Monday, February 20, 2012

Guest Blogger: Mary Joy Johnson Reflects on Author Maddy Hunter’s New Book

My sister-in-law and mystery-co-writer, Mary Joy, had an opportunity to attend an author event at Madison’s own Booked For Murder this weekend featuring local mystery writer Maddy Hunter.  Mary Joy was so enthused about the experience that I asked her to write a guest blog for me, which she did.  

Maddy Hunter Tickles the Mystery Bone
By Mary Joy Johnson

     If you need a good hearty laugh, any of Maddy Hunter’s mystery series—Passport to Peril—may just be the ticket.  Yesterday I attended and thoroughly enjoyed a book signing/ reading event at Booked for Murder, an independently owned book store in Madison, WI, featuring Maddy and her newest book, Dutch Me Deadly.  Don’t ask me what the title means; Maddy didn’t know either, and unfortunately it’s not as clever as some of her other punny titles—Norway to Hide, Top of the Mournin’, Alpine for You.

This newest adventure featuring tour-escort Emily Andrew-Miceli and her motley group of senior citizens takes us to –where else?—the Netherlands and Belgium.  If the selection read by Maddy about the naïve Iowa seniors nibbling marijuana-lased brownies in Amsterdam’s red light district is any indication that this newest book lives up to her chuckle-producing style, the book will be a real treat to read indeed.  I have found I often have to stop reading mid-chapter because I’m laughing so hard I can’t see anymore.  I can’t wait to read this one.

Maddy Hunter
I found it interesting that Maddy doesn’t create an outline for her books and she never knows exactly what’s going to happen or how everything will turn out.  How she manages to pull all the pieces together at the end is the real mystery—to her and to her audience.  When Maddy travels, instead of vying for the best view of the latest tourist site, she finds herself looking for a good place to kill somebody.  Peggy and I can relate to that—we did it in Door County and years ago on Mackinac Island, long before we ever decided to write a mystery.  Maddy encouraged the audience to buy and read two other local mystery writers—Kathleen Ernst and Jerry Peterson. Perhaps as a sign of the volatile nature of the publishing industry right now, Maddy reported that Simon and Schuster had dropped her series in 2007 (a reason it’s taken so long for a new installment to appear), but fortunately for her fans, Midnight Ink agreed to publish both Dutch Me Deadly and another based in Scotland, with an appearance of the Loch Ness monster.

Mary Joy
Finally, I won the door prize! (Really I need to start attending more book signings as this is the second time in a row that I’ve walked away with one of the prizes.  Maybe I should buy a mega-lottery ticket.)  Unfortunately, I was one of the last to be selected so all the Belgian chocolate was gone. 

Thank you, Mary Joy!


  1. What a lovely recap! I was out of town, and so unfortunately was not able to attend. But I'm very excited to see this series come back to life!

  2. Thanks for stopping by, Kathleen. And yes, Maddy's new title is something to look forward to reading!