Mme. Rosemary McCracken’s third Pat Tierney mystery, Raven Lake, was released by Imajin Books on June 1. The e-book was feted at a Facebook party Friday, June 3, and a traditional bookstore party for paperback will take place on Saturday June 25 at Sleuth of Baker Street in Toronto.
This week, Mme. Lynne Murphy, talks to Pat about her life in Rosemary’s novels.
FULL DISCLOSURE FROM LYNNE: I have been in a writing group with Rosemary for more than 15 years, and I know Pat well. In fact I look on her as one of my nieces. So I must be forgiven if I get a bit nosey in this interview. That’s how you treat family members.
L.M.: Pat, you are a sensible, professional woman. How do you manage to get involved with so many criminal types?
Pat: Much of my involvement comes from the kind of work I do. I’m a financial advisor, so I’m well-positioned to spot white-collar crime. In Safe Harbor, red flags went up for me when a rookie financial advisor was given a large investment account to manage. And when I looked closely at that account, I saw that a sizeable part of its assets were invested in slowpoke stocks. Things didn’t add up. And when things don’t add up for a financial advisor, something is very wrong.
L.M.: You’ve faced many problems in recent years—the death of your husband; learning about his love affair, then adopting his young son who resulted from that affair; your daughter, Tracy, living in a same-sex relationship; and now your teenage daughter, Laura, expecting a baby. How do you cope with it all?
Pat: Those have been stressful situations, and I’ve had no choice but to accept them. But, to keep my sanity, I try to look at the bright side. Michael is gone and nothing will bring him back, but his son Tommy is a dear boy, as you know if you’ve read Rosemary’s books, and I’m delighted that he’s now part of our family. Tracy is in a stable relationship with a good woman, and I’m standing by her choice of a partner. Laura is young to be raising a child, and she doesn’t want to marry at this point. I’ll do my best to help her, and I’ll see that she goes back to school next year. My kids are healthy, mentally stable, and they stand to live happy, useful lives. Hey, I can’t really ask for too much more!
L.M.: What is your best quality?
Pat: I’ve been told that my fierce loyalty to my family and those I love is my best trait. Rosemary puts out a tweet that says, “Pat Tierney will do anything to keep her family safe…ANYTHING!” Hey, that’s how it should be, isn’t it? You do whatever you can for those you love.
L.M.: You also have a strong social conscience. Can you comment on some of the issues that have been raised in the books?
Pat: The issue that comes up frequently in the books is fraud: investment fraud and other kinds of fraud. The financial industry deals with money, and therefore provides an opportunity for people who are clever and greedy enough to challenge the system. I’m a champion of small investors who can get taken by financial fraudsters. I want to see these crooks weeded out and punished. I want tougher penalties for their crimes. The system in Canada is currently too soft on offenders.
I don’t like to see anyone getting a raw deal. The refugees in Safe Harbor—my heart went out to those poor people who were forced to leave their homelands, and were terrorized in Canada where they thought they’d be safe and free. The victims of the cottage rental scams in Raven Lake—vacationers sent their money to these fraudsters in good faith and lost their funds and their holiday lodgings; and elderly property owners who were terrified when would-be renters turned up at their doors.
L.M.: Detective Inspector Stewart Foster often accuses you of being too nosey for your own good. What other qualities do you wish you could change?
Pat: Well, I’d take what Foster says in this regard with a grain of salt. I’ve shown him up more than a few times. In Raven Lake, he’d pegged Bruce Stohl as his prime suspect in the murder of Bruce’s mother, and he refused to look elsewhere. I had to be nosey to help Bruce.
I suppose there are a few things I could work on. My daughter Laura calls me “the world’s biggest pushover.” She complains that I let people walk right over me, and she’s probably right. But I like to be generous wheneverI can. So I don’t think I’m about to change.
L.M.: What’s happened to that nice man, Devon Shaughnessy, who was in your life for a time?
Pat: Devon’s my Mr. Right Now when he can get up to Canada from Connecticut where he runs his software company. Lately, though, we’ve both been too busy to travel. And, by the way, I’m happy to spend time with a Mr. Right Now. But I’m not looking for a Mr. Right.
L.M.: Where can readers find this new book and the others?
Pat: They can check out Raven Lake at myBook.to/RavenLakeTierney. Safe Harbor is at myBook.to/SafeHarborTierney. And Black Water is at myBook.to/BlackWaterTierney. These are universal links that will take readers the Amazon stores in their own countries.
Toronto journalist Rosemary McCracken writes the Pat Tierney mystery series. Safe Harbor, the first novel in the series, was shortlisted for Britain’s Debut Dagger Award in 2010. It was published by Imajin Books in 2012, followed by Black Water in 2013. “The Sweetheart Scamster,” a Pat Tierney short story in the crime fiction anthology, Thirteen, was a finalist for a 2014 Derringer Award. Raven Lake, the third Pat Tierney mystery novel, has just been released. Jack Batten, The Toronto Star’s crime fiction reviewer, calls Pat “a hugely attractive sleuth figure.”
Here are links for the books mentioned in the blurb above. The first three are universal links for Amazon, which means whoever clicks on them will reach the Amazon in his/her own country.. Thirteen’s is a link to Amazon.com
Safe Harbor: myBook.to/SafeHarborTierney
Black Water: myBook.to/BlackWaterTierney
Raven Lake: myBook.to/RavenLakeTierney