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Friday 12 February 2021

ℚ♫♨ Death In Tranquility: The Bartender's Guide to Murder [1] - Sharon Linnéa

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Death In Tranquility (, Arundel Publishing, 245 pages), a Mystery, book one in the The Bartender's Guide to Murder series.

"This delicious confection from veteran thriller writer Sharon Linnéa (Chasing Eden) oozes romantic suspense. To boot, there are plenty of red herrings and creepy suspects for mystery fans. Darken the lights, bring out the popcorn, and enjoy." --Library Journal

"Drinks, ghosts and murder make for a spellbinding mystery I couldn't put down. The bonus? A menu of delicious craft cocktails too tempting to pass up." --Cathi Stoler, award-winning author of the Murder on the Rocks series.

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Sharon Linnéa; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Death In Tranquility , or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?
"They playlist for Death in Tranquility is a playlist for the women’s-only dance night Avalon will host in book 3.  It includes Long Cool Woman (in a Red Dress) by the Hollies, Bartender by Lady A, Avalon by Natalie Cole, Extra Gin by the Doubleclicks, Barefootin’ by Johnny Rivers, Bad Moon Rising by Credence Clearwater Revival, Shut Up and Dance by Walk the Moon, Jackie Blue by Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Don’t Call Me by the Highwomen, and A Little Bit Alexis by Annie Murphy.

Here's the whole thing."
Wow! What a selection of tracks.  I will definitely be playing this one for a while.

What was the inspiration for Death In Tranquility?

"Usually, the thrillers and biographies I write take at least a year of research.  We had a “catastrophic house fire” and I needed to write to keep sane.  So I thought, maybe this is the time I “write what you know.”

What I wanted was a good mystery story to occupy my creativity.  Also, the times, they are a-changin’.  I wanted a protagonist it would be fun to go on a journey with into these new times."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"All my life I’ve been a storyteller, which translated into being a writer and editor at book publishers and for magazines.  But the summer after my son was a high school senior, he said, “I’d like to learn to bartend.  I think I could make more than minimum wage this summer before college.”

Oddly, I’d always wanted to learn, myself.  So we took a very intensive course together.  It was memorable!  During the times that I did bartend, I found that my favorite part, without a doubt, was talking to folks.  You sure did learn a lot!

I was also falling in love with the landscape of upstate New York, particularly the Adirondacks, especially Lake Placid.  It has such a robust history, of old Hollywood, of the Olympics, of abolitionists.  So, a murder mystery featuring a female bartender sleuth in a town modelled on Lake Placid—why not?  It’s been terrifically fun."
Lake Placid
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover.  Can you tell us about your cover for Death In Tranquility - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I might be the only author I know who has book covers based on an ad campaign for Gin.  We just fell in love with Bob Venable’s work. He was able to make that art work for the Bartender’s Guide to Murder by doing the same, but different."
And you can see more of Bob Venable's work at Illustration X 

Why should we read Death In Tranquility and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your series unique?

"Well, for one thing, there’s a great cocktail recipe at the end of each chapter.  I worked with Jamielyn Brydalski, a Lake Placid bartender, who is also a nationally-award-winning mixologist.  The recipes have the same name as the chapter and tie-in to the goings-on in the chapter itself.  I’ll include one here, from the second book, Death by Gravity.

Also, I’d say folks enjoy it for the tone and the protagonist.  Avalon is someone I’d like to go on an adventure with.  She also asks some of the tough questions of our current society, and I think she’s a good stand-in for many of us.  Funny, wary, smart and kind, and a little more risk-taking than me.  I’ll send her in first."
Apple Mash Old Fashioned
  • 2 oz. bourbon whiskey
  • 1 T apple mash (recipe follows)
  • Orange
  • Cocktail cherries
  • In a rocks glass, add orange and cocktail cherries, usually luxardo or any dark cherry (note: do not add sugar)
  • Muddle fruit at bottom of glass
  • Fill glass with ice
  • Add bitters of our choice, whiskey, and apple mash
  • Stir all ingredients together
  • Add orange slice and cherry for garnish

  • 3 apples sweet and tart peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground all spice
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • Dash ground black pepper
  • 1 small orange cut into slices
  • Juice of one fresh lemon
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 cups water
  • Pour all ingredients into medium saucepan. 
  • Keep on medium to low heat until apples have become soft, about 35-45 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally. 
  • Turn off heat and let sit until room temperature. 
  • Pour into container and keep in refrigerator.
  • Retain the cooking liquids as you will use in cocktail.
What a great idea!  I can't wait to try this one (we are rather partial to whisky and bourbon...); and readers can whet their appetite with even more cocktail recipes on "The Bartenders Guide to Murder" website, where they can meet the bartenders and learn more about the characters in the series.

Can you tell us something quirky about Death In Tranquility, its story and characters?

"MacTavish’s, the inn where Avalon’s bar is (The Battened Hatch) is based on an old hotel I stayed in with my family in Edinburgh, Scotland, when I was a teenager.  It was old and fascinating, filled with ambiance, and I was pretty sure I’d never find the lobby again.  Or my way out."
Who would you recommend Death In Tranquility to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I’d recommend the books to people who enjoy reading, who have a sense of humor and a moral compass.  Okay, so hopefully that’s most of us!

While our protagonist (and the book itself) has an optimistic attitude and the violence happens offstage, I would be careful about calling the books Cozies.  Especially by the second book, we’re dealing with difficult issues such as abuse and racism, and there’s some swearing in situations where it’s hard not to.

But especially if you enjoy small towns with quirky citizens and unexpected goings-on, cocktail or mocktail in hand, come on along!"
If you could / wished to turn Death In Tranquility and the The Bartender's Guide to Murder series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Well, right about now, for producers, I’d say Shonda Rhimes and whoever she’s got going for director.

As for actors, it’s funny cause I have boards with photos of the characters as I see them (it helps me be specific with descriptions).  Some are actors and some aren’t, but I don’t have an actor for Avalon.  Even the cover image is a wide approximation.

Dev Patel would be a fine Philip and Dulé Hill would be great as Mike Spaulding.  Melissa Fumero is my choice as Hannah.  I’m open for suggestions!"
? - Avalon Shonda Rhime - Producer Dev Patel - Philip Dulé Hill - Mike Spaulding Melissa Fumero - Hannah
What do you like to write about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I love telling stories of creative, compassionate and courageous people.  This has led me to write biographies, thrillers, YA novels and mysteries and Spidey Super Stories.

I don’t believe for a second you have to stick to one genre.  But if people pick up a book of mine, they know (God willing) it will captivate them and make them feel positive about the world."
What is your writing process?
"For mysteries, I put together an arc for each character and figure out what happens when.  It’s fun.

I have to write in the morning because that’s when I’m freshest and most coherent."
What is in store next?
"Yes! I’m happy to say the second Bartender’s Guide, Death by Gravity, came out in December.  Besides solving a 20-year-old kidnapping, you get to know more about Avalon’s past, her family and her new friends there in Tranquillity.

I’m working on the third book now, with a pub date (God willing) of fall 2021."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Very sadly, after 16 years, we lost two dogs and a cat within 6 weeks of each other last fall.  Our remaining cat, Crystal, hates cat toys.

Here she is, having vanquished one and thrown it into the hallway earlier this week. "
Crystal with her vanquished toy
So sorry for your loss, Sharon, and thank you for sharing Crystal and her quirks with us! 😀  Lots of head-scratches to her from all of us at BooksChatter!

We hope you are having a great tour. 

No one talks to the cops. Everyone talks to the bartender. And Avalon Nash is one hell of a bartender.

Death In Tranquility
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

CMash said...

I can't, and wouldn't want to, imagine what it was like dealing with a fire.