Marni Graff writes two award-winning mystery series: The Nora Tierney English Mysteries and The Trudy Genova Manhattan Mysteries. She teaches writing workshops and mentors the Writers Read program, and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press. 
Graff also writes the crime review blog Auntie M Writes, www.auntiemwrites.com.

 

Nurse Trudy Genova is making plans to take her relationship to NYPD detective Ned O’Malley to the next level, when she lands a gig as medical consultant on a film shoot at the famed Dakota apartment building in Manhattan, which John Lennon once called home. Then star Monica Kiley goes missing, a cast member turns up dead, and it appears Trudy might be next. Meanwhile Ned tackles a mysterious murder case in which the victim is burned beyond recognition. When his investigations lead him back to the Dakota, Trudy finds herself wondering: how can she fall in love if she can’t even survive?
Readers of Death Unscripted, the first book in the Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery series, will find the same  pleasures in this sequel: fast pacing, engaging characters, twists and turns on the way to a satisfying close. From the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney English Mysteries, this second series is a winner. Once again M.K. Graff reveals her talents in crafting this delightful mix of amateur sleuth and police procedural.
Part procedural, part cozy, Death at the Dakota is a well-crafted and highly entertaining mystery.- Bruce Robert Coffin, #1 bestselling author of the Detective Byron mysteries.  
I fell in love — not only with co-protagonists, Trudy and Ned, the richly detailed and historic setting of The Dakota, and the unique cast of characters, but with the unusual plot of Death at the Dakota. Sherry Harris, Agatha Award nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries

 


  
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Q & A With the Author:
When did you write your first novel?  I wrote my first novel when we were still living on Long Island, a mystery set at the Frick Museum in NYC. Unfortunately, our house burned down and I lost the entire manuscript, as well as my first computer and all the files. I have not rewritten that one. Instead after our move to NC, I set about writing a series set in England, being a real Anglophile and lover of all things British. That became The Blue Virgin and was published in 2010.
What drove you to write / why did you become an author? I’ve always loved to read and written poetry and stories since in junior high. I thought atone point in high school I might go into acting but realized pretty quickly I’d rather be the person who wrote the words and story the actors performed. That led to me learning screenplay format and writing a few of those, but my drive was to entertain readers with a book the way I’d loved reading since a child. It’s still what drives me to write: the idea of sharing my stories with a reader, taking them into a fictional world that might closely mirror a real place, but choosing the characters and what happens to them.
How do you create your characters? I spend a long time developing each character. Those for a series, like Trudy Genova and her boyfriend, Ned O’Malley, have entire backgrounds I’ve created for them, with aspects of their childhood, where they grew up, went to school, etc. I always decide what my characters’ needs and fears are, too. These things help me figure out how each one will react in the circumstances I throw them into! In Trudy’s case, she’s a nurse with a nose for murder, which often frustrates Ned. But she feels she’s a good judge of people and has a natural curiosity that can put her jeopardy at times. She also has a feel for wanting to help people, hence going into nursing, and a sense of justice and fairness that equals Ned’s and is part of their attraction. They ‘get’ each other on that level, even though they are vastly different. I use the same technique for minor characters, maybe not just in as much depth.
What is one thing you love about Fall / Autumn? Besides the cooler
weather, I love the feel that reminds me of going back to school with new
things on the horizon. It’s my favorite season–of course, my birthday is in October so I’m prejudiced!
Who is the person or group of people that most support you in your writing? My husband is super-supportive, but the people who really help are my writing group. We’ve been working together for 15 years now and the others are novelists, too, so while we write different genres, we understand the rhythms of a long term exploration of character, plot and setting. We meet yearly and go over our entire draft novels for each other; in between, we are available on email for checking scenes and running ideas past each other. I’d be lost without them.
What is your favorite Halloween Memory? I grew up with a friend whose birthday is October 30th, so she always had a great Hallowe’en costume party, bobbing for apples, other games, making popcorn balls, and eating caramel apples, the whole nine yards. Great memories. We are still friends and when I bring a new book on tour to my hometown library, she comes out to see me and buys a book–and she always leaves a review! I’ll be there in October on tour with Death at the Dakota and we’ve already set up lunch for our October birthdays.
 

 

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