I am a member of Mysteristas, a group that blogs about mysteries (http://mysteristas.wordpress.com), and I wanted to introduce you to sister Colorado mystery writer Sue Star. Star’s press, D.M. Kreg, bills her as writing mysteries about families in chaos. She lives in Boulder and teaches young adults. In her leisure time, she enjoys hiking, skiing, martial arts, and hanging out with her family. But I know from personal experience that she writes like a fiend, so I’m not entirely sure how much leisure time she really has.
Star’s Black Belt Series features martial artist and amateur sleuth Nell Letterly. Nell takes a job as head instructor at a karate studio. This is spurred on by a life full of troubles: her husband has disappeared, her daughter knows everything (don’t they all?), her mortgage is overdue, and her father just might be suffering from Alzheimers. Thus the need for a job that lets her pound out her troubles. But then, the black belts at the dojo start dying, and of course, Nell is their prime suspect. One review on Amazon says, “Murder in the Dojo was a terrific new mystery set in Boulder, CO. The dialog was sharp and believable and the action and suspense never let up. Hooray for Nell, the self-described “suburban mom” who proves she can really kick a** when the situation calls for it. I look forward to more entries in this new series by Sue Star.”
The second in the series, Murder with Altitude, kills off students at the dojo. Nell is still the prime suspect, of course. This one takes a look at land use issues in Boulder, featuring old wealth, bad lawyers, and environmentally-unconscious developers. Star is working on the third in this series. She also has a collection of short stories available, Trophy Hunting, and a novella and short story about women who trust too much, Organized Death.
Sue Star is an excellent writer. She tells an entertaining story in clear, yet beautiful prose. Her books are well plotted, her characters fun and recognizable. Plus, they’re set in Boulder, which is additional fun. I can also testify she’s a terrific critique partner. She knows how to write and a lot about the business of publishing.
If you like “a fun, comfortable mystery,” as one Amazon review called the first novel in her series, these are for you.