Hello, Mr. Dog. Welcome to my blog. What is your name and your author’s name?
I’m Streetman, a Chiweenie dog belonging to Harriet Plunkett, the mother of bookkeeper/accountant Phee Kimball, a reluctant amateur sleuth. Our author is J.C. Eaton, the pen name for Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp.
Tail wags to all of you. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.
I’m in all the cozy Sophie Kimball Mysteries: Booked 4 Murder, Ditched 4 Murder, Staged 4 Murder Botched 4 Murder, Molded 4 Murder, Dressed Up 4 Murder, and now Broadcast 4 Murder.. This is a cozy mystery series with over-the-top characters like me. The quirkier the better. It begins when Harriet Plunkett, my owner, calls her daughter in Minnesota to investigate a book curse that’s killing off her friends in the Booked 4 Murder book club in Sun City West, Arizona. Phee flies out here and discovers two things – she’s really good at sleuthing and she never wants to live in a senior retirement community.
The series sounds very interesting, and Phee Kimball sounds like a great character, although I’m sure you are, too.
Are you based on a real dog such as your author’s?
Yes, I am based on Streetboy, the real life Chiweenie that belongs to the authors. When they decided to put a dog in the series, they took my cute little habits and made me a neurotic little ball of fur. I can’t help it if I hate water, refuse to be bathed, and will only eat from plates, not bowls. Everyone has idiosyncrasies, don’t they? Oh, and by the way, I help solve a few murders myself!
It’s great to be based on a real-life pet, warts and all, MOL (Meow Out Loud). I was loosely based on Debbie’s Siamese cat, Oliver, who is now on Rainbow Bridge. I’m proud to keep him alive in our series.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
Excerpt from Staged 4 Murder
Shirley had arranged everyone’s costume neatly on two long racks that spanned the length of the room. Off to the back was some closet space that my mom told me was stuffed full of boxes and loose clothing. “It’s a catch-all. Shirley says once the play is over she plans to organize it.”
The dog continued to growl.
“Well, he’s sensing something,” my mother said. “I’ve never seen him so agitated.”
“Maybe it’s an odor on one of the costumes. Dogs have an amazing sense of smell.”
“It’s not an odor. If it were an odor he’d be growling at everyone,” my mother said.
The low growls grew in intensity as the dog inched toward the closet space. Then, out of nowhere, snarls and snapping.
“My God! She’s in here!” my mother shouted. “Miranda’s horrible spirit is in this room.”
By now Streetman was standing in front of the closet barking like crazy. I grabbed the doorknob and opened the closet half expecting something to jump out at us. Instead, I found myself staring at old cardboard cartons and wadded up clothing that was stuffed into every cranny. In some instances the cardboard looked so old I thought it was going to disintegrate.
Streetman bared his teeth and continued to growl.
“This is really weird,” I said, “even for him.”
I looked at the dog again. The hairs on his back were all but standing up and he was actually shaking. Shaking and growling. I reached over to pet him and he snapped. “Yikes. Maybe something he smells reminds him of a bad experience he had.”
“Or maybe it’s Miranda’s spirit.”
Just then one of the cleaning ladies knocked on the doorframe to the costume room. She took one look at Streetman and made a “tsk-tsk” sign with her fingers. I knew what she meant.
“Mom, see if you can put him back in the canvas tote. We should get out of here.”
My mother took a few steps toward the dog but he wasn’t having any part of it. He raced over to the closet and began to paw at the nearest box.
“Can you get him away? “ I asked. “He’s going nuts.”
“He senses something.”
“Um, more than likely he smells something.”
Streetman continued to paw at the box, pausing only to bark and growl. At one point he lunged at it and bit the edge. The cardboard collapsed inside the box.
“I’m telling you, Mom, there’s something in that box that’s got his attention, that’s all.”
My mother tried calling the dog but he ignored her. Selective hearing must apparently run in our family.
“That does it!” I said. “It’s late and I’ve got things to do.” With that, I walked over to the closet, pulled out the box and gave it a kick. “Hey, for all we know, there may be mice or worse in this box.”
“Streetman’s scared of mice,” my mother said. “He wouldn’t be acting that way. You know, Shirley said that sometimes spirits can inhabit the —”
“Oh for God’s sake, no one’s inhabiting anything.”
I reached over to open the box but the dog beat me to it. He tore into the cardboard and in what could best be described as sheer madness, he ripped the thing apart flinging the contents all over the room. All I could see were beady eyes, round black noses and, in some cases, teeth. Streetman grabbed the nearest one and shook it like a play toy. Then he growled and shook it again. My mother was horrified.
I tried not to laugh but I couldn’t help it. “Yep, there’s Miranda’s spirit for you. Or should I say ‘spirits?’ Seems we’ve got mink, muskrat and ermine. Oh, and if I’m not mistaken, isn’t that some sort of beaver pelt?”
Streetman wasted no time attacking the pelts. No sooner did he grab one and shake it ferociously when he moved on to the next one. Snarling. Growling. Biting. Small clumps of fur became airborne.
“I hope the Footlighters aren’t planning to do a twentieth century period play anytime soon,” I said. “Your dog seems to have an issue with the wardrobe.”
The fracas continued as my mother took a step closer to the dog. “Stop that Streetman! Stop that this instant!”
I rolled my eyes. “He doesn’t seem to follow commands well.”
“That’s because he thinks he’s protecting us. He doesn’t know the pelts are harmless.”
“Mom, we’ve got to pick up those things and get them back in the box before they’re no longer usable.”
“I know. I know.”
She bent down and grabbed what I presumed to be a dyed muskrat tail from his mouth. “Give that to Mommy. Give that to Mommy, now!”
For the next five minutes my mother played tug of war with Streetman. The dog was in his glory and I was ready to explode. Finally, I had an idea. I found an old smelly rag in the costume room and somehow was able to substitute it for one of the costume stoles. As my mother and the dog wrestled with the thing, I gathered up the remaining wraps, some of them covered in dog saliva, and shoved them back in the torn box before stashing the box back in the closet. Streetman stopped growling and whined.
“We’ll bring over a new box and replace that one,” my mother said as the dog sniffed around the room. “And not a word about this to anyone. As far as Shirley and Lucinda are concerned, Streetman’s venture was inconclusive. Understand?”
“Oh believe me, I’m not admitting to anything. Although we probably should get those things dry-cleaned. It must have been the musty odor that attracted him in the first place because those stoles are processed.”
The poor dog was exhausted by the time he was plunked back into the canvas tote.
Excellent exerpt, Streetman.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
I drive the protagonist, Phee, crazy. Especially when she has to take me to the dog park.
You are very funny, but the dog park sounds like fun. A cat park would be even better
Are you a talking dog in your books or just a silent pet like I am who just meows occasionally?
Silent, but I have my ways…
So do I.
What advice would you give other dog characters?
Be yourself and make sure your author includes you and your antics.
Do you have any new books coming out?
Broadcast 4 Murder releases on October 27, 2020. It’s available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and your favorite bookseller. It is available in paperback, ebook and audio.
That’s today! Congratulations on your new release!
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
Nice. Thanks for the interview, and I will share your author’s blog tour and giveaway below.
Broadcast 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
by J.C. Eaton
About Broadcast 4 Murder
Broadcast 4 Murder (Sophie Kimball Mystery)
7th in Series
Publisher: Kensington (October 27, 2020)
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
Digital ASIN: B085LTC8Y2
All of Arizona’s Sun City West heard Sophie “Phee” Kimball’s mom scream bloody murder, but it’s up to the reluctant sleuth to find the killer . . .
Phee’s mother Harriet is going to be a star! At least, that’s how the Sun City West retiree describes her chance to host a live radio program of her book club’s Booked 4 Murder Mystery Hour on Arizona’s KSCW. But instead of chatting about charming cozies, Harriet ends up screaming bloody murder over the airwaves after discovering the body of Howard Buell, the station’s programming director, in a closet—with a pair of sewing shears shoved into his chest.
The number one suspect is Howard’s ex-girlfriend Sylvia Strattlemeyer who believed she was going to host a sewing talk show before Harriet was offered the spot. But not only do the fingerprints found on the scissors not match Sylvia’s, they belong to a woman who passed away twenty years ago at the age of ninety-seven. Now, with the whole town on pins and needles, it’s up to Phee to stitch together enough clues from the past to uncover the identity of a killer in the present . . .
About J.C. Eaton
J.C. Eaton is the wife and husband team of Ann I. Goldfarb and James E. Clapp, authors of the Sophie Kimball Mystery Series and the Wine Trail Mysteries. A New York native and former middle school principal, Ann has published eight award-winning and highly acclaimed YA time travel mysteries. James is a U.S. Navy veteran and retired tasting room manager for a large upscale New York winery. Visit their Website at JCEatonMysteries.com. –This text refers to the mass_market edition.
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