Kathy: Daisy Buchanan's mom was a fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Is he a favorite of yours as well? CP: Actually, I’m afraid not. I remember reading The Great Gatsby when I was young and finding it vaguely depressing. I couldn’t seem to relate to the characters. Perhaps I should take another look now as an adult and see if I have a different opinion.
Kathy: Daisy enjoys searching for items for her shop, Sometimes a Great Notion, at auctions, estate sales, and other picker venues. Are you a garage saler?
CP: Absolutely! My mom is an avid antiquer, too, so that’s one of our favorite things to do together. If my daughter is in the car with us, she groans if she sees a yard sale sign, because she knows it means we’ll have to stop. Like Daisy, I have a passion for preserving the past, and my house is an eclectic mix of yard sale finds, hand-me-downs and other quirky treasures.
Kathy: I'm somewhat intimidated by auctions. Do you enjoy them? Do you have any tips for auction novices?
CP: I like to bid on what they call the “box lots” where they start the bidding at only a dollar or two. It’s typically items that are too small or inexpensive to be auctioned off individually, so they are grouped together, and literally in cardboard boxes. I’ve found some great kitchen utensils, books, vintage tea towels, etc. You can experience the fun of bidding, but for five bucks, not five hundred. If you do venture out onto the main floor, set a budget in your head before you start. It’s too easy to get caught up in the excitement.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
CP: You know, recently someone asked me about the books I loved as a child and I remember reading several series by authors like Enid Blyton and Malcolm Saville which revolved around a group of children who solved mysteries. As an adult, I mainly read romances or historicals until my mom introduced me to Diane Mott Davidson and her culinary mystery series. From then on, I was hooked, but now it’s struck me that I’ve actually come full circle.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
CP: I belong to Romance Writers of America, as well as Sisters in Crime, and I also write women’s fiction.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
CP: It’s about a retired schoolteacher, Daisy Buchanan, who runs a vintage sewing notions and antiques store in a quaint village in Bucks County, PA.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
CP: I’m fond of Daisy, because she’s not perfect and she has her insecurities, like the rest of us. She always tries to do the right thing, but sometimes she takes on too much.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
CP: An editor at Penguin came up with the idea for a series based on a sewing notions store. I had submitted a query to my dream agent around the same time. They liked my writing style and recommended me for the job.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
CP: I submitted a proposal for the series, which consisted of the first three chapters and synopsis for GOING THROUGH THE NOTIONS. Berkley Prime Crime offered a three-book deal, based solely on the proposal. It was a fantastic opportunity for me, and thankfully my editor is delighted with how her vision for the series and my interpretation have turned out to be so in line. She tells me she thinks we were separated at birth!
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
CP: Elizabeth George, Diane Mott Davidson, Peter Mayle, and Janet Evanovich.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
CP: The Lavender Garden by Lucinda Riley. It’s terrific.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
CP: Going to flea markets, gardening, walking my dogs, and cooking with friends. It’s fun to drink wine and try out new recipes with good friends with the understanding that it may or may not work out, without the pressure of a formal dinner party.
One of my interests in breast cancer awareness. I’ve done the 3-Day Breast Cancer walk four times. It’s a 60-mile walk over three days, and quite a challenge, but one of the most empowering and satisfying experiences of my life. My mother is a breast cancer survivor, so it’s a cause that’s near and dear to my heart. Another interest would be animal rescue. I have two rescue dogs, and they’re such good boys and great ambassadors when we meet people on our walks who ask me about getting a dog. I always encourage them to adopt.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
CP: Brown eggs, gluten-free bread, salad fixings, and Chardonnay.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
CP: I’ve turned in Book 2 in the Deadly Notions mystery series, A DOLLHOUSE TO DIE FOR, and am currently working on Book 3. I’m having a lot of fun with this series, and have more books planned, so I hope I have the opportunity to write them.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
CP: Interesting question! It’s very cool when people tell me how much they loved the characters in the book. How they felt like they knew them, and hated for it to end because they’d have to leave them behind. It’s a wonderful feeling to hear that someone enjoyed your story that much. That means the world to me.
Going Through the Notions By Cate Price
The 1st Deadly Notions Mystery
In Going Through the Notions we meet Daisy Buchanan (her mother loved F. Scott Fitzgerald and she couldn't bear to become Daily Daly when she married). She and her husband, Joe, sold their NYC condo to their adult daughter and moved to the small town of Millbury, Pennsylvania. Daisy, a retired school teacher, has opened her own store, Sometimes a Good Notion, where she sells sewing notions, antiques, and various odds and ends while her husband enjoys doing projects around the house. In this book a day at an auction is curtailed when their good friend and auctioneer, Angus, is arrested for murder. Daisy vows to stand by him and prove his innocence.
The book started slowly for me, but gained momentum and finished strong. The author's use of incomplete sentences created a cadence which I found distracting. Either this style diminished or I became acclimated to it as I didn't notice it at the end of the book and was simply swept away by the story. The mystery itself was very good, but, while I didn't dislike Daisy, I found it hard to warm to her. I have a feeling the series will grow stronger as it progresses and I encourage readers to give this book a try.
Going Through the Notions * * *
A Deadly Notions Mystery Too early to rate.
My rating system:
To me a 5 star book is an amazing read that swept me away and left me changed. A 4 star review is a great book that I really loved. 3 stars is still a solid good read, positive and enjoyable. Reviews will cease to be that positive at the 2 star rating-an OK book with serious flaws. And a 1 star-don't bother.