A Guilty Mind

A Detective Cancini Mystery

Book One

K.L. Murphy


On-Sale 6/14/2016


ISBN: 9780062491626


Genre: Crime Mystery, Mystery and Detective / Police Procedural


Publisher: Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins


About the Book:


Accused of murdering his psychiatrist, a broken man must face his horrific past in order to protect his future.


George Vandenberg is a drunk with a volatile temper, haunted by the memory of the young woman he once loved and tragically lost. Wrestling with his guilt and pushed by his psychiatrist to confess his role in her death, he teeters on the edge of a nervous breakdown, blacking out drunk more often than not.


But when his doctor turns up dead, brutally stabbed to death in his office, George has nowhere left to turn. Stunned and confused, George emerges as the primary suspect in an investigation led by Detective Mike Cancini, a D.C. cop who knows all too well how far a man can go when he’s pushed.


To prove his innocence, George must face the police, his manipulative wife, and the shell of a man he’s become. But as much as George wants to forget his history, the past is not done with him…




Stay of Execution

A Detective Cancini Mystery

Book Two

K.L. Murphy


On-Sale 6/28/2016


ISBN: 9780062491619


Genre: Crime Mystery, Mystery and Detective / Police Procedural


Publisher: Witness Impulse, an imprint of HarperCollins


Perfect for fans of Making a Murderer, a novel about a man exonerated of heinous crimes returning to a town that can’t let go of his bloody legacy.


About the Book:

Little Springs was just a small college town, the kind of place where everyone knew everyone and crime was virtually nonexistent—until a series of rapes and murders at the college shook the community to its core. Only the arrest and conviction of Leo Spradlin, the “Coed Killer,” could end the terror.


Years later, Spradlin is suddenly cleared based on unshakable DNA evidence, and no one is more surprised than Detective Mike Cancini. As new questions arise about the true identity of the murderer, Cancini struggles to accept his role in the conviction of an innocent man.


But when the attacks begin again, Cancini is not the only one who worries a mistake has been made. Cancini is drawn back to Little Springs, caught in a race against time to uncover the real “Coed Killer” before the next girl dies…

guilty_mindButton 300 x 225


What initially got you interested in writing?

Reading great books! Like most writers, I was always reading as a child. I read every Nancy Drew book and loved the Little House on the Prairie series. I still have most of those books, too! As a teen, I read everything Stephen King had written to that point. I also read historical romance which is probably not odd for a teenaged girl, but is odd when you’re also reading CARRIE, THE STAND, and SALEM’S LOT. Either way, a love of reading is what led me to want to tell my own stories.


What genres do you write in?

I write mysteries and thrillers with what my editor calls “morally ambiguous characters”. I think I’m drawn to characters who are not all good or all bad (even the villains) because I believe that’s real life. While there are certainly truly evil people in the world, most criminals have good qualities as well and the good guys come with plenty of flaws, too.

What drew you to writing these specific genres?

I don’t know what this says about me (because I read most genres), but all the stories in my head seem to revolve around murder and mayhem. It just feels natural.

How did you break into the field?

I broke into writing slowly and over many years. I left a career in banking when I had children. While I was home with them, I began freelance writing for regional magazines about kids, restaurants, and local interests. On the side, I wrote short stories which I occasionally submitted to contests. All the while, I knew I wanted to write mysteries and thrillers—it just took a little while to get there!

What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?

First and foremost, I want readers to be entertained—to escape for just a little while—when they read my books. I would also love them to connect with the story and characters and stay up to read “just one more chapter.” Finally, I hope they like Cancini as much as I do and want to read what he’s up to next.

What do you find most rewarding about writing?

For me, the most rewarding thing about writing is creating something from beginning to end. I usually have the bare bones of the story—how it begins and how it ends—in my head when I first sit down at the computer. It may take months (or years) of hard work to build before I type “The End”, but it’s the only job I’d wish for. I love it!

What do you find most challenging about writing?

The most challenging thing about writing is finding the time. Some writers are prolific and some are slow. Although I would say I fall somewhere in between, I rarely have a day where I can do nothing but write for eight hours. In addition, while finishing the first draft is a great feeling, the work doesn’t end there. Between editing, revisions, promotion, freelance projects, and social media, I struggle to block off those large chunks of time devoted only to writing.

What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?

My advice to aspiring authors would be to do extensive research. There are so many resources today on how to be a better writer, achieve success in your genre, publishing industry trends, and how to market your work. Learn as much as you can and keep learning. I also think it’s important to be honest with yourself about your goals. Do you want to write multiple books? Do you want your writing to be more than a hobby? Is this something you want to do long-term? I believe asking those questions and learning the industry are the best ways to navigate the field.

What type of books do you enjoy reading?

I enjoy most anything although I don’t usually read a great deal of romance. Because I was travelling last month, I got the opportunity to catch up on some of the new novels by my fellow Witness authors LS Hawker and Eric Rickstad (loved them both!). I also read books by John Gilstrap (a great thriller writer), Lisa Unger, and Karin Slaughter. Are you seeing a trend? Normally, I do read a variety of books and earlier this year, I also read Jonathan Franzen and Anthony Doerr and I’m looking forward to the new Liane Moriarty.

Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?

I’m obsessed with cooking competition shows. I love to watch Food Network Star, Chopped, Master Chef, Beat Bobby Flay, etc. I’m also incredibly amazed and impressed when they show the kid versions. Those kids know so much more than I do!


What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?

The best way to connect with me is to visit my website at I will always respond to any reader who wants to contact me through my website. I also have a VERY occasional newsletter that readers can link to and sign up for on that site.



About the Author:


K.L. MURPHY was born in Key West, Florida, the eldest of four children in a military family. She has worked as a freelance writer for several regional publications in Virginia, and is the author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs. She is currently working on her next novel, The Last Sin.


To learn more about the Detective Cancini Mystery series or future projects, visit


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1 Comment

  1. K.L. Murphy

    Thank so much for having me today. Have a great day!

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