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Thursday, January 19, 2012


Our guest today is mystery author Susan Santangelo. Susan has been a feature writer, drama critic, and editor for daily and weekly newspapers in the New York metropolitan area, including a stint at Cosmopolitan magazine. She now writes the Baby Boomer Mysteries. A portion of the sales from this series is donated to the Breast Cancer Survival Center, a non-profit organization based in Connecticut which Susan founded in 1999 after being diagnosed with cancer herself. Read more about Susan and her books at her website

Susan is offering a copies of Retirement Can Be Murder and Moving Can Be Murder, along with a pair of Retirement Can Be Murder socks, to one of our readers. To enter the drawing, post a comment to the blog, and remember to check back on Sunday to see if you’re the lucky winner. -- AP

“Danger! Men doing laundry.”

That’s a sign hanging in the home of a friend of mine with a recently retired husband, and there’s a whole lotta truth in it!

When I started writing the Baby Boomer mysteries, I wanted to showcase the emotional impact of the aging process on Boomers. The series features Carol Andrews and her Beloved Husband Jim as they travel along life’s highway toward their twilight years. With one dead body thrown in.  Each book in the series (there are a total of 7 planned) is told from the wife’s perspective – big surprise there – and are written in the first person.

But the series didn’t start out that way.

The original premise was for my husband, who is also a writer, and me to co-author the books. I already had the first book title in mind: Retirement Can Be Murder. One chapter would be told from the wife’s point of view, the next from the husband’s, etc. Truthfully, my husband (My Personal Beloved) was thinking about retirement himself, and I was desperate to find something for us to do together besides learning to play golf. Plus, I didn’t want him interfering with the way I’d been (successfully) running our household for the past 40 years.      

I wrote the first chapter and showed it to him. He said, “That’s really cute. Write the second chapter.” And so on. And so on. Meanwhile, I was leaving breaks in between my chapters for his, while also trying to develop the plot line. By the time I got to Chapter 5 and he had written nothing, I finally asked him what his plan was. And he admitted he wasn’t into the project. “You write it,” he said, “and I’ll critique it.”

Huh?? As if!

I came up with a tag-line, which I use under each book title, “Every wife has a story.”  I’m realizing more and more, as I do book signings and talks, how true that is. Wives all over the country are identifying with the series. Many have shared their own (hilarious) stories of living with a retired husband. And several have asked me if Retirement Can Be Murder is a “How To” book, or if the wife kills the husband. Or vice versa. And these women were serious!

Hmm. Maybe at the end of the series. Or not.  

Thanks for joining us today, Susan! Readers, Susan says “every wife has a story.” Isn’t that the truth! Post a comment to enter the drawing for copies of Susan’s two books and a pair of Retirement Can Be Murder socks. -- AP


Susan Santangelo said...

I'm excited to be here! Thanks so much for having me. Looking forward to making some new friends!

Susan Santangelo

caryn said...

The books look interesting!

Susan Santangelo said...

I had lots of fun writing the first one. Once it became clear who was in charge! Maybe you'll win the contest, Caryn. Or you can check it out on Amazon!

Morgan Mandel said...

I had to laugh about the husband doing laundry.Mine has no idea how to tackle that mindboggling chore, though he does know how to load the dishwasher and turn it on.

Sounds like a cute series, with lots of great humor.

Morgan Mandel

Rachel said...

Love the titles and SOCKS! That's the first time I've seen socks as a book promo item. Very cool.

rachelkb at gmail.com

Susan Santangelo said...

Everyone love the socks. They're very comfy. I didn't have them done for Moving Can Be Murder. But may have some made for Marriage Can Be Murder -- when it's finished and published!
I'm a sock junkie! And writing my books make me laugh, so that's a good thing, right?

Janie Emaus said...

I love the premise of these books.

traveler said...

I enjoyed learning about your writing and these captivating novels. Unique and special socks. Best wishes.

petite said...

Being a boomer these books are so appealing and entertaining. Cheered me up greatly today. Have a successful 2012.

Liz said...

Wonderful premise, and it's my bet that, in the long run, solo authorship is easier on the nerves. Maybe your husband can have his own series, from the male perspective.

Susan Santangelo said...

Hope you check them out and enjoy them!

Thanks for the post.


Susan Santangelo said...

Apparently the link to the website isn't working right now. My apologies!

I'm so glad to be making new friends! Thanks so much for posting.


Jane R said...

Boy, this series was written for me. My husband and I are baby boomers, traveling towards some sort of retirement. Aging isn't all that much fun sometimes but it beats the alternative. Having a supportive spouse to take the journey with you makes all the difference and life is still exciting! I can't wait to read this series! Thanks for the post.


Mau, Lois says thanks so much! We both hope you enjoy the second book as much as the first.

Kathy said...

It'll be nice to read a mystery where the characters aren't young buff thirty somethings. Finally characters I can identify with.

I have some advice for anyone with a husband about to retire. Let him take all the money he wants to make a workshop in the gargage (hopefully a detached garage) and make sure it's heated in the winter. My husband has been retired for about five years and most of the time he's out there playing Yankee Workshop. Works for me.

Cathy Shouse said...

This is a wonderful idea for a series, Susan. My hat is off to you for thinking of it.

My hubby had quite a few days off at Christmas time and our kids were on school break. I did find myself looking forward, a bit, to our normal routine of him going to work. I even mentioned it to a friend whose husband has retired and so has she. She admitted it takes some getting used to, and that they have found they like activies in separate rooms. :)

Would love to win the prizes!

Susan Santangelo said...

Hi Cathy. I realize more and more how we all have these kinds of stories to share! Good luck in the contest and thanks for posting!


Susan Santangelo said...

Good luck to everyone in the contest!


Susan Santangelo said...

I'm looking forward to reading about your continuing adventures! Say hi to your mother-in-law for me, Anastasia. If you're speaking to her, that is.

Susan Santangelo

Susan Santangelo said...

Hey Jane. Good to hear from you. There's a retirement quiz in the back of the book for you and your husband to start The Conversation. It's all about communication, and sometimes we aren't clear about what we each want. Believe me, I know this from personal experience!

Good luck!

Susan Sa ntangelo


LOL! Thanks for joining us today, Susan!

Joanne Guidoccio said...

Great premise! I'm looking forward to reading the books in this series.

Susan Santangelo said...

Great Joanne! Sure hope you enjoy them.

Susan Santangelo

Linda Lovely said...

Susan, I'll put your books on my TBR list as well as one I've compiled for a "Heroes and Heroines--Erasing Age Limits" course I teach at Clemson University's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program. The course looks at changing portrayals of people over-50 in books and movies. Am on the lookout for more positive books with "older" heroes/heroines to include in my overview.

cyn209 said...

thank you for the heads-up on this series!!!!

also thank you for the giveaway!!!!

cyn209 at juno dot com

ann said...

I would love to win these books . They look like they are going to be fun to read to. We all need laughter in our lives.
amhengst at verizon dot net

Susan Santangelo said...

Thanks Linda!

Susan Santangelo

Susan Santangelo said...

Thanks again (I know, I keep repeating myself) to everyone who's posted today. I love making new friends! If you read and enjoy the books, that's a gift for me.


Marsha said...

Susan, I reallly think you're on to something here. I've been retired almost five years. My husband still works. I spent the first year and a half trying to get him to consider it. It finally dawned on me, he's happy doing his law business, and I just had to get over it. LOL He's definitely happier since I stopped nagging on that. As it stands we get to take lots of wonderful vacations--the only way I can get him away from work.
I also write about older heroines. (Not published yet) 40 to 55 so far, but as I age, I can see that ooching up. I so agree with the person who said they were tired of reading about buff 30 year olds. Life only gets better as we age. While I weighed less at 37 than I do now, in my 60's, LOL I'm happier. Maybe it's because I get to write romantic suspense with older heroines who are still having great sex--albeit, maybe not quite so often. LOL Good luck with your book. If I don't win (though I'm very lucky and think positively), can I get your book for the Nook?

Susan Santangelo said...

Hi Marsha. Thanks for your post. Your life sounds wonderful -- keep that guy working!

Yes, my books are on Nook. Also Kindle.

Good luck in the contest.


Jamie Dierks said...

These are my favorite kind of mysteries to read. I'm so glad Lois posted to the KOD group. I'll be adding to my wish list. I've been reading so much this winter, I'm actually getting through the list!

Susan Santangelo said...

Terrific! Hope you enjoy the books.

Golly, I've made so many new friends thanks to Anastasia! Love it.

Jamie Dierks said...

These are my favorite kind of mysteries to read. I'm so glad Lois posted to the KOD group. I'll be adding to my wish list. I've been reading so much this winter, I'm actually getting through the list!

Whalehugger said...

Wish I could say I was at the age of retirement. Sigh. Love the socks!!

Fort Mill, SC

Kim said...

My husband would be nice and make me dinner after a 12 hour shift at work...always so proud of himself. After the first 4 nights, I had to ask him if he could make ANYTHING but spaghetti. The next night, as puffed as a peacock he very proudly exclaimed, "tonight I made something different. I made ziti bake." Me with a painted on smile, "thanks honey" all the time thinking ok another name for spaghetti except this time baked with cheese on top.

Susan Santangelo said...

Hmm. Spaghetti? Baked ziti? Maybe a sign for the kitchen: Danger, Man Cooking Pasta?