Today we welcome Frances Aylor, one of the authors in the anthology, Virginia is for Mysteries, Vol. III. Learn more about Frances and her books at her website.
“Virginia is for Lovers” has been the tourism slogan for our state since 1969, but in the anthology Virginia is for Mysteries, Vol. III, a group of 15 mystery authors proves that Virginia is also a great place for secrets, blackmail, revenge and murder. With short stories covering the state from Virginia Beach to Culpeper and from Newport News to Charlottesville, these writers show that murders can happen in tourist havens, amusement parks, historic hotels, railroad tunnels, and even churches.
My story, “Deidre, Dog Detective,” focuses on teenage ambition and jealousy. Diane’s dream summer job is to dance as a fairy princess at Kings Dominion, an amusement park near Richmond, the state capital. Instead, the teenager is chosen to portray Deidre the Dog Detective, a famous chocolate labradoodle from a children’s hit movie. In the sweltering summer heat, Diane wears a giant furry head with long droopy ears and beady black eyes. Her paws are so big and bulky that she cannot even feel it when kids pull on her fingers or jump on her toes. The smells of grilling hot dogs and cotton candy and funnel cake are so thick inside her costume that she can barely breathe. She is hot and miserable and jealous of Becky, the girl picked as the fairy princess. And then Becky’s body is discovered in the woods, with her head smashed against a tree. Is Diane a murderer?
My first novel, Money Grab, won the IngramSpark Rising Star award. My second novel, Choosing Guilt, was first runner-up for the Claymore Award at the 2021 Killer Nashville writing conference. I’ve also been published in several anthologies.
I love to travel and have set my stories in places I’ve visited, including Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Mt. Pilatus in Switzerland, the pyramids in Egypt, and St. Martin in the Caribbean. I’ve walked along the Great Wall in China, toured the Hermitage in Russia, paraglided in Interlaken, fished for piranha in the Amazon, and white-water rafted in Costa Rica.
Readers: What’s your favorite place to travel? I would love to send someone a signed copy of a recent anthology. Email me and I will contact you if you are the winner.
Virginia is for Mystery, Vol. III
Virginia may be for lovers, but to fifteen authors, it's more sinister. This anthology of sixteen short stories, set in the Commonwealth, features Virginia landmarks and locations such as the Church Hill Tunnel, the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, the Historic Cavalier Hotel, St. Luke's Historic Church, historic Ashland, and the Assateague Channel, to name a few. Be transported across the diverse backdrop of the Old Dominion to a unique and deadly landscape, filled with murder and mayhem.
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