Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mystery Writer Revisits Scene of the Crime

Florida native Deborah Sharp got in touch with her inner cowgirl to write Mama Rides Shotgun, the second book in her funny, Southern-flavored ''Mace Bauer Mystery'' series.

The former USA Today reporter saddled up – and camped! – for a week along the Florida Cracker Trail to research the book's setting. Now, she'll revisit the trail to share with this year's participants how she mined the ride for fictional murder and mayhem.

She hopes none of them are packing weapons!

This time around, she's scheduled to meet up with the ride for just one night (Feb. 22) to talk about her books. It will definitely be easier on her rear end, as she'll drive rather than horseback ride to that evening's camp site near Zolfo Springs.

Each February, some 200 participants on horseback and in wagons make the 120-mile Cracker Trail trek to commemorate the cattle drives that once crossed Florida.

In Mama Rides Shotgun, Mama is fixin’ to tie the sacred knot of matrimony -- for the fifth time. But before she does, she convinces daughter Mace to hit the trail for some country-gal bonding. Even though Mama tries to lasso every cowboy she sees for the still-single Mace, the ride gets off to a good start – at least until a wealthy cattle rancher keels over dead in his Cow Hunter chili. When the trail turns to murder, Mace must corral a killer before the low-down varmint strikes again.

Kirkus Reviews compared Mama Rides Shotgun to Janet Evanovich's popular character: '' . . .Stephanie Plum goes into the backwoods in an amusingly wild ride through parts of Florida tourists rarely visit.’’

Sharp left journalism at age 50 to write light-hearted mysteries. Her first book was Mama Does Time (Midnight Ink, October 2008). The third, Mama Gets Hitched, comes out in July 2010.

She's been on NBC's Today Show, talking about her books and the transition from news reporter to mystery writer. Watch the interview here


Deborah Sharp said...

Hi, Lou ... thanks for the opportunity to spread the word about my funny, set-in-Florida mysteries. You're doing a great job promoting authors in the Sunshine State. You rock!
Deborah Sharp

Victoria Allman said...

Deborah's series, about a part of Florida few ever see, has quickly become one of my favorite reads. They are funny and well-written with great characters you can't help but cheer for...and chuckle at.