About Karen Shughart
I love to write and always have. I wrote my first poem when I was five and have continued writing throughout my life. I wrote as a public relations professional, teacher, editor, and head of non-profit organizations. I also wrote newspaper columns, feature articles for daily newspapers, guides for chambers of commerce, newsletters and currently, a monthly blog at Ladies of Mystery, https://www.ladiesofmystery.
Several years ago, I was inspired to write my first non-fiction book, a bed and breakfast guide and cookbook, after my husband and I took a trip to New England and stayed at charming historic inns with wonderful food. My second was written to help volunteers navigate their way through the complexities of creating profitable special events for non-profit organizations after I served as a volunteer board member and fundraising chairperson for a number of organizations in south central Pennsylvania, where our family lived for many years.
My inspiration for writing Cozies- clean, gentle mysteries with no graphic violence, explicit sex or profanity- began more than a decade ago when, during a driving trip one weekend, my husband and I discovered a charming village in the northernmost part of the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York on Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes. The village was within proximity to Canada and seemed to embody everything we could possibly want as a place to live: family values, kind and caring people, a strong sense of community, burgeoning wine scene, fruit orchards, lots of history and culture, spectacular scenery, and within short driving time to two cities: Rochester and Syracuse. One visit was all it took for us to decide that we wanted to live here, and after many years of spending vacations and weekends, we retired and realized our dream.
The series will consist of five Edmund DeCleryk mysteries, all with an historic twist and surprise ending and set in the fictional village of Lighthouse Cove, NY, which is very much like this lovely village where we now live. In book one, Murder in the Museum, the murder of retired college professor Emily Bradford, is solved when Ed discovers a map dated 1785 and a manuscript written in 1847 that were unearthed during an archaeological dig in Toronto, Canada. In book two, Murder in the Cemetery, the War of 1812, artifacts discovered during a trip to England, and a diary dating back to the early 1800s, help Ed solve the murder of his childhood friend, George Wright. . Ed’s wife, Annie, head of the historical society, helps Ed solve crimes, but she also likes to cook. Her recipes are listed at the end of each novel.
I am pleased to have also participated in two group-authored books by my publisher, Cozy Cat Press: Wheel of Death and A Map for Murder. It’s been a lot of fun working with these talented and creative writers.
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MURDER IN THE MUSEUM
Early one gray November morning, retired Lighthouse Cove, NY police chief, Edmund DeCleryk, finds Emily Bradford’s body on the beach at the base of the bluff where the local museum and historical society stands. At the same time, a break-in has been reported at the museum, and Emily’s coat and purse are found hanging on a peg in the museum’s gift shop where she worked. Was her death the result of a burglary gone bad or something more sinister?
MURDER IN THE CEMETERY
On a bright, spring afternoon the body of George Wright, a childhood friend of criminal consultant Edmund DeCleryk, is discovered at a cemetery where casualties of the War of 1812 are buried. After conducting an autopsy, the medical examiner determines that George has been murdered, the cause of death by poisoning. Lighthouse Cove Police Chief Carrie Ramos hires Ed to investigate, with his spunky wife, Annie assisting him.
WHEEL OF DEATH: A MYSTERY BY 22 AUTHORS
When Glory Lockhart is prodded into going on a blind date by her friend Connie, no one could have predicted the strange and terrifying turn of events that would take place when her gentleman caller Tom Rankin takes her for a romantic ride on a Ferris wheel at a county fair. But when the wheel returns to the ground, Glory finds Tom dead–shot in the back. Immediately, questions course through Glory’s mind––why was Tom killed and who killed him?
A MAP FOR MURDER: A MYSTERY BY 24 AUTHORS
When their best friend Merilee lands in jail, Janet and Molly naturally rush to her aid. But when the two girls find out that Merilee has been accused of murdering her own mother, they realize that the only way to help her is to find the real killer! The mystery takes the three friends back and forth from their artsy neighborhood in Dallas to the Old West town of Shotgun City, to a ranch so big you could get lost in it.
Discussion Questions: Murder in the Museum
Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery
By Karen Shughart
1. What are the clues to the murder in Murder in the Museum, and how does the author hide them in plain sight?
2. Are there any themes in the book?
3. How do you view the village of Lighthouse Cove and the people who live there?
4. How do you view Ed and Annie’s relationship?
5. What Lighthouse Cove characters did you like the most and why? Least?
6. Is the book only about murder or is there something else?
7. How important is the use of description in the book to set the scene and frame the story?
8. Doe the interweaving of history with the quest to find the murderer enhance or detract from the story?
9. The characters in the book are a diverse group. Why do you think the author did this?
Discussion Questions: Murder in the Cemetery
Murder in the Cemetery
By Karen Shughart
1. There were many clues as to who killed George Wright. Were you able to pick up on them throughout the book? If not, how did the author hide them? How did you feel about the surprise ending?
2. How do you view the village of Lighthouse Cove and the people who live there?
3. How do you view Ed and Annie’s relationship?
4. What Lighthouse Cove characters did you like the most and why? Least?
5. The author uses a lot of description for the characters and the setting. How did you feel about it? If you liked it, why? If not, why not?
6. How important is the use of description in the book to set the scene and frame the story?
7. Doe the interweaving of history with the quest to find the murderer enhance or detract from the story?
8. The characters in the book are a diverse group. Why do you think the author did this?