale was in full swing and the revelry would reach a raucous pitch, seemed foolish even for her. How she detested the noise, the crowds, even the fierce and gilded costumes that would press against her in the dark like fevered dreams. To stay home by the fire with a book and a glass of wine seemed far preferable. Still, it must be done. After tonight she would lay one matter to rest and possibly see the conclusion of another, much older mystery. She opened the front door, hesitating briefly before leaving the safety of her palazzo and plunging into the throng, her velvet coat wrapped tightly around her to ward away the spring chill. As expected, the young people were outdoing each other with fantastic finery. Gone were the days when only the time traveler mode of long gowns and medieval costumes ruled, though plenty of those still roamed the streets. Now creative interlopers had arrived with glittery fairy wings, and was that a chicken? Yes, a chicken, complete with an enormous egg tucked under one false wing! She stifled a laugh. Her own mask, on the other hand, was demure by comparison, a lovely sun/moon creation she had had especiall...
April 5, 2021
Community Theatre Can Be Murder with Bobbie Raymond (John Gaspard)
The stage is set...for murder. Today's guest has been on the show before, way back in 2017. John Gaspard writes the Eli Marks mysteries, but today he's here to talk about his new series the Como Lake Players mysteries. In the interview, John explains why he's writing under the pseudonym Bobbie Raymond, what called him to write these books, and why he chose community theatre for his setting. (Hint: he's got experience with theatre and film.) John himself has a podcast where he talks to magicians about their work and also reads a chapter from an Eli Marks book. You can find that here. Today's show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at This week's mystery author John is author of the Eli Marks mystery series as well as four other stand-alone novels, The Greyhound of the Baskervilles, The Sword & Mr. Stone, A Christmas Carl, and The Ripperologists. He also writes the Como Lake Players mystery series, under the pen name Bobbie Raymond. In real life, John's not a magician, but he has directed six low-budget features that cost very little and made even less - that's no small trick. He's also written multiple books on the subject of low-budget filmmaking. Ironically, they've made more than the films. John lives in Minnesota and shares his home with his lovely wife, several dogs, a few cats and a handful of pet allergies. To learn more about Bobbie Raymond / John Gaspard and all his books visit AlbertsBridgeBooks.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also . And , Excerpt from Acting Can Be Murder Chapter One “How embarrassing would it be if we got lost down here? I mean, here I am in charge of the theater and then I go and get us lost while giving a tour. Nutty, right?” Leah turned to see how her witticism had landed,
March 29, 2021
Private Investigator as Knight Errant
A stranger rides into town... In the tradition oIn the tradition of the classic lone private investigators who right wrongs wherever they go, Mike Donohue is writing the Max Strong series.f the classic lone private investigators who right wrongs wherever they go, Mike Donohue is writing the Max Strong series. Mike reads to us from book 5 in the series, Burn the Night, and we talk about the research he does in the various locations Max goes to and why he finds himself circling back to Max's origins in the next book in the series that he's writing now. If you love Lee Child's Jack Reacher series, or the Spenser series from the late-great Robert B. Parker, you're going to love Max Strong. A reviewer described Max as 'the guy who doesn't have to help, but needs to' and I think that's the perfect summation of this type of hero. Mike has generously offered It's a Mystery podcast listeners a free audio called How to Buy a Shovel. It's a stand-alone short mystery story. Click here to get your copy. If you're looking for new books and authors I've got a treat for you. There are over 70 mystery novels available for you to try - for free! - when you go to: (This offer expires March 31, 2021 so head over there today to take advantage.) Today's show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at This week's mystery author Mike Donohue writes crime fiction and suspense novels. His latest release, Burn the Night, is the fifth book in the popular Max Strong thriller series. Born in New Jersey but raised in New England, Mike now lives outside Boston with his wife, two kids, and Dashiell Hammett. Dash is the family dog. When he’s not writing, Mike enjoys triathlons, making pizza, and reading. To learn more about Mike and all his books visit MikeDonohueBooks.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also . And , <a href=" target="...
March 22, 2021
Globe Trotting Assassins and a Love Story with SJ Varengo
Nicole Porter has a lot of explaining to do. In SJ Varengo's Cleanup Crew series, Nicole Porter ostensibly runs a company that cleans up crime scenes. The catch is that usually she and her coworkers are the ones who have caused the bloody messes in the first place. In this episode, Scott reads to us from The Beauty of Bucharest, book 1 in the series, which finds Nicole in the titular city with her new husband, Dan ...and her assassin colleagues who are on the job and ready for work. Scott and I also talk about his most recent book, Jelly Jars, which is something of a departure for him. As a general rule, this podcast is focused on my guests' mystery novels (obvs) but when Scott mentioned Jelly Jars in the interview I was intrigued, so I followed that thread and really enjoyed hearing about how this story came about and what it means to Scott. If you're looking for new books and authors I've got a treat for you. There are over 70 mystery novels available for you to try - for free! - when you go to: (This offer expires March 31, 2021 so head over there today to take advantage.) Today's show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at This week's mystery author S.J. Varengo is a married father of two adult children, living in Upstate New York. He is the author of The Cleanup Crew series, as well as his latest novel, Jelly Jars, a literary love story. In addition, he is the co-author of the SpyCo Thriller Series and is working with Crag A. Hart on the best-selling Shelby Alexander series. Hart and Varengo are also partners in Northern Lake Audio, producers of audiobooks, and they co-host the popular literary-themed podcast, Good Sentences. Most recently they’ve launched a new website, e2books.com, to showcase their new work as well as their back catalog. To learn more about Scott and all his books visit e2books.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also . And , <a href=".
March 15, 2021
Cozy Mysteries for Every Taste with Sara Rosett
Celebrating the Golden Age of detective fiction. If you love the Golden Age of detective fiction (and who doesn't?) you're going to be happy to meet Olive Belgrave, the high society lady detective. This cozy mystery series from Sara Rosett is set in one of my favorite periods in history - between the two world wars. Olive is a young well-bred woman in search of an occupation, not an easy thing for those of the female persuasion to find in 1923. In this episode Sara reads to us from Murder at Archly Manor to whet your appetite. And then I ask Sara to give us a synopsis of her three other cozy mystery series. They include: * The Murder on Location series* The On the Run International mysteries; and* The Ellie Avery series. So as the title of this episode suggests, Sara has a cozy series for every taste and you can learn more about all of them at her website (link below). If you're looking for new books and authors I've got a treat for you. There are over 70 mystery novels available for you to try - for free! - when you go to:alexandraamor.com/march21 (This offer expires March 31, 2021 so head over there today to take advantage.) Today's show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at This week's mystery author USA Today bestselling author Sara Rosett writes lighthearted mysteries for readers who enjoy atmospheric settings, fun characters, and puzzling whodunits. She is the author of the High Society Lady Detective historical mystery series as well as three contemporary cozy mystery series.Sara loves escaping into Golden Age mysteries, watching Jane Austen adaptations, and getting new stamps in her passport. To learn more about Sara and all her books visit SaraRosett.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also . And , Excerpt from Murder at Archly Manor London, Summer 1923
March 8, 2021
Contemporary Noir Mysteries Set in Harlem with Delia C. Pitts
Meet a P.I. whose past is catching up to him. Brand new to Delia C. Pitt's Ross Agency mystery series is Murder My Past, which she reads to us on this episode. Delia's private investigator, SJ Rook, is catching up with his ex-wife, which can only lead to one thing: murder. Harlem features largely in this series and as Delia mentions in our interview it's the perfect place to set a mystery series. A multi-cultural neighborhood that has seen lots of change over the years, and one that holds plenty of secrets. You'll also hear Delia and I discuss the Crime Writers of Color website. On the books page you'll find new featured authors and new releases each week. Today's show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at This week's mystery author Delia C. Pitts is the author of the Ross Agency Mysteries, a contemporary noir private eye series. She is a former university administrator and U.S. diplomat. After working as a journalist, she earned a Ph.D in history from the University of Chicago. The fifth novel in her series, Murder My Past, was published February 16, 2021. In addition to her mysteries, Delia has published short stories in several anthologies and in the Chicago Quarterly Review. She and her husband live in central New Jersey, too far from their twin sons in Texas. To learn more about Delia and all her books visit DeliaPitts.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also . And , Excerpt from Murder My Past “So, you clocked this Chuy. Three punches to the belly. He went down like a sack of onions, as I recall.” “You recall correctly.” I tipped my glass at her. “Hard to forget that fight. You were scary furious. Chuy was bigger than you. On the varsity wrestling team too. But you were mad as hornets in heat. Took him out quick and good.” “You were impressed?”
March 1, 2021
Femme Fatale as Private Investigator with SG Wong
Welcome to an alternative Los Angeles. The femme fatale is an archetype in literature, especially in crime novels. Think of Cora in The Postman Always Rings Twice or Phyllis in Double Indemnity. (Both those novels were written by James M. Cain. He seems to have had a thing for femme fatales.) These are women who are seductive and usually beautiful who lure men into compromising or dangerous situations. SG (Sandra) Wong has taken this classic noir mystery trope and turned it on its head, which I just love. Lola Starke is the femme fatale in Sandra's historical crime novels, and she's also the private investigator. Sandra reads to us from book 2 in the series (there are 3 books so far), called In for a Pound which finds Lola Starke and her friend Ria on the scene when a murder takes place. Today's show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at This week's mystery author SG (Sandra) Wong writes fiction across genres, has garnered some crime fiction awards nominations, speaks on writing and publishing topics, and volunteers for important community causes such as Sisters in Crime, which she serves as National President. Her Lola Starke novels and Crescent City short stories are set in a 1930s-era, fictionalized “Chinese Los Angeles,” with ghosts and magic, in an alternate history in which China established a city-state colony at the start of the Gold Rush. Sandra's next book is coming in 2022 from HarperCollins Canada and is a stand-alone suspense novel. To learn more about SG Wong and all her books visit SGWong.com Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also . And , Excerpt from In for a Pound “Why, hello stranger.” Ria looked up at Lola, gave a lazy smile. She patted the shoulder of the man in whose lap she sat. “This is my new friend Charlie. Charlie, meet my best friend, Lola Starke.” She switched to a stage whisper. “I bet she’s here to take me home.” “I’m here to take you home,” Lola said, deadpan.