I'm happy to welcome Lena Gregory back to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Lena writes the Mini-Meadows Mystery series. NO SMALL MURDER is the first book in the series and was released this past week.
Kathy: You start a new series with NO SMALL MURDER. Was there a specific inspiration for this series?
LG: I am fascinated with tiny homes. I think they are adorable, but I started wondering what people do with all of their belongings. How do you condense a couple thousand square feet worth of things to fit into a tiny home? I have enough trouble just cleaning out the library/toy room to make space. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to write a story about someone who specializes in decluttering and downsizing.
Kathy: Emma Wells is a downsizing expert who left her father's mansion to live in a Tiny Home Community. Personally I'd take the mansion. I love a big house to spread out with all my goodies. What about you? Could you live in a tiny home?
LG: Lol! I think I’m with you on the mansion. I live in a house with my husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four (three of them large) dogs. I cannot imagine living in less than five-hundred square feet. If I lived alone, though, I feel like I’d like a tiny home, a small, cozy space to curl up in without all the maintenance involved in a full-size home.
Kathy: I find it fascinating that homes can be created out of shipping containers. Did you get to tour any such homes while writing this mystery?
LG: I haven’t gotten to tour any yet, but I would love to. I have, however, been inside shipping containers that have been converted into storage containers. Even with two stacked together, I can’t imagine having enough space to live. While researching, I also found homes made from all kinds of different things, including airplanes.
Kathy: You currently write the Mini-Meadows Mystery series, The All-Day Breakfast Cafe Mystery series, and the Bay Island Psychic Mystery series. If you could swap places with one of your protagonists for one day, which series would you wind up in and why?
LG: Ooh, that’s a hard one. I would probably wind up as Cass in the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries because her best friend Bee is one of my all-time favorite characters to write. He is loving, fun, and as loyal as they come. Bee is everything a friend should be.
Kathy: Will you share any other upcoming books?
LG: I am working on a whole list of books right now, lol. I just turned in the first book in my new Coffee and Cream Café Mystery series, Murder a la Mode, to my editor and am currently working on books two, Grounds for Murder, and three, Served Up Cold. Then I have book seven in the All-Day Breakfast Café Mysteries up next, followed by book eight in the Bay Island Psychic Mysteries and books two and three, A Matter of Crime and Packing Heat, in the Mini-Meadows series. I also write inspirational romantic suspense under a pen name, so I’d love to continue doing that as well. And I have a young adult fantasy series coming soon, a middle grade fantasy, and a picture book.
Kathy: Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
LG: Thank you so much for having me! It’s always a pleasure to visit with you.
The First Mini-Meadows Mystery
Emma Wells is an expert in downsizing; she should be after leaving her father's grand house to live in a tiny home. Now she has her own business helping others downsize and is content in her cozy house with good friends nearby. A demanding new client has her grinding her teeth, however. Not only is he arrogant and rude to Emma and her business associates, he also appears to be selfish and uncaring to his family. But the shocks are just beginning for Emma when her Granny Rose stops by and declares she's moving in! And when she prepares for Mr. Aldridge's arrival in her own tiny community, she finds him dead and her friends suspects. With her insatiable curiosity, Emma isn't about to sit by doing nothing. Will she be able to find a killer? Or will a killer find her?
While I could never live in a tiny house myself, I find them fascinating and I especially like the idea of a little community of tiny homes and businesses. I admit that I wouldn't mind tooling around the neighborhood in a golf cart! Although I'm a bit like an ancient Egyptian pharaoh wanting to take all my stuff with me, I like how Emma shows people how to downsize, and laugh at how so many underestimate how much stuff they actually have. The whole concept makes for a fresh and unique mystery series.
One of the things I like best about Lena Gregory's mysteries is the close relationship between her characters and we find that in the first Mini-Meadows Mystery. Emma and her friends, Granny Rose, even Butch and Ginger, they all help create an environment you want to be a part of, even with murders! I found the mystery captivating, even if I did have an inkling of who was behind everything. There were still plenty of twists and turns with a variety of suspects and motives.
Great characters and an intriguing mystery make NO SMALL MURDER a delightful start to a new series.
No Small Murder: A Mini-Meadows Mystery by Lena Gregory
About No Small Murder
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Setting - Florida
Level Best Books (February 21, 2023)
Number of Pages 215
Mini Meadows, a Tiny Home community in rural Central Florida, is home to Emma Wells, a downsize specialist who left her daddy’s mansion and her inheritance behind in favor of a simpler, more peaceful life in a tiny home that was once two shipping containers. But when she opens a shipping container and discovers her dead client sitting in a rocking chair, neatly wrapped and labeled, and two of her friends end up on the suspect list, Emma pitches in to help find the killer. With plenty of clues to unpack, Emma narrows down the suspect list, but as she begins to close in on the culprit, she realizes if she’s not careful she could end up in a box of her own.
About Lena Gregory
Lena Gregory grew up in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island, but she recently traded in cold, damp, gray winters for the warmth and sunshine of Central Florida, where she now lives with her husband, three kids, son-in-law, and four dogs. Her hobbies include spending time with family, reading, and walking. Her love for writing developed when her youngest son was born and didn’t sleep through the night. She works full-time as a writer and a freelance editor and is a member of Sisters in Crime.Author Links
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Purchase Links - Amazon