Yesterday, my ninth novel, Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse, was published by Five Star, an imprint of Gale/Cengage Learning. When I started writing in 2001 at the age of 56, I didn’t know if I’d ever publish a novel. In fact, for a while I didn’t know if I’d ever publish a short story. On my 112th submission, I sold my first short story, titled Never Trust a Poison Dart Frog, and it appeared in the anthology, Who Died in Here?, a collection of short stories that had a death or a murder taking place in the bathroom.
In 2005 I pitched an idea of a completed novel manuscript to Deni Dietz of Five Star at the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Conference. The rest is history. This novel, Retirement Homes Are Murder, was published in January, 2007. I’ve been fortunate to have five more books in the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series published by Five Star, as well as two standalone paranormal mysteries released through small presses.
Mystery of the Dinner Playhouse is the first of a new type of mystery for me with a whole new cast of characters. The protagonist, Gabe Tremont, is a recently retired police detective who is talked into going to a mystery playhouse by his wife. When a real murder takes place, Gabe is recruited to return to handle this case since the police force is shorthanded. In addition to a theater setting, the novel also deals with the subject of hoarding.
Stay tuned for my first historical mystery, which will be published in September.