A Beautiful Place for a Murder

I'm delighted to welcome Roz Russell to my blog today, author of an enticing mystery novel, Murder once Removed, set in the wonderful Land of Enchantment. So grab yourself a cup of tea or coffee, sit down at your computer, and prepare to be enchanted.

First, Roz, please can you tell us a little about yourself?

                 I have spent my most of my life in the Southwest and earned a degree in fine arts from the University of Texas, El Paso. I have worked as a real estate agent, private investigator, and tour guide. A licensed dog groomer, I am also an artist who works in pottery and stained glass. Born and raised in El Paso, I currently live in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with my two dogs, Minnie and Coco.

and about your book?

                My new book is a murder mystery set in New Mexico, or more specifically, the Albuquerque/Santa Fe area. I am asked all of the time, why there? Why not New York or LA? After all, everyone’s familiar with those places. Maybe a little too familiar by now. But New Mexico is different. It’s called the Land of Enchantment for a reason.
First off, there’s the art. It’s so uniquely beautiful that words can’t do it justice. Artists swear that the play of light and color here is magical. New Mexico has the bluest skies; the whitest puffy clouds; the purplest mountains (Is purplest a word? If it’s not it should be!) Not to mention the exquisite silver and turquoise jewelry; the pottery; or the hand woven rugs from nearby Native American pueblos.
Then there’s the history. We always think of the East as old and the West as new, but Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the U.S. The Palace of the Governors is the oldest continuously occupied building in America, dating back to 1610. That’s ten years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock!
But, of course, New Mexico’s not just about the past. After all, we’ve got Breaking Bad. If it weren’t such a great show, I’d still watch it just to see all the places I know showing up on television. I think the city of Albuquerque is the show’s only star not nominated for an emmy. Obviously an oversight... Speaking of the emmys, how about Neil Patrick Harris? Did you know he was from Albuquerque? If you lived in New Mexico you would. He is fabulous and if I can ever figure out Twitter, I’m going to tweet him just to tell him how much I admire his talent.
Anyway, let me tell you about Murder Once Removed. Jessica Curtis, is an investigative reporter for a newspaper in Albuquerque. Now, I’ve never been an investigative reporter but I have worked as a private investigator – many years ago and no, you may not ask how many. But since private investigation is mostly drudge work, it’s easier for me to romanticize the life of a reporter. And yes, she is my alter ego in case you’re wondering.
Like any good reporter, Jessica is a truth-seeker. She’s one of those irritating people who have to find out everything that can be known about something before they let go of it. And she ends up irritating a lot of people!
A lot of readers are interested in how I came up with the title. You see, Jessica’s mentor, Joe Taylor, is murdered while investigating a murder that happened three years ago in Santa Fe. The original victim was a wealthy art dealer named Michael Lange. Now, Jessica is convinced that the same killer murdered both men. She’s determined to Taylor’s murder, but she realizes that in order to do that, she must first solve the original murder of Lange. In short, she needs to solve a “Murder Once Removed.”

I think Roz has got me hooked. It's not often I get to virtually meet a real (not fictional) private investigator, and she's certainly sold me on the charms of New Mexico!

 So, here's a little more about the book, where to find it, and where to find the author:

Book blurb
Investigative reporter Jessica Curtis’s life is about to turn upside down. Joe Taylor, her mentor for the past six years, is killed while investigating the murder of a high-profile Santa Fe art dealer and construction entrepreneur. Sensing the two are connected and determined to find her friend’s killer, Jessica picks up the investigation where Joe left off and is quickly ensnared in the complex Santa Fe art world full of treachery, greed, and power—and deep connections to the world of politics. When the number of possible killers increases the number of people Jessica can trust quickly dwindles—including the enigmatic artist she has begun an affair with. As the tension mounts and body count rises, Jessica must answer the ultimate question: can she solve the case before the killer adds her to the list of victims?
A taut, suspenseful mystery that explores the nature of fate, the inevitability of certain life events, and the cascading consequences of one act as it influences everything that happens after, Murder Once Removed dives deep into the inner dimensions of the artistic mind to ask whether murder itself can be a form of art.

Find out more about Roz Russell at:



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