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Murder at Royale Court
(A Cleo Mack Mystery)
by G.P. Gardner


About the Book

Murder at Royale Court (A Cleo Mack Mystery)
Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Lyrical Underground (June 4, 2019)
Paperback: 228 pages
ISBN-10: 1516109023
ISBN-13: 978-1516109029
Digital ASIN: B07H72BF6W


Harbor Village is a vivacious retirement paradise known for its beachy locale and active senior scene. But ever since murder moved in, the idyllic coastal community is becoming a little less lively . . .

With the first annual antique car show cruising into the tranquil bayside oasis of Fairhope, Alabama, there are bumpy roads ahead for Harbor Village director Cleo Mack. As an automobile-themed lecture series gets off to a rough start, she finds herself balancing one too many responsibilities—and dodging advances from a shady event sponsor. It’s enough to make Cleo feel twice her age. But the festivities reach a real dead end when she discovers a body at the Royale Court shopping center . . .

When an innocent man lands in the hot seat for murder, Harbor Village residents look to Cleo to crack the case. Aided by an eclectic group of energetic seniors, Cleo races to identify the true culprit from a growing list of harmless Sunday drivers—before a killer revs up for another hit and run!

This ebook includes an exclusive knitting pattern!

About the Author

Interview with the Author

What initially got you interested in writing?

Reading, I’m sure. I was a bookworm even before I started school, thanks to my grandmother. I took the one and only creative writing class offered at the University of Alabama when I attended, and went to a number of writing conferences. I wrote short stories at first—long works were daunting then, but now I find every book wants to turn into a multi-generational saga.


What genres do you write in?

Mysteries and cozy mysteries.


What drew you to writing these specific genres?

A fortuitous brew created by rereading the Anne George series at the same time I happened upon an article about Dean James, a Mississippi native who’s a medical school librarian by day and a prolific mystery writer in his spare time. My previous writing had been what you might call serious. I’d never thought about writing a cozy, which is sort of chatty and friendly. It felt natural right from the start.


How did you break into the field?

I wrote a mystery, polished it, and began looking for an agent. I discovered Dawn Dowdle, who liked my writing but wouldn’t represent me because there was no murder in the first three chapters. Dawn offered to look at Murder at Harbor Village again if I wanted to rewrite. I did, and she did, and we’ve been partners ever since.


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

That warm and fuzzy feeling that, even when bad things happen, good guys are on the job and life goes on. I like to learn something from reading, so I assume my readers do, too. And I want to strike a subtle blow against racism and sexism and regionalism and ageism.


What do you find most rewarding about writing?

The intriguing challenge of the puzzle. I think that’s the same reason people read mysteries, and it’s intensified in the writer. There’s an unspoken contract that things will fit together logically…what appears to have happened, what actually happened, how the sleuth penetrates the secrecy and exposes the truth, and ample justification for the original errors in interpretation.


What do you find most challenging about writing?



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

Read extensively. Write. Polish. Learn the rules (e.g., have a body by the end of Chapter 3). Get a good agent and listen.


What type of books do you enjoy reading?

History. Biography. Science and Health. How to. And mysteries, of course.


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

My superpower is invisibility.


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

I’m GP Gardner on Facebook. Kensington/Lyrical Underground does a great job of promoting the Cleo Mack Mysteries. If for some reason you want to see photos of me, my hometown or the cat who presides here, you might find a few here: www.gpgardner.com.


Author Bio

Born and raised in Alabama, G. P. Gardner earned BS and MA degrees in Psychology from the University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL) and an MBA from Jacksonville State University (Jacksonville, AL). She also attended the University of Georgia (Athens, GA), where she studied biopsychology and primatology. But her heart belongs to Talladega College—an HBCU and the first educational institution in Alabama to admit students without regard to race—where she taught business. Her writing life began with short stories, some of which were published in regional literary journals and some of which won prizes. She enjoys the classic mystery writers as well as contemporary whodunits but reads widely. She is a knitter and once owned a knit shop in Fairhope, AL. She studied mystery writing with Terry Cline, another Fairhope resident. Murder in Harbor Village is the first in her series about social worker Cleo Mack. You can visit her at gpgardner.com.

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