When a Minor Character Takes Over a Book by Jacqueline Diamond
Feisty, eccentric old ladies have always intrigued me. It’s long been my goal to become one, although I’m in no hurry to get there.
So it shouldn’t have come as a surprise—but it did—when a 96-year-old lady nearly ran away with my latest mystery, The Case of the Surly Surrogate.
Every character in my Safe Harbor Medical Mysteries leaps off the page for me. Primarily, though, I live through my hero, Dr. Eric Darcy, a young physician who cares deeply about his patients and assists his private investigator sister-in-law in solving murders that affect them.
In the new mystery, the father of a baby about to be born via surrogate is murdered. Eric’s patients include not only the surrogate and the widow (the intended mother of the baby), but also the widow’s great-grandmother.
Lenore Bryerly, diagnosed with mild dementia, has a tantalizing habit of dropping hints to Eric about her family’s troubled history, hints that point in a different direction than police are pursuing. She’s outspoken and determined, but is she a credible witness?
Members of my critique group let me know they couldn’t wait to read more about her. One of my beta readers, who’s in her twenties, emailed me: “I. Love. Lenore. She is easily my favorite character and I kinda want to read this whole story from her perspective now. Plus, I just love badass old ladies.”
Here lay a dilemma: as tension builds in a mystery, it’s valuable to have a second murder. But while Lenore might seem to be the obvious target, I just couldn’t kill her off.
Instead, I worked in another character who took the fall instead. And Lenore became an integral part of the fast-paced, dangerous climax.
One of the joys of writing a series is being able to revisit beloved characters, and there’s always a chance she’ll pop up again. I hope she’ll live long and prosper!
The Case of the Surly Surrogate
Kindle Unlimited (yes)
USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond is known for her mysteries, romantic comedies, medical romances and Regency romances—102 titles as of 2017. A former Associated Press reporter, Jackie received a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award. She currently writes the Safe Harbor Medical Mysteries, beginning with The Case of the Questionable Quadruplet, and is reissuing her classic romantic comedies, including The Bride Wore Gym Shoes and Million-Dollar Mommy.
After Dr. Eric Darcy discovers the body of a patient’s husband, he lands in the midst of a murder investigation. Was the photographer killed because he was cheating on his wife, or was he using his photos in a blackmail plot? And how did he antagonize the surrogate mother about to give birth to his baby? The puzzle pieces snap together in a fast-paced climax that could cost Eric his life. USA Today bestselling author Jacqueline Diamond interweaves a medical setting with memorable characters in the second Safe Harbor Medical mystery.
Website link & newsletter signup: www.jacquelinediamond.com
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/JacquelineDiamondAuthor
Twitter name: @jacquediamond