Tag Archives: Clover Tate

Not the Usual Suspects organized by Cindy Brown

We are Not the Usual Suspects, a group of Pacific Northwest mystery writers who have banded together to contemplate life, mystery and of course, murder. Though not all of our mysteries are set in the Northwest, we all agree that living here inspires our writing.

I’m Cindy Brown, author of the Ivy Meadows series, madcap mysteries set in the off, off, OFF Broadway world of theater. I grew up in Washington State, spent 20+ years in Arizona, then moved back to the northwest. Though my books are mostly set in Arizona, my writing is definitely influenced by living here. Three big reasons:

Rain. I LOVE the rain. I love the way it makes me want to stay inside and write and read while it drums on the roof. I feel like it’s watering my soul.

The Reading and Writing Culture. People here read. On the bus, in the parks, even while walking down the sidewalk. You’re as likely to have a conversation about the latest bestseller as you are to talk about a hit TV show.

The Sensuality of the Seasons. I knew that I missed the seasons when I lived in AZ, but I’d forgotten the smell of violets, the slow circling fall of a leaf from the tree, and how wonderful homemade chicken soup tastes on a cold winter day. I definitely think that experiencing this present sense of place makes me a better writer.

I’m Kate Dyer-Seeley and I write the Pacific Northwest Mysteries featuring a very bumbling young journalist who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme magazine, when in reality her idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.

I’ve lived in the NW for my entire life and love getting to give readers a glimpse into this corner of the world. Here are three of my favorite things that sum up the Northwest and why it’s prime for mystery writing.

Beer—Portland, Oregon is known as the microbrew capital of the world. Quite literally you can walk a block in any direction and run into a pub. The best way to puzzle through putting a plot together is over a cold pint on one of the city’s many outdoor patios on a sunny, spring day.

Wild West—There’s an element of the Wild West that permeates life here. I think it’s naturally in our DNA, leftover from brave settlers who ventured to this unknown territory, and maybe because there’s an abundance of opportunity to connect with nature and get outside. From Portland you can drive a few hours and end up on the Oregon Coast, in the Cascade Mountains, Columbia River Gorge, or even the high dessert. People embrace individuality and adventure, which makes for great material.

Weather—Portland’s ever-changing weather always finds a way into my writing, but the rain and gloomy skies during the winter rarely stop people from getting outside. You grab a raincoat, pull on some boots and hit the trail. Just don’t bring an umbrella!

I’m Kelly Garrett, author of the upcoming YA mystery The Last To Die, which features an anti-hero protagonist that lives by her own honor code. My short story “Sage Advice” is Poisoned Pen Press’ anthology Bound By Mystery, which came out in March 2017, and it features a twenty-something-year-old hipster obsessed with coffee and extremely good at fixing problems.

As a native Oregonian, I love showcasing the state in my writing. As someone who grew up in rural areas of the state, it’s natural that my protagonists tend to be slightly sarcastic women (or teenage girls) with a strong sense of self-reliance.

Rain is one of my favorite things. It makes coffee taste better. The continual pattering of rain on the roof is a lullaby at night. Added bonus: when your Subaru is covered in mud from a few jaunts into the backcountry, the rain does an excellent job softening up the dirt stuck to your car, making it easier to clean.

One thing I love about the book scene in Oregon is that you can find amazing independent bookstores all over the state. I grew up behind a rare-and-used bookstore that I visited often as a teenager. Small towns from Baker City to Lincoln City, from Ashland to Astoria, all have bookstores with curated selections.

I’m Angela M. Sanders. Take a wilderness rich with indigenous people; add a few decades of intrepid pioneers in covered wagons; sprinkle with a century of loggers, fishermen, and hopeful immigrants; and toss in some graying hippies and tattooed hipsters. Stir well. Add a pinch of tech engineers and footwear designers imported from around the globe, and you get the people who make up Northwest Oregon. Two of my series take place here: one featuring a vintage clothing store owner in Portland; and one centering around a kite shop on the Oregon coast (written under my pen name, Clover Tate). I love Northwest Oregon for this mix of old school and high tech. I adore our famous independent streak and our optimism. I salute our focus on individuality. Neither series would be the same in a different setting.


About the authors
Not the Usual Suspects is a group of rain-soaked, caffeine-fueled, slightly quirky mystery writers from the Pacific Northwest who are inspired by its setting and/or sensibility. They include Cindy Brown, Kate Dyer-Seeley, Kelly Garrett, and Angela M. Sanders. They hang out together on Facebook at Not The Usual Suspects.

Giveaway: 4 books! The winner will receive e-copies (Nook or Kindle) of Oliver Twisted (Cindy Brown), First Degree Mudder (Kate Dyer-Seeley), Bound by Mystery (Kelly Garrett), and Blown Away (Angela M. Sanders/Clover Tate). Leave a comment below for your chance to win. The giveaway ends April 21, 2017. Good luck everyone!

My Musing ~ Blown Away by Clover Tate

Blown Away by Clover Tate is the first book in the NEW “Kite Shop” mystery series. Publisher: Penguin Random House, February 2017

blown-awayIn the all-new Kite Shop Mystery series set in the beachside community of Rock Point, Oregon, kite shop owner Emmy Adler gets swept up in a murder investigation.

Emmy is finally living her dream. She’s moved to the coastal town of Rock Point, Oregon, and is starting a kite business. Strings Attached features her own unique designs, inspired by everything from Picasso to Matisse’s colorful cutouts. Her spirits are soaring sky-high the morning of the grand opening—until she stumbles upon a dead man washed up on the beach.

The body belongs to local chef Miles Logan, and the gash across his chest indicates he’s been murdered. The sheriff suspects Emmy’s best friend, Avery, who used to date the chef. Emmy is sure Avery would never hurt anyone, but her pal doesn’t have an alibi for the night of the murder. With Avery’s freedom and the fate of her kite shop up in the air, Emmy takes it upon herself to follow the string of clues and solve the murder before the real killer takes flight.

This was a delightfully charming introduction to Emmy and her friends. When her BFF becomes the prime suspect and believing in her innocence, Emmy starts her own investigation to clear her friends name and reputation.

This fast-paced and action-packed drama grabbed my attention immediately and was hard to put down. The narrative kept me involved in all aspects of this light whodunit and the mystery was nicely done, keeping me glued to the pages as the suspect list expanded with clues that kept me busy scrutinizing all that was said. The author did a great job in telling this story with a few twists and turns that aided in the pivotal roles the cast portrayed in the apprehension of the killer. With a lovable cast of characters, including Bear, engaging dialogue and the small-town atmosphere, this was an entertaining read and I look forward to the next adventures with Emmy and her friends.

Clover Tate is the pseudonym for Angela M. Sanders

A day in the life of Emmy Adler by Clover Tate

blown-awayThis is it. Every mile closer I get to Rock Point is another mile closer to my dream. Today I move in with Avery, my best friend, in the old house she inherited from her parents. In just a few hours, I’ll be catching up with her about the daily goings-on at her café, the Brew House, and watching the Pacific Ocean crash on the cliffs below.

And tomorrow, I open my kite shop, Strings Attached. Kites might seem like a funny thing for a thirty-year-old woman to be interested in, but I’ve loved them ever since my parents took me and Sunny, my sister, to Rock Point to fly kites along the beach. Watching their forms bob and dive in the wind is meditation. Kites and art. Those have been my obsessions as long as I can remember.

Then I learned that kites can be art. After I graduated from art college, I began playing with shapes and color until I was designing and making my own kites inspired by artists like Van Gogh, Monet, and even Mondrian. Ideas for new kites seem to spring from every cloud or garden or hike in the woods.

Who’s that blasting on their horn in the car behind me? Looks like a carload of frat boys, probably on their way to Cannon Beach to party. No doubt, they saw my “Bowl Naked” bumper sticker, next to the one that reads “Kill Your Television.” Thanks, Mom and Dad. When Dad gave me his Prius so he could return to his beloved VW bus, I was stuck with them.

My ex-hippie parents are the other reason I’m so glad to be moving to Rock Point. I adore them, don’t get me wrong, but I’m a full-grown woman with no need of Mom’s uninvited quinoa casseroles and Dad’s frequent lectures on composting. Mom’s always pushing tinctures on me recommended by her croning circle, and Dad seems never to run out of stories from his Watergate reenactment group. At least I’m not Bear, our family’s Australian shepherd, who gets pressed into service as President Nixon’s cocker spaniel.

When I left Portland this morning, Mom was quiet. That’s so not like her. She stood on the porch hugging herself and shaking her head. “Emmy,” she said, “Can I convince you to stay home? Just another few days? I have a bad feeling about this move.”

I shook off her warning with a laugh. She was known for her “premonitions” and had already warned me that Mercury was in retrograde. “No, Mom, I’m moving. I know you want me to stay close forever, but it’s time to cut the cord.”

She just stood there, staring at me. I hugged her and scratched Bear between the ears, then got into the Prius. “Don’t worry, Mom,” I told her. “What could possibly go wrong?”


You can read more about Emmy in BLOWN AWAY, the first book in the NEW Kite Shop mystery series.

In the all-new Kite Shop Mystery series set in the beachside community of Rock Point, Oregon, kite shop owner Emmy Adler gets swept up in a murder investigation.

Emmy is finally living her dream. She’s moved to the coastal town of Rock Point, Oregon, and is starting a kite business. Strings Attached features her own unique designs, inspired by everything from Picasso to Matisse’s colorful cutouts. Her spirits are soaring sky-high the morning of the grand opening—until she stumbles upon a dead man washed up on the beach.

The body belongs to local chef Miles Logan, and the gash across his chest indicates he’s been murdered. The sheriff suspects Emmy’s best friend, Avery, who used to date the chef. Emmy is sure Avery would never hurt anyone, but her pal doesn’t have an alibi for the night of the murder. With Avery’s freedom and the fate of her kite shop up in the air, Emmy takes it upon herself to follow the string of clues and solve the murder before the real killer takes flight.

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Meet the author
clover-tateClover Tate is the pen name of Angela M. Sanders, author of the Joanna Hayworth vintage clothing mysteries and the Booster Club capers. Blown Away is the first novel in a series of Kite Shop mysteries set in the coastal town of Rock Point, Oregon. When Angela isn’t at her laptop, she’s rummaging in thrift shops, lounging with a book and her ex-shelter cats Mae West and Squeaky, and pontificating about how to make the perfect martini. Connect with Angela at www.angelamsanders.com.

All comments are welcomed.

Blown Away is available at retail and online booksellers.