Today we welcome back mystery author Camille Minichino, the author of three mystery series. Her akas are Margaret Grace (The Miniature Mysteries) and Ada Madison (The Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries). Check out her website to read the first chapter of The Square Root of Murder, her newest mystery.
Camille is celebrating the release of The Square Root of Murder with a giveaway for her fans. Post a comment to enter the drawing to win a miniature scene featuring three books of your choice similar to the miniature-in-progress in the photo below. -- AP
Too Cute to Live
Look what I found in a local miniatures store. A lovely Vermont country house in half-inch-scale. (That's an Oreo by the door for reference.)
It was so cute—freshly painted, beautifully finished wood floors, a charming porch—I almost didn't buy it. Too pretty. What could I do with it except place equally adorable tiny furniture in the rooms?
"How come it's on sale?" I asked the clerk.
"Small defect," she admitted, pointing to a window on the first floor. Sure enough, one pane in a multi-pane window, made of plastic, was split open.
My spirits lifted. "Great," I said. "That's where they broke in."
The clerk gave me a sideways look, but I was happy. I had my crime scene.
In my mind I was already placing small pieces of glass (plastic) on the floor under the window, tipping over the darling living room chairs, smashing the dainty lamp, breaking one leg of the miniature coffee table.
It's not just miniatures. There's something about crafts and murder that have a natural connection. Whether it's knitting needles or utility knives, scissors or toxic paints and resins, our crafts tables are a storehouse of offensive and defensive weapons.
Taking my cue from the Famous Deadly Glue Gun, I even managed to use beads as a weapon in "The Square Root of Murder," the first in my new academic mysteries, featuring college math teacher and beader, Professor Sophie Knowles.
Although most miniaturists I know have elegantly furnished Victorian or Tudor dollhouses or Cape Cod cottages, they sometimes stray from The Cute with risqué scenes. In fact, every miniature show I've been to has a few brothels, strategically mounted higher than kids' eye level. But other than the fascinating CSI thread a few years ago, there aren't enough miniature crime scenes to enjoy.
My heroine is Frances Glessner Lee, the Chicago heiress who built meticulous miniature crime scenes (even knitting tiny stockings for the background) and used them to teach criminal investigation procedure to cops. It's worth a look at her "Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death."
My most elaborate dollhouse is a mortuary, fashioned after the building where my Periodic Table Series protagonist lives. Gloria tiptoes past mourners on her way to her kitchen and trips over a trocar when she goes down to do her laundry next to the embalming room in the basement. It wasn't easy to fashion an embalming table out of foil, but I had to DIY, since no miniatures stores seemed to have any in stock.
When I buy a set of dollhouse dining room silver, you can bet that I'll pick out the tiny knives and sprinkle them with blood—uh, paint—in case there's a mini-murder by a mini-serial killer eluded by mini-cops.
|Comment to enter the drawing to win |
a miniature similar to this one.
Just to prove I'm not always turning cute into deadly, here's a bloodless tip to accent your dollhouse or room box kitchen or living room: lay bell pepper seeds, enough to cover a nickel, on a paper towel and let them dry. Then place the seeds in an old contact lens/bowl, or a similar "found object," and you have chips ready for munching (by a very small person).
It's a project fit for family viewing. No crime scene tape needed.
Thanks for joining us again today, Camille. I’m jealous of the lucky reader who will win one of your miniature scenes. Readers, don’t forget to comment in order to have your name entered in the drawing. -- AP