An Interview with Kimberlee Larsen Clarke and Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer
How did you first get involved with Thumper and the Fern Lake Mysteries?
Kimberlee: I’ve had nightmares and migraine headaches all my life and never knew what might be the cause until last year when I returned to Fern Lake, and learned that my father was murdered when I was a baby and that I witnessed the murder. I met an author writing a book about my father’s murder. We joined forces with a homicide detected and while we pursued the cold case murder, Brett and I fell in love.
The cat at the lodge was called Black Cat, but my little girl renamed him Thumper. Looking back over the incidents, he actually helped up solve some of the mysteries surrounding my father’s death. We suspected a number of people, but solving the case was less than successful. I stayed in Fern Lake, restored my family’s old Victorian mansion and bought a book store.
What is the setting for Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer?
Kimberlee: Just recently, my grandmother invited us to a family reunion at her Texas horse ranch. She said she would name her beneficiary while we’re here. I don’t care much about the money, but I did want to meet my relatives, as being an orphan, I never really knew my family.
So here we are on the ranch. It’s beautiful, jagged mountains in the distance, flowering cactus and shrubs on the plains and beyond the stone fences, we saw a wild herd of horses led by a beautiful black stallion the folks call Quantum.
Tell us about your first day at the ranch.
Meeting Grandmother was a shock. In one breath she welcomed us to the ranch, and in the next, she insulted my cousin, Dorian and made her certified Search and Rescue dog, Sam, sleep on the porch.
The first day on the ranch, Sam and I took a walk on the desert and I came face to face with Quantum’s herd. It was the most magical moment when he came right up and sniffed my hand. I actually felt a connection between me and him and the desert. Not so much, when I ran into a rattlesnake. If Sam hadn’t been with me, I don’t what would have happened.
Thumper is quite ‘taken’ with Grandmother’s cat, Noe-Noe, obviously love at first sight. Who knows what he’s going to do when it’s time to go home and leave her behind.
Who are the villains in your story?
Kimberlee: Grandmother’s attorney, Wilbur Breckinridge, is a sleazy guy who harps about the Children’s Charity he started, much funded by Grandmother’s generosity. You can tell that he is furious over her decision to change her will, giving the ranch to either me or Dorian instead of his charity. He scares me, when he talks about how much the children will suffer when she changes the will. I wonder if he’s capable of doing something drastic to prevent... But I mustn’t think that way.
The stable master, Harold, is another concern. I swear he reminds me of Ted Herman, the man we suspected last year of killing my father. But that’s not possible, since Ted died in the Cayman Islands….or did he? You don’t suppose Ted could have faked his death and living here on Grandmother’s ranch, do you?
What obstacles does Kimberlee face in Texas?
Kimberlee: Grandmother fell and we found out more troublesome things about the Children’s Charity. We think the attorney is embezzling Grandmother’s money. We’re looking into Harold background and not much liking what we find. After a run-in with Grandmother, I’d give anything to leave, but we’re stuck here until we resolve some of these issues. How much worse can things get? Embezzling, false identities, a bitchy injured grandmother? Good grief. I’d give anything if we’d never come.
Is there going to be another story with Thumper, the cat with the memories?
Kimberlee: The third Black Cat Mystery, Black Cat and the Accidental Angel, coming out next spring, is extensively written through Thumper’s point of view. Thumper loses his memory. He and his soul-mate deal with a completely different set of trials and tribulations on a vineyard and emu farm in Nevada City. As problems increase, the cats must face increasing danger protecting the people they have come to love and Thumper learns there are more important things than knowing your real name.
Elaine Faber writes a series called, Black Cat Mysteries. Her short stories have appeared in national magazines and in multiple anthologies.
She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Cat Writers Association and Inspire Christian Writers, where she serves as an librarian and an editor on their annual anthology.
www.mindcandymysteries.com (website and blog site) Available on Amazon in paperback and e-book
That was a fun interview, Elaine. The book sounds great. Thanks for stopping by once again--and bringing Kimberlee with you.