Sunday, March 6, 2016

A Deadly Scandal Interview, Review, and Giveaway

I'm happy to welcome Kate Parker to the blog today. Kate writes the Deadly Series. DEADLY SCANDAL, the first in Kate's new series, was released earlier this year.

Kathy: In DEADLY SCANDAL Olivia Denis is forced to give up her pampered lifestyle and take a job as a society reporter. Would you ever be interested in such a job?

KP: In the past, a society reporter job was romantic, exciting. I believe that was the job Jackie Kennedy had before she married the future president.

Kathy: If you needed a job in the 1930s, what job would you try to get?

KP: There weren't a lot of fields open to women in the 30s. Teaching, nursing, and clerical work were the best sources of work. There was still a great deal of disapproval and discrimination against a married woman going out to work. Fields were you could stay home and work, such as writing or painting, were done by women without incurring society's wrath.

Kathy: I enjoy reading historical mysteries. What made you choose 1930s London as the setting for your new series?

KP: The 1930s were a high point for mystery writers. If I could time travel, that's the time I would head for. And I love London. It's a great place to do research on any period in its history, plus the energy generated by people from all over the world visiting all the tourist places is magical.

Kathy: Historical mysteries require an extra special brand of research. What's your favorite method to research this time period?

KP: Visiting London. Hands down, that's my favorite. I spent a lot of time in the British Library reading London daily newspapers from the time to understand Olivia's job and what people were concerned with in those days.

Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?

KP: Reading my mother's collection of Agatha Christie and Ngaio Marsh stories as a child. I think that's where my desire to time travel to 1930's England came from.

Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?

KP: I've tried contemporary romantic suspense and historical romance. Neither were successful. Historical mysteries are where my talents lie.

Kathy: Tell us about your series.

KP: The Deadly Series finds twenty something Olivia Denis forced by circumstances in the late 1930s to investigate murder in England while her newspaper publisher boss compels her to carry out missions inside Nazi Germany.

The Victorian Bookshop Mysteries shows Georgia Fenchurch, thirty year old bookshop owner, and her friends as they solve cases that have baffled Scotland Yard in the twilight of Queen Victoria's reign.

Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?

KP: I have fun with all of them, so I don't think I have a favorite.

Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?

KP: There was a comic strip in the newspapers of the 1960s called Brenda Starr, star reporter. She was tall, leggy, immaculately dressed, and fearless. Everyone gave her exclusives to the biggest stories. Since I couldn't be her when I grew up, I saved her in my memory and when the time came, turned her into Olivia Denis.

Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?

KP: I wrote for 15 years before I got my first publishing contract. After that much practice, I was ready to perform "on stage."

Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?

KP: Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and Robert Barnard. Oooh, that sounds like a good party!

Kathy: What are you currently reading?

KP: I just finished REVENGE ON THE RIVER, translated from the French. Fabulous plot and characters, and a great education on how little I know about French culture. Also just finished THE LOST SCHOLAR by Jill Paton Walsh, who is continuing the Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane stories.

Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?

KP: I do aqua aerobics four times a week, and I love to work Sudoku puzzles.

Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.

KP: M&Ms, Twinings Breakfast Tea, peanut butter, and carrots.

Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?

KP: I'm currently working on the second Deadly series book, DEADLY WEDDING, and plan a third, DEADLY FASHION. I have planned another Victorian Bookshop Mystery for next year, title unknown.

Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?

KP: Working in a sweat suit (at this time of year) and never having to fight traffic to get to work. 



The First Deadly Mystery

Olivia Davis is the young wife of a mild mannered member of the Foreign Office in 1930s London as the Nazi Party is gaining power. Olivia's carefree life is turned upside down when her husband is found dead of an apparent suicide. More scandals quickly follow as Olivia realizes it would have been impossible for Reggie to kill himself in the manner in which he died. But who would have murdered him, and why? Forced to take a job so as to remain independent and not move back with her father, Olivia becomes a society reporter. However, her job is more than talking about ladies fashions and birth announcements. Due to her knowledge of people in the Foreign Office, Olivia is also given special assignments to see what certain German officials are doing and who in the Foreign Office just may be a Nazi sympathizer. Olivia discovers her husband is not the man he seemed. Surely he wasn't a traitor, but what did he know that got him killed, and could she be the next target? Unlikely allies are formed and old friendships are questioned as Olivia searches for the truth. 

As England draws inexorably towards war, so Olivia is drawn into a new life filled with intrigue. DEADLY SCANDAL takes a look at prewar days and social mores. Scandals abound in this new series opener as Olivia Davis is confronted with an apparent suicide, murder, homosexuality, women in the workplace, appropriate mourning behavior and more! There are also Nazis! 

Kate Parker has created a historical mystery which combines espionage with the flavor of a cozy mystery. The combination is seamless and compelling with a distinct sense of time and place. One feels for Olivia as her way of life comes to end end, yet seems to bring out the best in her. No longer "just" the young wife, she becomes her own person with drive and ambition and a thirst for justice. Just as life is about to change for the world, so Olivia's life has changed, but she's proving that she's more than up for the challenge!  


For a chance to win an autographed copy of DEADLY SCANDAL simply leave a comment on this blog post telling us what makes a 1930s setting interesting for you. Be sure to leave your e-mail address so that I am able to contact you, should you win. Comment no later than 11:59 pm Monday, March 7, 2016. Sorry US addresses only.


  1. The 1930s are interesting to me because my mom was a child then and she has told me lots of stories about it was like. I would love to read this and so would she! Thank you!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  2. My mother started nursing school in Kansas in the late 1930's and volunteered to be an army nurse when she graduated in 1942 right after WWII started. She served in England and Belgium, and this book describes life in England shortly before the start of the war. It's a window into a time and world gone by, and I'd love an autographed copy!

  3. My email: rebarger(at)bellsouth(dot)net

  4. I enjoy "time traveling" by way of historical mysteries. The 30s are interesting to me because it seems like a golden, glamorous time between the two worlds wars. Thanks for the chance to win. Dmskrug3(at)hotmail(dot)com

  5. The 1930's are fascinating since this is the respite between the two world wars, event though there are rumblings and things are simmering about the next war. This era interests me greatly since it was very meaningful, important and influenced the entire continent and world. Thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. The 30s were a time of transition which began with The Great Depression which was felt deeply in America and Europe. This affected everyone. The war talk began at that time. My parents would talk about their upbringing as they were raised during the depression which influenced their entire lives. This post and the novel is wonderful. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  7. The topic of the Depression and also the pending war effected my parents time generation. Hearing their stories as well as things that have been published has stirred my curiosity. It would be wonderful to see how Kate Parker applies it to her new book.

  8. What an interesting time period. My mother talked about it so often that I became totally intrigued. I'd love to read a mystery set back then.

  9. While not interested in time travel, I do enjoy historicals, getting little bits of history. My mother left me a trunk of old pictures taken around 1940. It was interesting to see the styles of dress, cars and other things.

  10. my email is:

  11. I remember hearing about the 1930's from my Dad and Uncle. They had some really funny stories and I can remember telling him if us kids ever did stuff like they did we would be in big trouble.

  12. That period of time is interesting because that is when my parents were born! Thanks for offering us a chance to win your book! Cozy mysteries are my favorite genre!!

  13. Kathy, thank you for the interview with Kate. I love historical cozies and am anxious to read her debut in this series. Sandy in So. Cali sxygrndma48{at}yahoo{dot}com

  14. I love the idea of "long ago". The clothes were great and people were a lot more innocent (or at least seemed to be).

  15. Congratulations Sandy in So. Cali, chose your comment to win! Be on the lookout for an e-mail from me!