Title: Motive for Murder
Author: Marlene Bateman
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
Published: June 2013
Purchase: Amazon | Deseret Book | Seagull Book
Meet Erica Coleman—a gifted and quirky private investigator with an OCD-like passion for neatness and symmetry, a penchant for cooking, (ten terrific recipes are included), and a weakness for chocolate.
Erica imagined that her trip to Florida would be a slice of heaven—a chance to get away from it all and catch up with her best friend, Wendy. But one day into her vacation, all hope of fun in the sun is dashed when she stumbles, literally, over a dead man on Wendy’s driveway. With police closing in on her friend as their main suspect, Erica must find the real killer before Wendy ends up behind bars.
With Erica’s skill, solving the mystery should be a piece of cake but then a second homicide-attempt hits close to home and generates a whole new list of suspects. There’s no way to sugarcoat it, a murderer is on the prowl, and no one is above suspicion.
As the plot thickens, it appears Erica may have bitten off more than she can chew, but she forges on, sifting through mounting evidence until she hones in on the killer who has a surprising motive for murder. With a dash of romance and some surprising twists, this thrilling mystery will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.
What inspired you to write Motive for Murder?
I love mysteries so much that I finally decided to write one. My first book, Light on Fire Island, was a combination mystery/romance, and while there is a little romance in Motive for Murder, it is more of a full-blown mystery. I loved the idea of a quirky, OCD private detective, so created Erica Coleman, who will star in forthcoming mysteries. Erica is both helped and hampered by her OCD tendencies, which alternately charms and irritates people.
Who is your favorite character in your book, and why?
I like Erica Coleman the best, but I had a lot of fun with Myrna and Coby Kincaid. I loved it when Erica helped Coby sneak some cookies while his wife isn’t looking!
What other projects do you have in mind?
First, I hope to do a sequel to my non-fiction book, Gaze Into Heaven, which was published earlier this year. Gaze into Heaven is a collection of 50 near-death experiences in early Church History. I’ve had a lot of positive feedback from readers, and that has been very encouraging.
I am also continuing to write mysteries and will have another Erica Coleman book out next year. I titled it Charade, but my publisher usually changes the titles. Finally, I am finishing up a romance, which is called (for now, anyway) A Home for Christmas.
Do you have any unusual habits while you write?
Not really, but I have four furry friends who keep me company. I have three cats and two dogs and both dogs and two of the cats follow me around wherever I happen to be working.; My husband built a little gazebo in the back yard, and I often go out there to write and my little friends always go out with me and curl up in the shade.
What do you like to do when you're not writing?
My husband and I like to go camping. We roughed it when we had kids, but then bought a 5th wheel. Much nicer! Air conditioning, queen size bed, microwave, stove, the works. I take my laptop of course, and occasionally “work” but it doesn’t seem like work when you’re sitting underneath tall pines and enjoying the great outdoors.
What is your favorite book, and why?
I’m not sure I have a favorite book, but I do enjoy all of Mauve Binchy’s books. She has a great way with characters, you just fall in love with them. She has such an amazing way of letting the reader know about the people and understand them. I also enjoyed James Herriot’s books. Its amazing that James was a veterinarian when he’s such an amazing writer. Of course it helps that I’m an animal lover as well.
Do you like having books you enjoy made into movies?
Movies can never match up to books and so I’m usually disappointed if I’ve read the book first.
If money were no object, where would you like to go, and what would you like to do while you are there?
I’m a real homebody. Although I love to go camping, there are not a lot of places I’d like to go. Although I’ve always wanted to go to Australia and see kangaroos and koala bears.
As she drove back to Wendy’s house, the headlights cleaved the darkness and shone through the rain, which was falling harder now. Erica parked across the street and was nearly to Wendy’s door when she stopped suddenly, catching herself as she nearly fell over something.
It was the still figure of a man lying face down on the driveway. He was strangely unmoving. The light from the porch illuminated a puddle alongside him, which was growing bigger by the second. A chill shivered down Erica’s spine as she noticed that the puddle was streaked by dark red threads that ran and merged with rivulets of rain.
About the Author:
Marlene Bateman Sullivan was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She is married to Kelly R. Sullivan and they are the parents of seven children.
Her hobbies are gardening, camping, and reading. Marlene has been published extensively in magazines and newspapers and has written a number of non-fiction books, including: Latter-day Saint Heroes and Heroines, And There Were Angels Among Them, Visit’s From Beyond the Veil, By the Ministering of Angels, and Brigham’s Boys. Marlene also wrote the best-selling novel, Light on Fire Island.
A busy writer, Marlene is set to have three books published this year. Gaze Into Heaven, a fascinating collection of over 50 documented near-death experiences in early church history, was published earlier this year. Next is Motive for Murder, the first in a mystery series featuring the quirky Erica Coleman. In July, Heroes of Faith, a collection of stories about people who risked their life for the gospel, will be released by Cedar Fort Inc.