Mystery author Gerald W. Darnell is chatting with me today about his new mystery/detective novel Murder and More.
A Florida native, Gerald grew up in the small town of Humboldt, Tennessee. He attended high school and was a graduate of HHS class of 64. Following graduation from the University of Tennessee, he spent time in Hopkinsville, KY, Memphis, TN and Newport, AR before moving back to Florida - where he now lives. During the early 70’s the author actually worked from an office in the Memphis Peabody Hotel. So many of the events about the hotel in Carson Reno’s stories are real as well as many of the characters you meet.
His fiction books are what he calls ‘Fiction for Fun’. They use real geography and include pictures and characters some readers might recognize. The Carson Reno Mystery Series features adventure mysteries set in the early 1960’s time period. The primary geography is Memphis and West Tennessee, but Carson’s stories take the reader across the United States and occasionally to foreign countries. Each story is considered light reading and is rated PG for everyone’s enjoyment. You are invited to pick your character and put yourself in the ‘play’. You might find it fun!
The reader will experience character continuation through all the stories and enjoy the growth of the core characters with each new adventure.
Current published Carson Reno mysteries include Murder in Humboldt, The Price of Beauty in Strawberry Land, Killer Among Us, Horse Tales, The Crossing, Sunset 4, The Everglades, The Illegals, Dead Men Don’t Remember, Fingerprint Murders, Reelfoot, Justifiable Homicide, Dead End, and Murder and More.
Gerald’s non-fiction book Don’t Wake Me Until It’s Time to Go includes stories and events spanning time from pre-high school to his now retirement in Florida. As an avid hunter and fisherman, many of the events involve activities and stories from his personal outdoor adventures. As a business executive, and extensive traveler, he gives us some playful observations accumulated from the millions of miles he traveled across the US.
As someone who loves animals and adventure, he offers thoughts and observations that are probably outside most reader’s imagination. Not a ‘tell all’ narratives, real names and real people are included. If you know the author, you might find yourself - or one of your adventures - included. If not, I’m certain you will find a real familiarity with the stories and the times chronicled in the book. A must read if you enjoy hunting, enjoy humor and can laugh at yourself - while others are also laughing at you.
Welcome, Gerald. Please tell us about your current release.
Murder and More is the 14th book in my Carson Reno Mystery Series. Although a series, each novel is stand-alone and it is not necessary for readers to have read other books. Each novel is self-contained and characters appropriately introduced in each story.
What inspired you to write this book?
My previous novel, Dead End involved the death of a main character. My fans were…well, they were upset by her death. This book introduces another character to replace the one who died.
Excerpt from Murder and More:
The gray limousine parked in the alley at the side entrance of the Belvedere; Henry asked the driver if he could please wait for a moment while they got settled into Olivia’s downstairs bungalow.
“Pay the driver,” Olivia argued, snuggling up to Henry. “He’s been such a nice man, don’t make him wait unnecessarily. I’ll take the champagne inside and find some glasses. You bring the flowers.”
“Are you sure?” Henry suggested with a huge smile.
“Yes, I’ll get a vase for the roses, just don’t take too long!” she said, giving him a kiss and getting out of the limo.
Olivia disappeared into the shadows and Henry removed his wallet before opening the passenger door to speak with the driver. Henry never spoke a word.
Tap…tap, tap. Three silenced bullets came from somewhere near the rear of the limo. The first smashed into the back of Henry’s head, spilling his blood and brains all over the driver and front seat. The second two slammed into the chest of the shocked and surprised driver – neither he nor Henry ever realizing what was happening.
Milo Fish, a local bookie and a second floor resident of the Belvedere Apartments was out of cigarettes. It was late, but his phone was still busy and would remain that way until daylight when bets were cutoff for the weekend ballgames. The phone and his clients would have to wait for a few minutes while he ran across the street to the local convenience store.
Rushing out his door, and almost reaching the bottom of the steps, he caught a glimpse of something moving in the shadows and paused for a moment. A limo was parked in the driveway with the passenger door open and appeared to be delivering a late night customer. He didn’t see anyone else.
A silenced bullet entered his right ear, traveled through his brain and stopped just behind the left eye – death was instant. The impact of the shot threw Milo’s body sideways, before tumbling down the remaining steps to the sidewalk.
Then there was quiet.
What exciting story are you working on next?
Another Carson Reno Mystery Series novel called Deadly Decision.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
In college I wrote for the Fraternity and several other organizations – nothing serious. Later in life I wrote for a few outdoor magazines, highlighting some hunting or fishing adventure. Then I got a real job and worked for 30+ years before writing again.
Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
Writing is a hobby, I am retired.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I am a conversation writer. Most of my stories are told through the voices of my characters.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
‘Don’t write to get rich, but to enrich others’.
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Thanks for being here today, Gerald!