Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Murder In The North Woods by Judith Copek

She’s into high tech. He’s into homicide. The Northwoods rock and roll when a savvy cyber-sleuth teams up with a hunky homicide cop to route corporate miscreants and to solve a murder. Murder in the North Woods is an amateur sleuth mystery with some cozy, and some noir elements. When she arrives in Wisconsin’s North Woods to determine who is sabotaging an unpopular business project, Laura Goode discovers her only contact is now a corpse. Gar Morris, information officer at Great Northern Shoe Company, was a local lothario whose killer could be anyone from an enraged husband to a bitter factory worker whose job is heading overseas. Along with murder, office politics thwart Laura’s mission to find out who is sabotaging the project. Adding more complications to her life, boyfriend Jack, a cop and husband Taylor, with more money than sensitivity, appear unannounced alternate weekends. Who needs these distractions when you’re swanning from boardroom to bar room, trolling for bass, hunting hackers, and rescuing your kidnapped cat? A nude biker’s club and the whitewater raft trip from hell provide a bizarre but thrilling climax. Why did I write Murder In the North Woods? Along with 5.3 million others, I toiled in information technology. They say nothing bad ever happens to a writer, so when a Dilbert-like computer-reengineering project ground me up, I turned my experience into a novel. The setting is a fictional town in Wisconsin, modeled on one where everyone’s livelihood depends upon one local industry.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Most novels have an easily understood point to make to the reader, do your stories ever have more subtle or intuitive themes?

I do not have a clue as to ow ths unannounced new bloggin software (formerly Blogger) now POS is going to look after I try to create this post.You cannot find out where to enlarge the font. POst will be, perfoce, short. Back to the main theme. I think most good novels have enough complexity to contain subtle or intuitive themes. My current WIP, tentatively titled, "Lizzie, Bender Ledoux" is set in a small Mennonite community in South Central Kansas. Lizzie tries to be a good citizen and a good Mennonite, but she has a yen for movies and everything French: novels, songs, language, everything. She learned French in school to prepare for becoming a missionary for the Mennonites and she was sent to the Belgian Congo in 1936. When war broke out, the missionaries had to leave due to the danger of being torpedoed at sea. Lizzie reluctantly returned to Kansas, married a wonderful man, not a Mennonite, left the church and came back five years later in 1948 after being widowed. She was not able to have children and this has been her great burden. At heart, she is a rebel and trying hard to walk the straight and narrow path, but her new obsession is the current movie "Moulin Rouge," set in the dance halls of Paris. It's never stated, but rebellion is another theme. Family is still another. Lizzie watches out for her brother with epilepsy. She is close to her sister and the rest of the family and helps with the harvest and the canning. Lizzie refuses to marry anyone who is not as cultured and educated (college degree) as she is. Currently no one meets this qualification, and in her small community, it's unlikely she'll ever find anyone. In the opening scene, Lizzie doesn’t realizing that a brutal murder is taking place in the parking lot while she is dancing to the jukebox. Lizzie meets the cop on the case and offers her theories and suggestions. He seems amenable to them. She gets involved in finding the murderer, and is also taken with the cop, but he is married. Her longing for a mate (and as a Mennonite, this must be a husband) is unspoken throughout most of the novel. Lizzie stays busy in the community, but busy is not the same thing as fulfilled. She has always wanted to go to Paris and that is another wish unfulfilled. Because it is Kansas, food and feeding one’s loved ones well is important. Feeding people demonstrates love. I don’t want to give the whole story away, but you may have an idea where things are headed. Apologies for just one photo. The new software is awful and the print is so tiny I can’t see the typos. Forgive?
The bloggers below are hopefully not fighting to use the “new and improved” Blogger software. ROTFL Take a look at their thoughts on this subject. And thanks to Rhobin for managing this group blog. Skye Taylor Vines Judith Copek Diane Bator Fiona McGier Dr. Bob Rich Anne Stenhouse Victoria Chatham Helena Fairfax Rhobin L Courtright<