Hippie Haven Homicide (Psychedelic Spy Mystery)
by Sally Carpenter
About Hippie Haven Homicide
Hippie Haven Homicide (Psychedelic Spy Mystery)
2nd in Series
Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (May 21, 2020)
Paperback: 229 pages
Digital ASIN: B08B61G6F4
Get ready to flip your wig over another groovy 1967 retro-cozy with actress and amateur spy Noelle McNabb. Spy agency SIAMESE (Special Intelligence Apparatus for Midwest Enemy Espionage and Surveillance) turns Noelle’s pet, Ceebee, into an “acoustic kitty” to listen in on an agent known only as Old Scratch. Meanwhile, a counterculture religious sect led by the Wise One infiltrates the staid town of Yuletide, Indiana. When one of the sect members makes a premature departure to the Spirit in the Sky, Noelle investigates, but finds herself in deep water—literally. With her undercover disguiser, Noelle really knows how to sock it to ‘em. However, she still can’t solve the secrets of a certain family member. Don’t miss this fab story of saints, sinners and spies!
Guest Post by the Author
Christmas All Year Round
An important element of any cozy series is the setting. Where are we? Readers love to escape into a fun, comfortable small town full of quirks and, of course, crime.
It’s no surprise that many series are set in towns of scenic beauty and fun traditions: the crash of the waves along the coast, the fall foliage of New England, the quaint customs of a farm community. So in planning the series, I wanted a unique town with its own special features. What could I do that would stand out among hundreds of other cozy towns?
Ho ho ho. The answer was as plain as the red nose on Santa’s face.
About an hour’s drive from where I grew up in Southern Indiana is the real life town of Santa Claus, founded in the late 1840s. Legend says the townsfolk were sitting around a potbellied stove in a church after the Christmas Eve service in 1852. They were discussing what to name their humble hamlet. A cold wind blew open the door, revealing the stars against a black sky and the sound of sleigh bells. The children ran to the door shouting, “Santa Claus!” So the name stuck.
The sleepy village didn’t stay hidden for long. Industrialist Louis J. Koch saw an opportunity to build a Christmassy-theme park. Santa Claus Land opened in 1946, a good nine years before Disneyland and 15 years before Six Flags Over Texas, making it the oldest theme park in history.
Although the park has expanded and changed its name to Holiday World/Splashin’ Safari, the park is still family owned and operated, and is probably the only park in the world that provides free parking, sodas and sunscreen for guests.
As one might expect, nearly every street has a holiday-related name: Fir Tree Circle, Garland Lane, Melchoior Drive, Mistletoe Drive, Tinsel Circle. Businesses outside the theme park include Evergreen Boutique, Frosty’s Fun Center and Santa’s Express Ziplines.
My only visit to the town was decades ago when I was in elementary school. One summer I attended church camp at the Santa Claus campgrounds outside of town (the grounds are still operating, no doubt with the same buildings). After mom picked me up from camp, we visited Santa Claus Land. Unfortunately, no one took photos and my memories of the park are vague.
So here I, many years later, creating my own town of Yuletide, which has such street names as Ornament Lane and Reindeer Road. One buys sundries at The Igloo drug store/soda shop or eats lunch at the North Pole Café. Red and green are the colors for Yuletide High School, and the mascot is The Elves. Poinsettia Park is on Kringle Avenue that runs through downtown. The sick are treated at St. Nicholas Hospital. You can catch a movie at the single-screen Holiday Cinema.
My protagonist is Noelle McNabb, so named because she was born on December 25. Year ago I met a man named Noel, named for his date of birth. At the time I thought that was a great name that I’d like to use for a character someday.
But all is not joyful in Yuletide. At times Noelle gets fed up with the “Christmas kitsch” of the town and longs to move to the big city where exciting things happen. Then she discovers that some local people are on the naughty list as bodies begin to pile up.
As you may guess, I’m a Christmas junkie. I’m not sure why. For many years I was a bit of a Scrooge, but over the years I’ve mellowed. I love decorating the house, mailing cards (yes! real cards made of paper, not digital) and watching the old Rankin/Bass TV holiday specials. Back when my family exchanged gifts, I had fun shopping for presents. I attend Christmas Eve Mass (not Midnight Mass; that’s too late for me nowadays).
So for me, it’s Christmas time every time I sit down to write and pay a visit to Yuletide, Indiana.
About Sally Carpenter
Sally Carpenter is native Hoosier living in Moorpark, Calif.
She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school, her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award. “Star Collector” was produced in New York City and served as the inspiration for her first mystery series.
Sally also has a Master of Divinity and a black belt in tae kwon do.
She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, jail chaplain and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures.
The books in her Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series are: The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper (2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel), The Sinister Sitcom Caper, The Cunning Cruise Ship Caper and The Quirky Quiz Show Caper, all with Cozy Cat Press.
Flower Power Fatality is the first book in the Psychedelic Spy series.
She has short stories in three anthologies: Last Exit to Murder, Plan B: Omnibus and Cozy Cat Shorts. She penned chapter three of the CCP group mystery Chasing the Codex.
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