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Thursday, April 7, 2016


DeWitt, Iowa from the author's childhood
Leslie Langtry is the bestselling author of The Bombay Family of Assassins Series and Merry Wrath Mysteries. She lives in the Midwest (sadly, not in her beloved Iowa) with her family and a lot of animals. Learn more about Leslie and her books at her website. 

Hello! I’m Leslie Langtry and I write two comic mystery series: The Bombay Family of Assassins Series and the Merry Wrath Mysteries. Both series take place in the Midwest, but the Merry Wrath Mysteries are specific to small-town Iowa.

My hometown was DeWitt, Iowa – a town of about 5,000 people. It was a brilliant place to grow up. As kids, in the summer we’d get on our bikes in the morning and show up in time for supper at night (I can’t remember how, but someone always fed us lunch somewhere along the line). Everyone mostly knew everyone else. If a kid fell off a bike, people would come out of their houses to patch them up. We didn’t need to carry our swim passes for the pool, because the teenagers behind the counter knew everyone. Of course, if you did something wrong, word got back to your house before you did. It was like that game – telephone – and more often than not, when the news of your picking Mrs. Smith’s prize petunias turned into attacking her with a chainsaw. But that’s just part of the fun.

I set my series in the fictional small town of Who’s There, Iowa.  The idea for the name came from two things: the town of What Cheer, Iowa and Truth or Consequences, New Mexico – where the towns named themselves after a game show. Who’s There is a bigger town than DeWitt – more like 20K. You can know every street and corner and still be a little anonymous. And that’s what my character, Merry Wrath, wants after her forced retirement from the CIA.

I have to admit, I miss it. Iowa is a gorgeous state with rolling hills and a huge sky where you can see for miles. There are green corn fields, lazy summer days, quiet snowy nights, and tuna noodle casserole. Lots of tuna noodle casserole. And Rice Krispy bars. How could I forget to mention the Rice Krispy bars? I wanted Merry Wrath to have all of that as a backdrop. Now she just has to keep her Girl Scout troop in line…

Marshmallow S’mores Murder, A Merry rath Mystery
What could be better for former CIA agent turned Girl Scout leader Merry Wrath than taking twelve little girls to Washington, DC for a bit of summer fun? Almost anything. Unfortunately, between her girls terrorizing the Secret Service and "accidentally" destroying the hotel pool, Merry has her hands full with this troop. And when her former handler, Riley, is kidnapped, Merry has to turn to an old friend from her spy days and her parents, Senator and Mrs. Czrgy, to help her wrangle the troop and rescue the man she once briefly called her boyfriend. 

Armed only with a perpetually AWOL parent, stalked by a runaway King Vulture, and plagued by a mysterious death from her past, Merry's mayhem weaves a wacky trail from moonshiners in the Blue Ridge Mountains, to the bowels of the Japanese Embassy, to the ductwork of the International Spy Museum. With things heating up with current boyfriend, Detective Rex Ferguson, can Merry decipher clues from her past to find ex-boyfriend Riley and finally solve the murder of Yakuza boss, Midori Ito, before the target on her back is filled with lead? 


T. Sue VerSteeg said...

Ha! I actually drove through What Cheer last weekend and got to drop that little nugget of trivia on Super Hubby! Love your books AND you. Keep them coming, girl.

T. Sue VerSteeg said...

Though there are as many theories on the name as there are on the KU chant of rock, chalk, Jayhawk. :-p