Saturday, December 17, 2016

ROCCO's guest...Elizabeth J. Duncan!

My guest this week is Crooked Lane author Elizabeth J. Duncan!

Elizabeth J. Duncan is the author of the award-winning and well-established Penny Brannigan mystery series set in North Wales and a brand new series, Shakespeare in the Catskills.
After graduating from Carleton University, Ottawa, with a BA in English, Elizabeth worked as a writer and editor for some of Canada’s largest newspapers, including the Ottawa Citizen and Hamilton Spectator. She lived and worked in London, England for five years as a freelance writer and broadcaster. 
Elizabeth’s first novel, The Cold Light of Mourning,  won the William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic 2006 Grant for Unpublished Writers and the 2008 St. Martin’s/Malice Domestic Award for best first traditional mystery and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis award in Canada and an Agatha Award in the United States.Her fourth novel, A Small Hill to Die On won the 2013 Bloody Words best light mystery (Bony Blithe) and the fifth book in the series, Never Laugh as a Hearse Goes By, was nominated for the same award in 2014.

R: Welcome Elizabeth! What writers in your genre have had the greatest influence on your writing?

Thank you ROCCO.  Reading the works of Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie many years ago introduced me to the joy of mysteries. Since then, I’ve discovered many wonderful writers. Favourites today include Simon Brett, Jeanne M. Dams, P.D. James, Peter James and Peter Robinson, all writers of elegant, engaging stories that entertain and inspire me.

R: Tell us about your new release, Ill Met by Murder.

It’s the second in the Shakespeare in the Catskills series, featuring costume designer Charlotte Fairfax. Here’s what it’s all about:

It’s the most important night of the year for the Catskills Shakespeare Theater Company--the annual fund raising performance at the country estate of the wealthy widow Paula Van Dusen. This year, the company will give a moonlight performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as part of the wedding celebrations for Paula's daughter, Belinda, and her fiancĂ©, Adrian. But then Hugh Hedley, family friend of the Van Dusens and Adrian's rival in the cutthroat world of high-end Manhattan real estate, is found murdered, along with a stolen prop from the play.

Paula, desperate to keep her daughter’s name of out of the paper, enlists Charlotte's help, despite the fact that Charlotte's already got her hands full amidst her costume design responsibilities and finding a home for the company's new theater school. But Charlotte nevertheless throws herself into an investigation of shady business deals, and long buried family secrets because "though she be but little, she is fierce!"

R: Which of your characters’ adventures was the most fun for you to write? Were any of them the least amount of fun?

Don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so let me just say the answer to both questions involves a missing dog.  (R:  no surprise there, eh??? Merow!)

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?

I like to get tasks and distractions, like emails and errands, out of the way before I start to write. Or is that just procrastination?

Exercise is really helpful with the creative thinking process. My best ideas come when I’m walking or swimming.

And there’s nothing like a looming deadline to make me get my skates on.

R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?

I’d attend a performance of a Shakespeare play at the Globe Theatre in London. It would be wonderful to see how the play was received in its own time but unfortunately, because of the changes in language and pronunciation over the past four centuries, I wouldn’t be able to understand much of it. Still, it would be great fun to be part of the audience.

Oh, I’ve just checked my ticket. It’s for June 29, 1613. This is going to be so exciting!

R:  If a movie were to be made of one of your books, which one would you want it to be and who would you pick for the lead roles?

Untimely Death, first in the Shakespeare in the Catskills series, would make a nice opening episode for a television series. I wouldn’t worry too much about the human casting, but I would certainly want to be at the auditions for the pivotal part of Rupert the corgi!

R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?

I’m on level 1969 of Candy Crush and have used only 10 boosters to complete all those games.

R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?

Hours of reading pleasure.

R: have you considered writing in other genres? If so, which one(s)
No. I write two mystery books a year, and that’s enough for me, thanks!

R: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?

Searching for that big chunk of my life that went missing.

R: What book is on your TBR shelf you can’t wait to get to?

I’ve got more than 200 books on my TBR shelf. At one time, each was the book I couldn’t wait to read. So I guess the best answer is to tell you the title of the last book I placed a hold on at the library. And that book is: The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher.

Thank  you Elizabeth!
Now it's giveaway time!

One lucky reader will receive a copy of Ill Met by Murder, courtesy of Crooked Lane Books. To enter, leave a comment with your email address in our comments section.  Sorry, USA only. 
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the below:

* Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
* Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point) (Link:
* Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
* Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point) (Link:!/
* Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)
* Mention the contest on your blog (+ 1 point)

Contest ends midnight, December 20.  Good luck!


  1. Ah, yes, the problem of the always expanding TBR list. I have the same issue! Thanks for the interview and contest.

  2. Love mysteries as well thrillers. I've also have a long TBR list. Thanks for the giveaway.

  3. Good Sunday morning Rocco. Thank you for a wonderful interview with Elizabeth Duncan. Her book sounds very interesting. I am a friend on facebook, follow you blog, and shared the contest on Facebook. robeader53(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. Ah yes, the ever growing TBR pile. Thank you for the chance to win. Dmskrug3 at hotmail dot com

  5. I love Shakespeare. We used to take my sons to Shakespeare in the Park but have not been there for quite a few years.I need to go again.
    (Elizabeth, now I am intrigued about the chunk of your life that is missing.)
    I wish you success!
    I shared on FB
    I am a friend on FB
    I follow on Twitter
    I tweeted
    I follow the blog

  6. Shakespeare's plays have always been a favorite of mine. I studied them in college and had the good fortune to work on productions of a few as well. This should be a fun series to read. Thanks for the chance to win.
    +1 I follow by email - crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com
    +1 I follow on Twitter - @carlrscott
    +1 I tweeted -
    +1 I liked and followed on Facebook - Carl Scott

    Thanks again!

  7. What a wonderful choice for a giveaway! Thanks for the insights into the book and the author...
    * Follow my blog (+ 1 point)
    * Follow me on Twitter (+ 1 point)
    * Tweet about the contest (+ 1 point)
    * Friend me on Facebook (+ 1 point)
    * Mention the contest on Facebook (+ 1 point)

  8. Great post as usual, Rocco. This is a new author and series to me. The book sounds amazing and I would really enjoy reading.
    Following on Facebook, Twitter and blog.Shared on Facebook. Thanks for the chance.
    Merry Christmas!

  9. Rocco, thank you very much for introducing me to another author and series to add to my TBR list.

  10. Ah, Shakespeare! The man has long legs in the industry!
    Rocco, we are FB friends and I posted this on my page.
    I visit regularly
    I don't tweet or have a blog.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  11. I like a mystery set in the world of theatre. Thanks for the chance!
    Following blog - email above
    Following Twitter - @janaleah64
    Friends on FB - Jana Leah
    Shared on FB

  12. I would love to read this mystery!
    Follow your blog
    Follow you on twitter
    Follow you on Facebook
    Shared on Facebook
    my email is zeta(at)iwon(dot)com

  13. Loved the first book in this series and am anxiously waiting to read this next installment.


  14. New author/series is always so exciting. It looks like a really great read. so hoping for sooner. Rather than later. Della at deepotter (at) peoplepc ((dot) com. Did 4. But not the retweet.. Yet

  15. So excited. Sent my address Saturday. Thank you!! Della