I always appreciate authors who can draw upon their professional experiences, research skills, and love of books to create a fictional world that’s uniquely their own. Today’s featured author, Cindy Quayle, has done just that, combining her passion for mystery fiction—and cozy mysteries in particular—with a love of travel and adventure. To my way of thinking, Cindy’s debut work, Death on Cozumel Island, could be described as a “destination mystery.” I’ve added the book to my TBR stack; if you’re interested in kicking off your own summer reading with a cozy mystery set in a beautiful locale, read on!
Q&A With Cindy
What inspired you to write a cozy mystery?
When I gave birth to my first-born son over 16 years ago, I wanted something fun and light-hearted to read. My first cozy mystery book was by Joanne Fluke, and I loved that her main character was a strong, independent woman. I also enjoyed all the dessert recipes that were included.
Tell us about your amateur sleuth.
My main character, Claire O’Keefe, is an English as a Foreign Language teacher, which means she teaches English overseas rather than in the U.S.or other countries that speak English as their first language. Her half Korean and half Irish-American heritage influences her outlook on life and her self-esteem. Claire also deeply cares about her friends, and when they are wrongly accused of committing a crime, she does everything in her power to help them and solve the mystery.
How did you choose Cozumel as the setting for your first book?
I was inspired when my family went to the island for a scuba diving vacation three years ago and I realized it was the perfect place to set my first cozy mystery. It’s funny because before I wrote Death on Cozumel Island, I wasn’t able to finish a story. After our time on the island, though, the plot just fell into place for me.
What’s next in this series?
Yes! My amateur sleuth Claire returns to the Bay area, where she’s deeply involved in solving another mystery.
Praise for Death on Cozumel Island
“Fun debut in a new cozy mystery series…I look forward to seeing what will happen next for Claire.”
“Cozy mystery fans will love this. It’s a perfect beach or vacation read!”
“It’s the perfect blend of atmosphere, suspense, and intrigue. I’m looking forward to my next Claire O’Keefe mystery and excited to see where her next adventure takes her!”
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: February 22, 2023
Number of Pages: 246
ISBN-13: 979-8375789989 (paperback)
ASIN: B0BW384MQL (Kindle)
Series: Claire O’Keefe Mystery
Links: Purchase from Amazon or Purchase signed copy from author
About The Author
Cindy was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Washington State in the Pacific Northwest. Her love for storytelling began in elementary school, when she was introduced to Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.
Her professional background includes service in the U.S. Navy, where she learned to appreciate the cultural diversity of the people from myriad countries she was stationed in or visited during port calls. Currently, Cindy holds a faculty position in the Spring International Language Center at the University of Arkansas, where she teaches Intensive English language and other programs to international students.
Gobal travel and cross-cultural experiences, together with a graduate degree in Teaching English as a Second Language, provided a firm foundation for writing the Claire O’ Keefe cozy mystery series. Today, Cindy lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas with her husband, two teenage boys, and two mischievous beagles. To learn more about the series, you can follow her on Instagram or contact her through Facebook to order an autographed copy of Death on Cozumel Island.