Cozy series: Aggie Mundeen Mysteries by Nancy G. West

 

51NuGq4EwUL._SY346_FIT TO BE DEAD by Nancy G. West • Cozy Mystery • Henery Press • Released July 2014

San Antonio Health Club Fiasco

This book pokes some fun at fitness and the gym. Great book. Totally loved it. _Kate Wilson, Goodreads

A beautifully written book, brimming with wry humor, and a cleverly woven mystery in this perfectly-paced novel._Diana Hockley, Australian writer and reviewer.

Aggie Mundeen’s wry observations on life, death, and the struggle to whip mind and body into shape make Fit to Be Dead delightful. Joining a health club has never been so dangerous…or so amusing. –Karen McCullough, author of Shadow of a Doubt and A Question of Fire.

Lefty Award Finalist Chanticleer Award/Mystery & Mayhem http://tinyurl.comFitToBeDead

51eouy3xnALAggie Mundeen Mystery #2   DANG NEAR DEAD by Nancy G. West • Cozy Mystery • Henery Press • Released Sept 2014

West’s humor and jest at unexpected moments make DANG NEAR DEAD a delightful read. Midwest Book Review.

I love a good mystery and a romance. This was both. You will fall in love with Nancy G. West’s writing just as I have! _UniversalCreativityInc14

Dudes, wranglers, ex-cons and critters. What could go wrong? Near-misses and deadly encounters draw Aggie and Sam deeper into a snake pit of deception and murder. Well-written plot with a satisfying ending. _Diana Hockley, Reviewer

Chanticleer Award Finalist A Must Read. Southern Writers Magazine http://tinyurl.com/DangNearDead

 

51Ci2py87JLAggie Mundeen Mystery #3 SMART BUT DEAD by Nancy G. West  Cozy Mystery • Henery Press • Released November 2015

The third book in a cute cozy series features an appealing heroine with a self-deprecating wit and a determination to never grow old. _ Library Journal

Hurrah for Aggie Mundeen, an effervescent heroine who finds trouble wherever she goes. Aggie’s pluck, humor, intelligence and loving heart will keep her young and make readers smile. _Carolyn Hart, Award-winning author

Smart, But Dead is the perfect combination of brains and heart. A tight mystery, an irrepressible heroine, and superb writing.” – James W. Ziskin, Award-winning author.

Short-listed for Chanticleer’s 2016 Mystery & Mayhem Award http://tinyurl.com/pxg2bmt

 

 

510zf8EGwCLRIVER CITY DEAD by Nancy G. West / Henery Press / Released Jan 2017

Set against the backdrop of San Antonio’s vibrant Fiesta Week, River City Dead features an appropriately colorful protagonist, Aggie Mundeen.  A newspaper advice columnist who pens the “Stay Young with Aggie” column, Aggie is single, pushing forty, and determined to postpone a precipitous descent into middle age.

But determination, one of the hallmarks of Aggie’s spirited personality, has a tendency to get Aggie in trouble, especially when it’s coupled with her penchant for playing amateur sleuth.  Fortunately, Aggie has her mind on other things – namely, romance – having planned a River City rendezvous with the man she loves, SAPD Detective Sam Vanderhoven, at a hotel on the San Antonio River Walk.  After all, it’s time for a vacation from crime, and past time for a reset on their tumultuous relationship.  Plus, Aggie is ready for Sam to sweep her off her favorite Fiesta worthy espadrilles in the middle of River City during Fiesta Week.  What could possibly go wrong?

Turns out there’s nothing that puts a chill on hot romance quite like cold-blooded murder.  When hotel guests are murdered, Aggie is determined – albeit against Sam’s wishes – to help solve the crime.  As she seeks answers, Aggie is befriended by the Fabulous Femmes, a group of ladies holding a convention at the hotel.  But Aggie soon discovered a dark side to these flamboyant new friends:  seems some of the Femmes have questionable backgrounds.  To further complicate matters, Aggie’s investigation causes big problems with Sam – and if she isn’t careful, Aggie might find herself alone in the Lone Star State.  When her unexpected dancing debut in a Fiesta performance goes terribly awry, Aggie, Sam, the SAPD, the Femmes, and even Fiesta partygoers are in grave danger.  Will this be Aggie’s final Fiesta?

Brimming with Texas-sized twists, and thrills, River City Dead is peppered with humor, wit, sizzle and just the right touch of romance.

The San Antonio River Walk setting and use of Fiesta Week as the backdrop give some distinctive flavor to this novel.This new installment in Aggie Mundeen series has all the elements of a great cozy mystery_Mystery Tribune. 

A fun cozy series that showcases the beauty and quirkiness of San Antonio._Rosemary Smith, Librarian 

As soon as I started reading River City Dead I was engrossed in the story and felt like I was a long time friend of Aggie’s. _Cozy Mystery Book Reviews 

NANCY G. WEST is author of the award-winning Aggie Mundeen Mystery Series.  She lives in San Antonio.  For more information, visit:  www.nancygwest.com.

Book Excerpt: RIVER CITY DEAD by Nancy G. West

River City Dead cover front. Final. Hi resRIVER CITY DEAD by Nancy G. West / Traditional / Cozy Mystery / Released 2017 by Henery Press

 Excerpt from Chapter One

            Not every city has a river running through it. And not many women plan a rendezvous at a San Antonio River Walk hotel during Fiesta Week after years of self-imposed celibacy. I was about to make history.

            Sam and I were meeting at Casa Prima Hotel. Hopefully our first days and nights together in River City would be more fiesta than fiasco. And we could avoid dealing with crime.

            To calm the jumping beans in my stomach, I decided to make a quick detour to Barnes and Noble and headed toward Loop 410. If SAPD called Sam away, I’d need something to read. He assured me they wouldn’t contact him, but sometimes they had to rely on an experienced homicide detective for a difficult case.

            Barnes and Noble was packed. After a lengthy search through half the store, I found aisles brimming with romance novels. I didn’t relish being caught scouring this area. In my Flash-News column, “Stay Young with Aggie,” I answered readers’ questions about everything from fitness to relationships. As an “expert,” I wasn’t supposed to need help.

            It wasn’t as though I was innocent. I became painfully experienced after Lester the Louse seduced me when I was barely eighteen, impregnated me and vanished like mist. But stories of other people’s romances might be enlightening.

            Slipping down an unoccupied aisle, I reached for a title that caught my eye, A Well-Spent Night. A bare-chested, muscled Scottish hunk wearing a plaid kilt bulged from the cover. I squinted at the title, which upon closer inspection actually read, A Well-Spent Knight. Worked either way. I flipped pages to the middle, found what I was looking for and started reading. There was a lot of heavy breathing and rippling biceps, but it never said why the guy wore a kilt or how he got it off. I’d wondered about that. Historical romance might not be the thing.

            Another cover caught my eye with the title The Long Hard Ride. A shirtless muscle-bound cowboy stood spread-legged front and center while a steer romped around behind him. I snatched the book off the shelf.

            From the corner of my eye, I saw a young sales girl eyeing me. Was my face flushing?

            “Can I help you?” About twenty-five with swinging hair and a pouty mouth, she looked sexy, bored, and all-knowing.

            I whipped the novel under the arm laden with my shoulder purse. “Imagine that. You even have westerns. So many choices.” I doused her with my superior bank-teller expression. “I doubt if any of these books are really that good.”           

            She smirked.

            Some urge compelled me to jabber. “I don’t think he could ride a steer dressed like that.”

            The new-fangled phone jangled in my purse. Digging to retrieve it, I dropped the books. The sales girl swiveled over and scooped them up. “I’ll keep these at the counter while you search for more.” She cocked a corner of her sulky mouth and walked away. I fumbled to flip open my Motorola StarTrac.

            “Where are you?” It was Sam, using his professional detective voice.

            “I just needed a few things. Have you seen the…our room?”

            “You need to get down here, Aggie. We have problems. I’ll meet you in the lobby.” He hung up.

Interview: Cozy mystery author Nancy G. West

Nancy G WestWhen Nancy was seven, she and her mother wrote poems to each other. The poetry was awful, but Nancy learned if you wrote something, people stopped to read it.
     In high school, Library Journal’s Pegasus published her poem. At eighteen–since journalists were underpaid and English grads sold lingerie–she slogged through General Business at UT-Austin, earning a BBA. Fortunately, one elective was Creative Writing.
     After graduation, Nancy read books on writing, wrote articles, poetry, the biography of artist Jose Vives-Atsara, and founded Book Publishers of Texas. 
     Returning to college to study English literature, she wrote Nine Days to Evil, a novel of psychological suspense, and the Book Shelf column for San Antonio Woman Magazine. NPR broadcast her poem, “Time to Lie”.
     Aggie Mundeen, a character from Nine Days to Evil, captivated Nancy and led her to create award-winning Aggie Mundeen mysteries. She is working on Aggie’s next escapade, convinced that writing is a lot more fun accounting.

River City Dead cover front. Final. Hi resTell us about your new release.  My heroine, Aggie Mundeen, a single columnist, moves from Chicago to Texas to shape up and start life over and falls in love with San Antonio Detective, Sam Vanderhoven. Eagerness and curiosity propel her to help with his investigations, creating humorous and dangerous results. In River City Dead, they plan a weekend getaway at a San Antonio hotel on the River Walk during Fiesta week—an escape from crime and reset for their dicey relationship. But murder has a way of interfering with the best laid plans. Sam and Aggie must improvise before she ends up dead in the river.

What led you to write this book?  By the end of Book 3, Smart, But Dead, Aggie and Sam reached a new level of understanding. Having survived volatile encounters with crime and a few self-evaluations, they need a calm, secure place to start over, an idyllic setting not too far from Sam’s work. It’s time for a rendezvous. What better setting than the beautiful San Antonio River Walk?

Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book?  I live in San Antonio, have spent many happy hours on the River Walk and attended many Fiesta Events. But I learned so much about my own city: why San Antonio is called Military City, how the city honors the military, their ranks, heroes’ resting places; how city groups convene for Fiesta and what it all means; how the city water system and river authority interconnect with the San Antonio River, and the fascinating story of the creation of the River Walk.

How important is setting to your story?  Aggie and Sam’s story takes precedent over everything, but the River Walk and hotel are integral to the plot and crucial to telling their story. One reviewer writes, “River City Dead is like taking a vacation while reading a mystery.” Another says, “I have visited the River Walk. I wish I had read this book first. Lots of interesting information along with the mystery.”

Which is more important characters or setting?  In my Aggie Mundeen mysteries, characters are always most important. The setting exists to highlight their personalities and foibles when they confront crime in a distinctive place.

Are any of your characters loosely based on people you know in real life?  Author Carolyn Hart writes, “Aggie’s pluck, humor, intelligence and loving heart will keep her young and make readers smile.” Author James W. Ziskin calls Aggie an “irrepressible heroine.” I plead guilty to having Aggie’s overwhelming curiosity, but I wish I had half her energy and bravery. The other traits, spread among many friends, coalesce in Aggie. I love Sam’s good judgment and reliability (probably based on my husband and father.) One reader wrote, “I identify with Aggie… the characters live and breathe….Shoot, if I was single and Aggie wasn’t in the picture, I’d go after Sam myself!”

Do you people watch for character inspiration?  All the time. Their body language and dialogue reveals so much about them. One could write a whole character sketch after listening to someone talk into their phone on a long-winded call.

Do you have a favorite fictional character by another author you’d like to meet  Movies come to mind. I love Goldie Hawn’s character in Private Benjamin and Sandra Bullock’s female FBI agent in Miss Congeniality. They try so hard, they mean well and they keep screwing up.

 SMART BUT DEAD cover frontWhat do you hope readers take away from your work?  A great sense of who Aggie Mundeen and Detective Sam are and a fervent hope for their relationship, fascination with their entertaining friends, genuine entertainment, and more than a few laughs.

What do you do when you are not writing?  Enjoy my family. Read. Daydream. Tile table tops. Sit and watch the river go by.

Which book impacted you as a teenager?  The Secret in the Old Clock. The Hidden Staircase. Nancy Drew, of course. She was curious, smart and independent, and her father had such trust in her.

Do you read the same genre you write?  I read mysteries, thrillers, literary fiction, biographies, political books, and other non-fiction if the topic intrigues me.

What is #1 on your bucket list?  More travel in the United States and enough time to write all the books I want to write.

 Have you ever written a scene that ‘creeped’ you out?  Aggie gets herself in some scary situations, but I’m averse to blood, guts and serial killers.

Do you have a favorite writing place or writing rituals?  I love to sit beside the Guadalupe River, daydream and write.

Do you have a reoccurring theme to your books?  Trust. You can like somebody, even love them, but can you trust them? If you find you can’t, how do you adjust your thinking? After writing a biography, prequel suspense novel and four Aggie Mundeen mysteries, I became aware of this recurring theme.

What are you reading now?  I’m always behind. I just read Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, David Baldacci’s The Black Widow. Next up, Nelson DeMille’s The Charm School. I try to read a book on the craft of fiction between novels. I have an occasional rash of realism and read non-fiction.

What social media do you participate in?

Website: http://nancygwest.com

Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/pg/authorNancyG.West/posts/?ref=page_internal

Twitter: @NancyGWest_

Pinterest/RIVER CITY DEAD: https://www.pinterest.com/nancyg0257/river-city-dead-aggie-mundeen-mystery-4-by-nancy-g/?lp=true

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nancy-g-west-69186731/edit/topcard/

What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you?

Do you see humor in people and situations like Aggie Mundeen does?

Yes. I can’t help it. I think it’s genetic.

 What’s next for you?  Another book about Aggie Mundeen and Detective Sam. I can’t give them up.