Burned-out high school teacher Deena Sharpe is ready for a change. She has no idea a fifty-year-old murder case is about to turn her life upside down.
The Perry County Sheriff’s office has found a skeleton in the closet…literally. When they identify the man’s body fifty years after his disappearance, his family turns to Deena to uncover the truth about his murder. The clock begins ticking when she discovers a mysterious writer is about to implicate the victim in his latest conspiracy theory book. She must channel her inner super-sleuth to solve the puzzle and protect her family name. With the help of her off-beat brother and others from the cozy town of Maycroft, Texas, Deena takes on a quest that leads to more questions than answers.
Sharpe Shooter is the first book in the Cozy Suburbs Mystery Series. With antique shopping, car chases, and ghosts in the night, the story will keep you guessing as you follow Deena on her quest for the truth.
About The Author –
Born and raised in Texas, I always knew I wanted to be a writer. Finally, after thirty-three years as a high school Journalism and English teacher, I dusted off the laptop and released my first novel. Having grown up reading Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, and Agatha Christie, I was drawn to the mystery genre.
With two grown children out of the nest, I live a quiet life with my husband and Peekapoo puppy. Besides writing, I enjoy my grandchildren, photography, traveling, and antiquing (aka. buying and selling used junk). Like my main character, Deena, I have an antique booth and enjoy treasure hunting and reselling vintage finds.
Where are you from?
I am originally from Ft. Worth but grew up in Dallas. I have
lived in eight different cities, all in Texas. For the past thirty years, I
have lived in the Central Texas area.
Tell us your latest
I am working on Book 4 of my Cozy Suburbs Mystery Series.
This one is called Sharpe Turn and
will be out in September. The main character, Deena Sharpe, is trying to get
her life sorted out when a new project takes a murderous twist. More humor in
When and why did you
I wrote my first “book” in elementary school. It was a
picture book about my goldfish. I took journalism in high school and was the
co-editor of my high school newspaper. I went on to major in Journalism and
English in college and planned on becoming a reporter.
One day I was working on a story for the college newspaper
about a history professor using a watermelon to explain a concept. I was super
shy but managed to do the interview. When I the story, my editor told me to go
back and find out why he was using a watermelon specifically. I was too
embarrassed to make another appointment with this important teacher and never
finished the story.
That did it. I realized that I didn’t have what it took to
be a reporter. By the way, that editor has gone on to become a well-established
reporter and now owns a communications company.
So I decided to teach journalism instead. I loved it for
twenty years until I got burned out being the high school newspaper and
yearbook adviser. That’s when I switched to teaching English. When I retired
after thirty-three years in education, I wrote my first book of essays titled, My Dead Relatives. The fiction writing
When did you first
consider yourself a writer?
It is still odd to call myself a writer even though I have
published four books, one short story, and have been included in a mystery
anthology. When I signed my latest tax return, it has a place to fill in your
occupation. I started to put “retired,” but my husband made me put “writer.”
What inspired you to
write your first book?
My first book, Sharpe
Shooter, is based on a true-life family tragedy. I had written a
non-fiction story about it titled, “Skeleton in the Closet” in my book of
essays. I decided to turn it into a novel as a way to bring closure in my own
mind about what happened to my mother’s murdered cousin.
Do you have a
specific writing style?
I love language. I taught Rhetoric and Composition in high
school. Sometimes when I’m writing, I find myself slipping into a more literary
style than genre fiction. I don’t care though. Hopefully my readers appreciate
a well-turned phrase as much as I do.
How did you come up
with the title?
The murder victim in the story was a sharp shooter in the
army. I had the idea to give my main character the last name of Sharpe. I liked
it so much that I am using it for all the books in the series (Sharpe Edge, Sharpe Mind, Sharpe Turn, etc.).
Is there a message in
your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Definitely. The message is about forgiveness. No one is
perfect. You have to be willing to forgive yourself and others to get along
peacefully in the world.
What would you like
my readers to know?
My cozies are based more on realism than some. There are no
talking cats or witches—not that we don’t love them! I think my journalism
background and love of non-fiction keeps me more grounded in what’s possible
rather than fantasy.
To read a true account of the story behind Sharpe Shooter, sign up for my
newsletter at www.lisabthomas.com and
I’ll send you a free copy. But don’t read it until after the novel. Spoiler