MysteryAuthors.com is proud to have bestselling mystery author R. Barri Flowers with us for an interview today. Thank you for joining us.
M.A.: Tell us a little about your featured mystery, STATE’S EVIDENCE.
R.B.F.: STATE'S EVIDENCE is a spine tingling legal mystery where nothing is what it seems and no one is safe!
In Eagles Landing, California, Assistant District Attorney Beverly Mendoza is assigned the case of prosecuting a man charged with murdering a local judge, Sheldon Crawford, and sexually assaulting the judge's wife, Maxine. The suspect, Rafael Santiago -- who once vowed revenge against the judge for sending him to prison -- is picked out of a lineup by Maxine Crawford.
At the same time Wilmeta County Sheriff's Department homicide detective Stone Palmer is investigating the rape and strangulation of a local young woman, Adrienne Murray. A suspect, Manual González , is taken into custody.
What seems to be an open and shut case for Beverly and Stone is suddenly challenged when González, a career criminal, claims he murdered the judge. Is it a case of mistaken identity? Or two desperate and violent men looking to manipulate the system for their own self interests?
As Beverly grapples with her case, she must balance this with being a single mother of a headstrong 12-year-old boy and the daughter of an elderly father suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Her lover is handsome attorney-turned-judge, Grant Nunez, who has some jarring secrets of his own.
Beverly and Stone are put to the test as the plot thickens in ways neither could have imagined.
The dramatic and deadly conclusion will put both their lives in jeopardy and leave the reader hanging on every word!
M.A.: Can you share with us (without giving anything away, of course!) a personal favorite moment or line in your book?
R.B.F.: My favorite moment in book is when Beverly Mendoza and Stone Palmer meet outside a supermarket on Thanksgiving Day in what is literally a matter of life or death.
M.A.: Why mysteries? What makes them so compelling for you to write?
R.B.F.: I love writing mystery and suspense novels because I love reading these types of books. I enjoy the page turning thrills of mysteries and the unfolding drama of investigating the crime and solving the case. I also like getting into the head of the villain as he or she seeks to outwit the authorities in games of cat and mouse where only one side can win.
M.A.: What about other work? Do you write in any genres other than mystery?
R.B.F.: Yes, under a pseudonym, I write contemporary romance novels. As a fan of male romance authors such as Richard Paul Evans, Nicholas Sparks, and Robert Waller, I enjoy a break from the crime fiction by crafting passionate love stories that touch the heart.
I also write true crime books and criminology books, both of which lend credence to my mystery and thriller fiction.
M.A.: What was your funniest writing-related moment?
R.B.F.: My funniest writing related moment was a time when at a writers conference a female reader I was talking to told me excitedly how much she looked forward to meeting R. Barri Flowers and getting her copy of STATE’S EVIDENCE signed to show off to her friends. She didn’t realize at the time that I was the author, in fact.
Once I revealed my identity, we both had a good laugh and I signed her book!
M.A.: So, what's your current writing project? Is it a mystery, too?
R.B.F.: I am currently working on two mystery novels, DEATH CRIES and A KILLER IN PARADISE.
DEATH CRIES is a thriller.
FBI profiler Heather Augustine is assigned to work on a serial killer case with Homicide Inspector Jefferson Talbot in the town of Leopard Lake, Oregon.
The sadistic perpetrator known as “The Foot Fetish Killer,” has murdered three young women thus far, all seemingly at random but with something in common: they are beautiful, single, and recently moved to town.
The victims were raped, tortured, and mutilated--including bite marks on their feet and cutting off toes. The killer’s calling card is a single silver heeled stiletto left by the bodies dumped alongside the road.
Five years earlier, Heather’s FBI agent brother, Simon Augustine, vanished during a serial killer case, was found wandering around naked and in a daze, institutionalized, and eventually committed suicide.
When Heather freaks out after seeing the remains of the latest victim, bringing back old memories, she requests and is given a couple of days off to get her head together. But when she doesn’t show up for work afterward, her superiors believe she let the stress get to her and went AWOL following in her brother’s footsteps.
Heather’s replacement and best friend, Special Agent Diane Valdez, is convinced that she would never have run off and may have been abducted by the serial killer Heather was pursuing.
An expert on serial killers, Diane is determined to step in and finish the job Heather left behind, hoping to find her friend still alive; in spite of the initial resistance she encounters from Jefferson in having another FBI agent looking over his shoulder.
The last thing Jefferson Talbot needed was another FBI agent flaking out on him under pressure. But it wasn’t his choice to have Heather or Diane on the case. Nor did Talbot want to find himself attracted to Diane just six months after breaking up with a woman he’d thought was the love of his life. But he couldn’t help it or the hot romance that soon develops between them in the midst of their investigation.
Grace Marlow is a death specialist who assists families and law enforcement with grief counseling. Grace's latest mission is trying to figure why she happens to know each victim and what, if any, connection there may be to her.
The police are just as interested in whether or not Grace's role in the scheme of things is strictly professional or more personal than even she may realize.
As more women are murdered, Jefferson and Diane must pull out all the stops to try and stop a vicious killer in his tracks.
But they find a killer who is more than their match and determined to continue his reign of terror, while holding captive a pretty and tough to break FBI profiler.
A KILLER IN PARADISE is a police procedural.
In the first of a Hawaii based procedural mystery series, Maui County homicide detective and composite sketch artist Leila Kahana and her partner, Blake Seymour, investigate the execution-style murder of two prominent doctors who were having an affair.
After more doctors belonging to a medical association are shot to death, it becomes clear they have a serial killer on their hands. Assisting with the investigation are detectives Rachel Lancaster and Trent Ferguson.
Leila, a Hawaiian native, becomes romantically involved with Seymour, who still pines for his ex wife; even as Leila tries to help nab a thief, capture a parental abductor, and deal with a home burglary.
Other characters are also shown as three-dimensional, such as Detective Lancaster, who pours herself into work and alcohol to cope with the death of her husband two years ago in Iraq; and Detective Ferguson, who neglects his wife in favor of prostitutes.
By the time the killer is identified, Leila and Seymour must race against the clock to apprehend them before another person becomes a victim.
Additionally, I am the editor of a first mystery anthology from the American Crime Writers League, MURDER PAST, MURDER PRESENT (Twilight Times, Summer 2009). The collection will include stories from bestselling, award-winning mystery authors.
M.A.: Other than MysteryAuthors.com, do you have any websites where readers can find out more about you and your work?
R.B.F.: My homepage is: http://www.rbarriflowers.com
I am also a member of the American Crime Writers League, Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, Kiss of Death, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America writing organizations. Information on me and my writings can be found through any of their websites.
Additional info can be found on my Crimespace and MySpace pages as follows:
Thanks again for agreeing to take a Minute for Mystery by joining us here today.