In addition to her writing, Sherry Harris is also a patent-holding inventor. She’s been nominated for an Agatha Award and is a past president of Sisters in Crime. From Beer to Eternity is the first in her Chloe Jackson Sea Glass Saloon mystery series.
From Beer to Eternity has a focus on Florida
Sherry said that she and her editor at Kensington had been talking about starting a second series for a while, but couldn’t come up with an idea they both believed in. “After much back and forth, he suggested a beach bar and I suggested the location. My parents moved to the Emerald Coast in the early nineties and my husband and I were stationed there in the early two thousands. It’s an amazing place with a rich history and the most beautiful white sand beaches I’ve ever seen.”
In many ways, the Emerald Coast is a great location for a mystery. From Beer to Eternity touches on the push-pull of the locals who live in the Emerald Coast of Florida’s panhandle and the developers and tourists who flock there. As you can imagine, anytime locals, developers, and tourists are thrown together, there are going to be big disagreements over traffic and beach rights.
Sherry has been visiting the panhandle of Florida since the early nineties. “Hhow I wish I would have had the foresight to buy a lot of land (and the money to do so)! I lived in the area for three years in the early two thousands and got to see for myself the battles between greedy developers and town council members and those who wanted more measured growth.”
Having fun with research
“Oh, the research was awful!” Sherry quipped. “I got to combine trips to see my family and seeing friends with going to visit different beach bars to get a feel for what I wanted my bar to be like. There’s a beach bar in Destin, Florida called the Whale’s Tail that closes at 9:00 pm and so mine does too.”
As part of her research, Sherry’s also done two police ride alongs. “The first was in the small town of Bedford, Massachusetts which I fictionalized for my Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries. The police officer I was with kept apologizing because nothing was happening. But he told me stories, showed me a house where the only unsolved murder in the town occurred, and the dump where someone left a body. It was fascinating.
“The other ride along was in Northern Virginia and what an incredible experience that was. We got in the car and the first thing the officer showed me was how to get help if anything went wrong. Yikes! Then we went to court, the scene of an accident, did traffic stops, parked and caught people running a stop sign, went to where some teens had gotten stopped for having marijuana, went high speed, lights and sirens to help search for a stolen car, and drove through closed parking lots.”
Sherry was struck by the compassion of the police officer when they spotted a car in the parking lot of a city park. “It was pitch black and surrounded by trees. There was a young woman sitting in a car crying. The officer was so compassionate asking if she was okay, explaining it wasn’t safe to be here, and telling her he could get her help if she needed it. She told him she was just having a bad day and he let her go after talking with her for a while.” Learn more about Sherry Harris at sherryharrisauthor.com/