I'm pleased to welcome S. K. Golden to Cozy Up With Kathy today. S. K. writes the Pinnacle Hotel Mystery series. THE SOCIALITE'S GUIDE TO MURDER is the first book in the series. Stay tuned for my review.
Kathy: THE SOCIALITE'S GUIDE TO MURDER is set in an exclusive hotel in New York City in 1958. Why did you choose this setting and time period for your series?
A couple story ideas combined to make my debut, but one of the main ones was: Eloise at the Plaza, all grown up and solving mysteries. The Plaza Hotel is in New York and the Eloise books are set during the 50s, so that’s what inspired those choices. Also, Home Alone 2. Love that movie. And Kevin stays at the Plaza Hotel.
Kathy: Historical mysteries require an extra special brand of research. What's your favorite method to research this time period?
I could talk about the over half dozen books I’ve purchased that go over this time period in detail, but, honestly, my favorite form of research has been watching Marilyn Monroe movies and episodes of Dragnet.
Kathy: In the first Pinnacle Hotel Mystery we meet Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy. Our protagonist is the wealthy daughter of the hotel's owner and is obsessed with fashion and movie stars. Do you follow today's stars?
I have my favorites. For instance, I’ll watch Keira Knightley in anything. I’m a little bit in love with John Bernthal. Just a little bit. Nothing weird. But I think it’s better not to know much about celebrities’ personal lives because it makes it easier to enjoy the character they’re playing.
Kathy: What first drew you to cozy mysteries?
My first memories of reading on my own are of checking out the Nancy Drew books from the local library. I didn’t even know what a “cozy mystery” was until I was an adult and it was defined for me: amateur sleuth, no sex, swearing, or violence on the page. A lightbulb went off for me. Psych, the tv show I’d loved as a teenager, was a cozy mystery. Nancy Drew was a cozy mystery. I’ve loved this genre all my life and there’s more of it? There was so much more of it. It was like, when you’re a kid, and you have a favorite Disney princess, and then your parents take you to Disney World for the first time and you get to meet that Disney princess and give her a hug, take a picture with her, get her autograph. That’s what it felt like. Except I was in my twenties.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
I’ve dabbled a bit in creature features (sci-fi) and romantic suspense, but cozy mysteries are my heart.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy is a hotel heiress with anxiety, agoraphobia, and a knack for finding things. She uses her skills and her love of detective novels to solve crimes committed in her father’s hotel.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
In my book or in books I’ve read? My favorite character to write is, thankfully, Evelyn. It’s written in first person point of view, so I have to spend a lot of time in her head. Or, she spends a lot of time in my head? Either way.
My favorite character I’ve read is…hmm. This is hard one. Morwen the Witch from the Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia C Wrede. Or, maybe, Emma from EMMA by Jane Austen. The Luggage, from the Discworld series. I’m gonna end it there, or I’d keep going for way too long.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
Eloise at the Plaza, Cher from Clueless, Emma from Emma, (while Cher is inspired by Emma and Clueless is an Emma retelling, I’m choosing to view them as separate characters) and Elle Woods from Legally Blonde. And Miss Marple, of course.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
It's been my dream since I was ten to be an author. I’m fortunate enough that my husband’s work allows me to stay home. Now, we have five kids. So, I don’t have a ton of free time to write. But while they’re at school or watching an episode of Sponge Bob, I can get words down. Signing with Crooked Lane and being able to show my kids a real book they can hold in their hands and say, “See? I was working!” has been an absolute dream come true.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
Oooooh! This is gonna be tough to narrow down. Let’s see. Jane Austen, first and foremost. Agatha Christie, of course. Do I do Tolkien and Lewis because they were friends in real life, or do I break from that and invite Terry Pratchett? Final answer: Austen, Christie, Tolkien, and Pratchett. No, wait! Donald Westlake. I’d love to hear him and Christie talk! Darn. Okay. Christie, Westlake, Tolkien and Pratchett. Final final answer. Sorry, Jane. But I think the cross talk between two mystery authors and two fantasy authors would be an amazing experience. (I did name two children after her/her books, so, it’s fine. Well, they are middle names. Still!)
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
I’ve got two current reads going. On hardback: The 12 SLAYS OF CHRISTMAS by Jacqueline Frost. And on audio: GENEVA by Richard Armitage (narrated AND written!)
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
I love bullet journaling. I’m a big list person anyway but being able to be creative with it helps me focus on the plans I’m making. Of course, there’s reading. I like to bake – mostly cookies. And I listen to true crime podcasts.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
Nutella. Sparkling water – been on a La Croix Limencello kick. Mixed berry yogurt. Cheese, spreadable brie. Yum.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
I’m working on edits for Evelyn’s second book right now. It should be available in the fall of 2023. And the cover is stunning!
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
Having a built-in excuse for daydreaming and talking to myself. No, I’m not weird, I’m an author. Thank you. No, no, put the phone down, I’m fine. I promise. Just look at my internet search history. No, wait! Don’t look at that!
The Socialite's Guide to Murder (A Pinnacle Hotel Mystery) by S. K. Golden
About The Socialite's Guide to Murder
Historical Cozy Mystery
1st in Series Setting - New York City, 1958
Crooked Lane Books (October 11, 2022)
The hotel was her refuge, but scandal is afoot—and a killer stalks the halls in this charming series debut perfect for fans of Rhys Bowen and Ashley Weaver.
It’s 1958 and Evelyn Elizabeth Grace Murphy has not left the Pinnacle Hotel in fourteen months. She suffers from agoraphobia, and what’s more, it’s her father’s hotel, and everything she needs is there. Evelyn’s always been good at finding things, she discovered her mother dead in a Manhattan alleyway fifteen years earlier. Now she’s finding trouble inside her sanctuary. At a party for artist Billie Bell, his newest work is stolen, and Evelyn’s fake boyfriend (and real best friend), movie star Henry Fox, is accused of the theft. But just as Evelyn sets out to prove Henry’s innocence, she finds Billie Bell dead.
The murder weapon links the crime to the hotel’s chief of security. But why would he use a knife with his initials on the handle? With her beloved home in disarray, Evelyn joins up with hotel employee (and her secret crush) Mac Cooper to get to the bottom of the case.
As Mac picks locks and Evelyn snoops around the hotel, they discover the walls around them contain more secrets than they previously knew. Now, Evelyn must force herself to leave the hotel to follow the clues—but when she and Mac set off to chase a lead, their car crashes and they barely escape with their lives. Someone snipped Evelyn’s brake lines, and now the stakes have become dangerously high.
Evelyn’s knack for sleuthing—and her playful imagination—are always hard at work, and she throws an elaborate party at the hotel where every guest is a suspect. But will the killer emerge from the glamorous lineup? If not, Evelyn just might find herself…next in line for murder.
About S. K. Golden
Sarah K Golden is the author of the cozy mystery Murder at the Pinnacle Hotel. Born and raised in the Florida Keys, she married a commercial fisherman. The two of them still live on the islands with their five kids (one boy, four girls — including identical twins!), two cats, and a corgi named Goku. She graduated from Saint Leo University with a bachelor’s degree in Human Services and Administration and has put it to good use approximately zero times. She’s worked as a bank teller, a pharmacy technician, and an executive assistant at her father’s church. Sarah is delighted to be doing none of those things now. She is currently working on book two in the Evelyn Murphy series.Author Links
- Webpage: https://www.skgoldenwrites.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SKGoldenWrites
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SKGoldenWrites
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/skgoldenwrites/