4 out of 5 stars
Hello! Today I’m honored to bring you a stop along the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for the book The Connecticut Corpse Caper by Tyler Colins. Not only will I be featuring a review of the book, but I will also be presenting an interview with the author, Tyler Colins!
The antics of seven inheritance recipients during a week-long stay at a haunted Connecticut estate are detailed by Jill Jocasta Fonne. The will of a deceased relative, wacky Aunt Mat, stipulates that if anyone leaves early, his or her share will be divided among those remaining. As it happens, one does leave permanently when he dies hours after arrival. Disappearing corpses, hidden passageways, and ghoulish pranks have Jill and best friends, Rey and Linda, seeking clues as to the person responsible for the mysterious goings-on. Others soon join in the sleuthing, and the bumbling and stumbling-and mayhem-begin.
The Connecticut Corpse Caper is the first book in the new Triple Threat Mystery series by Tyler Colins. It’s a good, solid start to the series.
I like the three main characters in this series, though in this first book, they were just three of several viable murder suspects and potential victims. I think Rey, Jill, and Linda will make an excellent private investigative team and I look forward to reading more about them. I did know who the villain was fairly early on – or at least one of them. It was nice to get to see that I was right in the end, though.
This book really needed the more in-depth style of setting descriptions and Ms. Colins delivered beautifully. There was only one time I was a little confused about which secret passageway led to which room, but for the most part, Ms. Colins’ descriptions made it easy to follow.
I felt the plot line dragged a bit here and there, but it wasn’t horrible. It was, however, part of the reason I only gave the book 4 stars instead of 5. All in all it was a decent start to the series and I do look forward to reading more from this author.
*** Thank you to Tyler Colins for an ARC of this title. I was not compensated for my review. All opinions and conclusions are my own. ***
Interview with Tyler Colins
First, let me say a huge “Thank You!” to Ms. Colins for being willing to answer my questions. Enjoy!
- Do you have a day job in addition to being a writer? If so, what do you do during the day? Do you enjoy your day job?
- I work in HR, handling contractors. To be perfectly frank, I don’t enjoy it, but I don’t not enjoy it. It’s not very challenging, but it has its moments; I do learn new things, which is great. And I’m very grateful that it pays the bills.
Do you set aside time to write every day or do you write more sporadically? When you write, do you aim to complete a set # of pages or words? How does music/other noise affect your concentration when you’re writing?
- I try to write a little every morning before the work day begins and either aim for a scene or a revision/edit of a previously written scene. Little bothers me when I’m writing (I can usually tune things/people out).
When you’re writing, do your characters seem to “hijack” the story or do you feel like you have the “reigns” of the story? Similarly, do you outline your book first or just sit down and write, seeing where it takes you?
- I never have an outline because I know it will never be adhered to, but I always have an all-encompassing idea/image in mind. My characters have definitely (!) hijacked many scenes—in fact, some have even rewritten them. <LOL>
How did you break into the publishing world? How many rejections did you go through before finding a publisher? Did you ever think about quitting? If so, what did you do to keep yourself hopeful?
- I broke in by e-publishing. The traditional route seemed limited. Rejections from publishers and agents were growing wearisome (and they don’t do much for the ego, I must say). I’m no James Joyce, but my writing isn’t bad, either. I believe I have [good/fun] stories to tell. . . . No! I’ve never thought about quitting—ever. I’ve been writing since I was twelve and it’s who I am. To stay hopeful and focused, I keep the faith and tell myself that if it’s meant to be, it will happen. Everything has its time. Patience and perseverance—and belief—are musts.
In general, how many revisions do you go through before a book is published? Do you have beta readers or is it just your editing team and their suggestions? Do you set your books aside for a period of time and then pick them up and edit them?
- Many! It’s the editor in me; a scene, a book, has to feel right and everything has to tie logically together. Yes, I have set aside books . . . and I’m glad I have. They now serve as fodder for new ones. And one I put in a drawer nearly two decades ago (my, time does fly), I am now revising and placing on Wattpad in weekly installments.
A good villain is hard to write. How did you get in touch with your inner villain(s) to write this book. Was there a real-life inspiration for him/her/it?
- For The Connecticut Corpse Caper, the villain came easily. The book had been written as an ode to all those wonderful, fun/funny B&W mystery movies I’d grown up with. I applied some typical villain traits, but the characters really “created” themselves.
Do any family members, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. end up showing up in your work or are your characters all truly fictional?
- All my characters are truly fictional. I don’t know why, but I’ve never been inclined or inspired to develop one based on someone I know.
If you could write about anyone fiction/nonfiction, contemporary/historical who would you write about? Why?
- A great question! Wow. I suppose I’d like to write about a pirate, a real or fictitious one. They’ve always intrigued me, rogues that they can be.
What are some great books you’ve read recently?
- Given my full-time job, and taking care of Mom, and trying to get my own books written, I find it very difficult to read any these days (and I was always an avid reader). The last one I read, though, was by Janet Evanovich. I thoroughly enjoy her Stephanie Plum series; the characters and situations are crazy-funny.
What books have influenced your life the most?
- In terms of my writing, I’d have to (again) say that Nancy Drew put the mystery-solving bug in me at a very young age. I always wanted to be a detective like her, and now, I guess I am. J
If you could spend one day with a character from your book who would it be? And what would you do during that day?
- Another great question! I’d probably want to spend the day with Rey; she’s brash and melodramatic, and isn’t scared to say what’s on her mind. She’s also willing to do whatever is necessary to get a job done, even if it means some B&E. I think I’d like to do something totally “girly”, something I don’t normally do, and that would be spending an afternoon at the mall with her (that gal is one heckuva shopper).
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Have you ever learned anything from a bad review and incorporated it into your future work?
- I’ve only had one so far, but I’ve not really put myself out there yet. I’m trying to get a blog going (that’s a story in itself) and make a Facebook page related to my Triple Threat Investigation Agency private eyes less static. I have so much to learn, though, and time is so limited. But it will come. And, hopefully, so will the reviews—be they good or bad.
Once again, I’m very thankful that Ms. Colins was willing to answer my questions! I hope you all enjoyed today’s stop on the tour. To get a list of tour participants, click on the banner below.