cozy mystery, featured, cozy mystery, The Michelle Kilpatrick Mystery series, Michelle Kilpatrik mystery series

1974 Flashback

The setting for the first book in the Michelle Kilpatrick Mystery Series, Write Place, Wrong Time, is a small Midwestern town in 1974. I figured getting the details about the time period would be easy, right? After all, I was a college student in the Midwest in the 70s. All I had to do was Flashback and voilà.

But wait…

Flash Forward—the past and the present are all tangled. Did we have waterproof mascara back then (I ask as if I am talking about the dark ages)? And yes, we did-whew! It was invented in 1938 and improved in the 1960s.

Or when Michelle, the main character, goes to the vending machine to buy a diet soft drink—did she get a Diet Coke? (No, my memory failed me. Diet Coke wasn’t introduced until 1982. I had to make a change in the manuscript to Tab, which was the best-selling diet cola in the 70s and 80s.)

Other tidbits:

  • Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough” was released on May 10, 1974.
  • In 1974, the academic year at Bowling Green State University (the University of Petersburg is loosely based on BGSU) was divided into three quarters of approximately 11 weeks each.
  • The Viet Nam war was nearing its end.
  • All the President’s Men was published on June 15, 1974.
  • President Richard Nixon resigned on August 8, 1974.
  • A reference to “Sister Golden Hair” by America had to be deleted—it wasn’t released until 1975.
  • Cassette players were first added to car dashboards in 1968 and remained popular through the 80s. By 2010, they were a thing of the past.
  • The movie referenced by Michelle’s mother on October 14, 1974, was Yours, Mine, and Ours starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. And, yes, it really was on NBC that night at nine o’clock.
  • Rotary phones and typewriters were a thing.
  • Pop-Tarts were introduced in 1964 in four flavors: Apple Currant Jelly, Strawberry, Blueberry, and Brown Sugar-Cinnamon. In 1967, the line-up added four flavors of frosted Pop-Tarts: Dutch-Apple, Concord Grape, Raspberry, and Brown Sugar-Cinnamon.

(Tentative release date for Write Place, Wrong Time is late summer 2023)

cozy mystery, featured, cozy mystery, The Michelle Kilpatrick Mystery series

CoVid Encounters

After two years of evading the dreadful CoVid virus, it finally caught up with me, and for the last two weeks, we have been inseparable—not the best of friends, but constant companions nonetheless.

For the first ten days, I must admit, I could not have cared less if The Michelle Kilpatrick Mystery Series ever saw the light of day. She and her friends from the commuter lounge were on their own to solve the mysteries around them as whatever energy I had to guide them along was gone. I mentally placed Michelle and the Commuter Lounge Gang on the back shelf and wondered if we would ever meet again.

And then it happened. A spark. An idea. The promise of a better tomorrow. Suddenly, it became imperative that the mystery series became more than words on my laptop, but words to be shared with those who love a good, cozy mystery because life is too short not to be entertained with a story that you can read and won’t make you jump at the shadows you see during the night or worry that the world will end before you wake. A story that can make you smile or laugh or forget about the 24-hour news cycle is a story worth writing and a story worth sharing.

With the virus almost behind me, I am excited to look ahead to the future and announce the tentative release dates for the first three books in the Michelle Kilpatrick Mystery Series.

  • Write Place, Wrong Time (Book One)— July 2023

An entertaining academic cozy mystery set in 1974 as a group of friends from the university’s commuter lounge band together to find a professor’s murderer.

The year is 1974, and University of Petersburg’s sophomore Michelle Kilpatrick’s world is turned upside down. After receiving a low grade on her writing assignment and learning she has been paired with the arrogant author-turned-grad student, Craig Miller, for the final project, Michelle decides she must confront her journalism professor Anne Ladd.

Things go from bad to worse when Michelle finds her professor’s dead body. After Detective Douglas names Michelle as a person of interest in the murder, her friends at the Commuter Lounge pull their resources together to help Michelle clear her name. Digging in, Michelle discovers a plethora of family secrets that connect a mysterious death 20 years ago to the professor’s murder, the only problem is can she trust the people who know the truth, to be honest with her?

  • Fit to Die (Book Two) — mid-July 2023

December 1974. The joy of the holidays abruptly ends when an employee at the fitness center owned by Rick’s mother dies during the Open House. Michelle suspects the girl’s death was more than an accident, and she and her friends uncover a plethora of hidden motives to justify her suspicions — a jilted lover, a jealous business competitor, an angry beauty queen, and a questionable friendship.

  • A Princely Encounter (Book Three) — August 2023