Cozy mystery author Mary Beth Magee was born in New Orleans, LA and now live in south Mississippi, the land of her father’s roots. Learn more about her and her books at her website.
What do you call a retired divorcée who comes home after more than four decades away? I call her Mercy McKay. She thinks of herself as a boring, error-prone, flawed woman, but her older sister Hope Appleton welcomes her back with open arms. In company with Hope’s best friend Susannah Bowles, the three senior citizens stumble into crimes in Cypress Point (their south Mississippi community) and do their best to solve them while not getting themselves hurt or killed.
They are LOL to the fourth power, The (LOL)4 –Little Old Ladies, Laughing Out Loud, Living Our Lives with Lots of Love. Amazing cooks, community-minded citizens, and strong Christians, they find themselves in danger more frequently than they would like and call on all their strengths and their fellow citizens to overcome the situations.
I am two books into the (LOL)4 Mysteries series (Death in the Daylilies and Ambush at the Arboretum) with Blood on the Bottletree, the third in progress. Each novel includes a recipe for a dish which plays a part in the story because we Southerners include food in everything!
Three anthologies of “Cypress Point Chronicles” stories are out: Cypress Point Confidences, A Cypress Point Christmas, and Cypress Point Spirit. The short stories let other members of the community shine for a moment and allow me to share more about the town and its people.
So, what inspired these books? A love of mysteries and puzzles came from my mother. We shared mystery magazines and mystery television shows from the time I was a child. I may well have been Alfred Hitchcock and Ellery Queen’s youngest reader. She got me my own library card as soon as the librarian would grant one, and I was off and running.
Another part of the equation comes from my own southern roots. The people, places, foods, and attitudes inspire me with the diversity of life.
I served as my mother’s caregiver for the last 4-1/2 years of her life. After she passed away, I was floundering. I had time which had once been devoted to her care. Friends invited me on an outing to a Daylily Driving Tour. Can I help it if I speculated about the possibility of finding a body face down in a flower bed? From there, the (LOL)4 took on a life of their own.
A conversation with the groundskeeper at our local arboretum led to the second novel. An attempt to create a red bottle for my best friend’s bottletree inspired the third. And there are a few more in the pipeline.
While I am a senior citizen, I am not Mercy McKay. In some ways, she is a better version of me. She’s smarter (quitting after a single divorce), stayed with one career for her working life and so has a decent retirement income, and she crochets for gift shops as a side income. Mercy has no children of her own.
I’ve been blessed with a terrific son and gained a daughter through his beautiful wife. And they made me a grandmother! I’m an oldest daughter rather than a younger one. I bounced from job to job as my husbands (only one at a time!) moved around the country. While I love to cook and crochet, my biggest creative joy is writing.
If you like cozy mysteries with a southern accent, I hope you’ll check out my books. The ladies would love to welcome you into their homes and lives and of, course, their adventures.
Death in the Daylilies
An (LOL)4 Mystery, Book 1
Three senior citizens with big hearts and a passion for flowers find themselves in the middle of murder when they stumble on Death in the Daylilies. Can these ladies solve the crime before they become someone’s garden mulch?
They call themselves (LOL)4 – Little Old Ladies, Laughing Out Loud, Living Our Lives with Lots Of Love. If the killer gets to them before the police solve the crime, they may be LOLD – Little Old Ladies Dead!
Join them in this cozy mystery as they try to find the culprit behind Death in the Daylilies.