Marilyn Levinson is a former Spanish teacher who writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Writing as Allison Brook, Marilyn created the Haunted Library series. The first book in the series, Death Overdue, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel in 2018. Marilyn’s other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series.
Beginnings of Checked Out for Murder
Marilyn said she liked the idea of having a movie made in her fictional setting of Clover Ridge. “I also liked the idea of bringing in a cold case and connecting a murder that took place twenty years ago to the murders of two women whose lives are completely unconnected.”
With her ‘wish list’ in place, Marilyn began looking at what would be going on in Checked Out For Murder. “I wanted to explore the parent-child relationship. In this book, Carrie’s mother, Linda, comes to Clover Ridge because her second husband, who is 12 years younger than she, has a leading role in a movie being filmed there. Linda is neither maternal nor supportive, and Carrie dreads having her nearby for several weeks. But when Linda finds herself a murder suspect as well as considering divorce, Carrie invites her to stay in her home. Their relationship does change, but not as Carrie hopes.”
Marilyn also said that another parent-child relationship in the book raises the questions: Under what circumstances might a loving parent ever abandon a child in trouble? Could this parent ever be forgiven?
On a personal note
“Sometimes I find that I’ve only written half a sentence when I have to turn to Google for plausible possibilities. In Checked Out For Murder, Carrie befriends a psychic, who gives a library talk on psychic phenomena. I enjoyed reading about the various kinds of psychic abilities there are. Another kind of research I always enjoy is looking up photos of food when I’m deciding what Carrie will serve at a dinner party and checking out restaurant menus when she and her boyfriend are dining out.”
Marilyn added that she loves to provide a challenging mystery with many red herrings and suspects for her readers. “With that said, my characters and their relationships with one another are most important to me. The greatest challenge I faced in writing this book was exploring the stories behind the three homicides and figuring out how Carrie would discover the connection to all three murders.”
Learn more about Marilyn Levinson at marilynlevinson.coma Rafflecopter giveaway