Tag Archives: Kate Dyer-Seeley

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!

A Day in the Life of Meg Reed by Kate Dyer-Seeley

first-degree-mudderIt had to be mud. Mud—gooey, sticky, oozing mud. Mud squished in the soles of my cute pink kicks that had turned the color of chocolate. Come to think of it, I could go for a pound or two of dark chocolate about now. Instead I huffed and puffed my way up the hill past the haunted old Army hospital and toward the creepy little old lady’s house.

I had no one other than myself to blame. It was entirely my idea to sign-up for my first mud run, aptly named Mud, Sweat and Beers. This is Portland, Oregon after all. You can’t go more than a block without bumping into a pub or artisan coffee shop. Or, worse a team of hipsters. Portland had become a mecca for twenty-somethings, like myself, who were drawn to the city’s laidback vibe, abundant outdoor adventure opportunities, craft beer, and coffee. Unlike me, many of Portland’s newest transplants weren’t interested in building their careers. They were much more focused on hitting the slopes or heading to the coast to catch some killer waves.

I was a serious journalist with a bona fide job writing for Northwest Extreme, one of the country’s leading outdoor magazines. Sure, maybe I wasn’t the most athletic member of our small team, and maybe I wore a tad too much pink, but every time I saw my byline with the words: Meg Reed, reporter, on the magazine’s glossy pages I had to smile. I was living the dream.

Of course at the moment all I could dream about was a double mocha with extra whipping cream. I had to pick up the pace and beat my training mates back to the showers. Let’s just say that I might have taken a bit of a shortcut. It wasn’t cheating. I had been tagging along on the grueling pre-dawn training runs for the past week as an observant journalist, not for the actual workouts. My trainer, Billy the Tank, didn’t see it that way. He pushed me as hard—if not harder—than everyone else. I could almost hear his booming voice and blaring whistle in my head as I hurdled over a waist-high fence and made a beeline for the grassy hill that led to the barracks.

Mud runs had been touted as “fun runs” but in my humble opinion there was nothing fun about slogging through thick, smelly mud, running in wet shoes, and trying to clamber up and over a variety of excruciating obstacles. Where was the fun in that? I’d call my training sessions nothing short of punishment. People actually paid to be tortured like this, I thought as I slid down the wet grass slope.

Fort Vancouver’s historic barracks were in sight. I was almost out of the woods. If all went according to plan I could drown the slimy mud coating every inch of my body in a scalding hot shower and hit the nearest coffee shop before any of my teammates realized I was missing. However not much in my world ends up according to plan. Mud was about to be the least of my worries. I was soon to be in thick of a murder investigation.


First Degree Mudder is the fourth book in the Pacific Northwest mystery series, published by Kensington, November 2016.

When a mud marathon champion bites the dust, Meg Reed has to go the distance to make sure a killer comes clean . . .

Back home in Portland, Oregon, Meg is ready to take her career as an outdoor writer for Extreme magazine to the next level. Lesser journalists sling mud—Meg plans to run through it. To train hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, she’s signed on with the Mind Over Mudder team, run by ten-time mud marathon champ—and former drill sergeant—Billy the Tank. But when Meg finds her tenacious trainer dead in the locker room, she has a sinking feeling someone may have been pushed too far. Digging through the hidden secrets at Mind Over Mudder is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Meg will have to tread carefully, though—or she may soon be running for her life . . .

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About the author
Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three. Connect with Kate at katedyerseeley.com, on Twitter and on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of First Degree Mudder. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends December 2, 2016 at 11:59  AM EST. Good luck everyone!

My Musing ~ First Degree Mudder by Kate E. Dyer-Seeley

First Degree Mudder by Kate E. Dyer-Seeley is the fourth book in the “Pacific Northwest” mystery series. Publisher: Kensington, November 2016

first-degree-mudderWhen a mud marathon champion bites the dust, Meg Reed has to go the distance to make sure a killer comes clean . . .

Back home in Portland, Oregon, Meg is ready to take her career as an outdoor writer for Extreme magazine to the next level. Lesser journalists sling mud—Meg plans to run through it. To train hard for Mud, Sweat & Beers, an extreme 5K mud run, she’s signed on with the Mind Over Mudder team, run by ten-time mud marathon champ—and former drill sergeant—Billy the Tank. But when Meg finds her tenacious trainer dead in the locker room, she has a sinking feeling someone may have been pushed too far. Digging through the hidden secrets at Mind Over Mudder is a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it. Meg will have to tread carefully, though—or she may soon be running for her life . . .

I love books where location is key to the overall telling of the story. In Meg’s latest adventure, she becomes involved in another murder investigation when her trainer is murdered. The author does a great job in setting this mystery up where it is anyone’s guess as to who is the killer among the suspect pool where plenty of clues, red herrings and well-placed twists and turns in this fast-paced drama edged towards the killer’s identity. I like how all the scenes came together where the narrative put me in the middle of all the action. Meg is one determined heroine and her search for her father’s murderer constantly plays throughout this series and I suspect we will soon find out who it is. Boasting a wonderful cast, clever dialogue with Portland serving as the backdrop, this is a great addition to this fabulous series.

Roughing It with Meg Reed by Kate Dyer-Seeley

Silence in the SurfYou’ve done it again, Meg. Yep that’s what I thought as I paddled toward the shore. Waves the size of small buildings crashed on the river sending me and my board back into the surf. This was bad. Really bad.

The thing is I had no one to blame other than myself. I should have learned my lesson. My work at Northwest Extreme had put in me in many precarious places over the last year. I’d survived trekking up cliffs, getting lost on the trail with a wild cougar, and even being stranded at high elevation in the middle of a blowing blizzard. I thought I had finally found my sport. After all I’m a water girl at heart. I spent my childhood in pools, lakes, and rivers around Portland, Oregon, my hometown. Windsurfing should have been a breeze.

When I pitched the idea of covering King of the Hook, an annual windsurfing competition set in the charming and always windy city of Hood River, my dreamy boss Greg immediately put me on the story. The competition brought the world’s top boarders to the small Oregon town on the banks of the mighty Columbia River. Not only would it be a chance to watch the windsurfers catch big air and defy gravity but it would also be a chance for me to show off my swimming skills.

I packed for the occasion, bringing along a vintage pink swimsuit designed after my idol Grace Kelly, a rash guard, and plenty of pink accessories. Portland had been under a rare and sweltering heat wave and the thought of escaping the city and staking an umbrella on the sandy shores of the Columbia River sounded like the perfect way to spend a long weekend.

However I quickly realized I was in over my head. Way over my head. The windsurfers and kite boarders who descended on the quaint adventurous town of Hood River were extreme athletes. I spent the first afternoon on assignment watching them literally take flight. Their colorful sails reminded me of confetti raining down from the sky. Despite the fact that the temperature was soaring and my skin was turning cherry red I felt a chill of terror as I watched them perform incredible stunts in mid-air.

There was no way I could keep pace with these daredevils. Not to mention that mastering the art of balancing on a windsurfing board is a challenge all on its own. It had little to do with swimming skill and everything to do with arm strength and coordination—neither of which I had. But I was a professional writer and I had a job to do. So I gave it my best try and agreed to a windsurfing lesson.

Thankfully my instructor was extremely patient. Lifting the sail proved more difficult than my little arms could imagine. After many disastrous attempts to raise the heavy mast from the water, I finally succeeded. For a brief moment I thought I had done it. This was it! I could keep up with the true extreme athletes I’d been sent to observe and interview.

That’s when a huge gust of wind caught my sail and sent me hurling across the river. To make matters worse I was about to have more than wicked currents and high surf to worry about. I was about to discover a body floating face down in fresh water.


Silence in the Surf is the third book in the Pacific Northwest mystery series, published by Kensington, March 2016.

Covering a windsurfing competition should have been a breeze for reporter Meg Reed, but with a killer in the curl, she’s headed for rough waters. . .

Hood River in the Columbia River Gorge is the windsurfing capital of the world, and Meg is stoked to cover the King of the Hook event for Portland’s Northwest Extreme magazine. Before the competition gets under way, Meg has a chance to try some windsurfing on her own. But when the current sweeps her downriver, she spots a body snagged on the rocks. The dead man is Justin Cruise, aka Cruise Control, a celebrity windsurfer and not exactly a nice guy. It’s soon clear his death was no accident, and Cruise had no shortage of enemies. As Meg dives right in to discover who wiped out the windsurfer, she’ll need to keep her balance–or she too may get blown away.

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About the author
Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a young journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

Visit Kate at www.katedyerseeley.com, on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a signed copy of Silence in the Surf. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end April 7, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

Meg Reed’s Wild Adventures as told to Kate Dyer-Seeley

Slayed On The SlopesYou’ve done it again, Meg, I told myself as snow lashed at my face and the storm howled around me. I should have learned my lesson after my first assignment for Northwest Extreme. Well in fairness, I sort of did. After bumbling my way through an adventure race in the Columbia River Gorge and stumbling onto a murder scene, I decided it was time to beef up my outdoor skill set. Writing for Northwest Extreme was a good gig, especially in Portland’s super competitive job market. Jobs in journalism were scarce in the hipster city that I call home, and I’d been saying a silent prayer of thanks for months that I had an official job and a paycheck to go with it.

There was just one problem—I’m a total klutz when it comes to outdoor pursuits. Before taking the position with Northwest Extreme, my idea of sport was knocking back a pint of Portland’s famed microbrew with my friends at the local pub. If I didn’t get up to speed, I was going to get the boot and end up back on my best friend’s couch. So I took matters in my own hands and called my burly besties—the Crag Rat’s. They’re Oregon’s premier mountain rescue team. If the Crag Rats couldn’t get me in tip-top shape and ready to take on any assignment that my dreamy editor sent my way, no one could.

I spent the summer trekking through the backcountry and learning how to start a fire with a few pieces of kindling and flint. By the end of my intensive training with the Crag Rats I felt stronger, more confident, and eager for my next adventure. Little did I know that my next adventure would involve a bumpy snowcat ride through a blizzard to a remote hut high up on the slopes of Mt. Hood.

At first the idea of spending a weekend at Timberline Lodge on Oregon’s highest peak, sounded like a perfect winter retreat. I imagined that I would plant myself in a comfy chair in front of a roaring fire and sip hot chocolate while dainty snowflakes fell outside. Northwest Extreme was sending me to Mt. Hood to cover the Ridge Rangers training weekend. The Ridge Rangers were a new mountain guiding group who were dedicated to helping novice and experienced climbers reach the summit. I knew I wouldn’t be summiting, but I was looking forward to interviewing the Ridge Rangers and snapping photos while they performed killer stunts on the slope.

I outfitted myself with some adorable winter gear—including cashmere fingerless gloves and a plum colored parka. If I was going to blend in with the throng of snow junkies descending on the mountain for opening weekend of ski season, I had to look the part. Armed with a pair of skis that I had no intention of strapping on, and my trusted notebook and pen, I navigated the winding road up to Timberline Lodge under a brilliant November sun.

There was no sign of snow and just a few clouds on the horizon. I smiled with relief. The weekend was going to be a breeze.

However I was wrong. Very wrong. An unrelenting breeze soon began to gust as a blizzard closed in around me. Within a matter of hours I was trapped at elevation and about to discover that the Ridge Rangers weren’t just performing killer stunts. One of them was a killer. . .


You can read more about Meg in Slayed on the Slopes, the second book in the “Pacific Northwest” mystery series, published by Kensington. The first book in the series is Scene Of The Climb.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on April 10 for the chance to win a copy of Slayed on the Slopes. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Kate Dyer-Seeley writes the Pacific Northwest Mystery Series for Kensington Publishing, featuring a KateSyoung journalist, Meg Reed, who bills herself as an intrepid adventurer in order to land a gig writing for Northwest Extreme. Only Meg’s idea of sport is climbing onto the couch without spilling her latte.

Kate’s work has appeared in a variety of regional and international publications including: The Columbian, The Vancouver Voice, Seattle Backpacker, Portland Family Magazine, and Climbing Magazine.

She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and son, where you can find her hitting the trail, at an artisan coffee shop, or at her favorite pub. Better yet—at all three.

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