“Murder Next Door” – Where Vampires Meet Rear Window
by Michele Pariza Wacek
Growing up, I loved watching Alfred Hitchcock movies. (I even liked his short-lived Alfred Hitchcock Presents TV show, although the remakes of that show were terrible.)
Vertigo was probably my favorite, but I also really loved Rear Window.
So, when I got the idea of a nosy neighbor seeing something she probably shouldn’t have, I started playing around with what she saw. An actual murder? Something else?
I know! She thinks her next door neighbor is a vampire!
And, suddenly Murder Next Door became not just my homage to Rear Window, but it also allowed me to start to process my complicated relationship with vampires.
Which is … For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with them.
There was a year in elementary school where I was terrified of vampires. I can’t remember what triggered it (although, knowing me, I probably read some adult vampire book I had no business reading, like Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot) but whatever it was, I was so scared that every night I wore a cross to bed. I ended up breaking three chains before that fear ran its course.
When I was in high school, the movie Fright Night came out. If you’ve ever seen this movie, you probably put it in the campy 80s flick.
Not me. For whatever reason, that movie triggered my old vampire fear that I had thought was gone, and I was back to being terrified of vampires. (I think what really got me was how the main character knew the new neighbor was a vampire but no one believed him.)
Luckily, this time it only took a few days to get over the fear (and, no, I didn’t resort to wearing a cross at night).
Also, when I was in high school, I read Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire, and fell in love with the book. Alas, I can’t remember if this was before or after the Fright Night incident. Yes, I know this makes no sense. My only excuse is I was a teenager and as everyone knows, teenagers make no logical sense.
And of course, I read Twilight and watched True Blood (along with reading the Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries which is what True Blood was based off of) along with Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Bran Stoker’s Dracula and any number of vampire movies, books and shows.
Clearly my relationship with vampires is confusing and needed processing. And, since I’m a writer, the way I process is to put it in a book.
And hence, Murder Next Door is born.
Murder Next Door is Book 3 in the Charlie Kingsley Mystery series, a twisty, funny cozy mystery series set in the 1990s. You should also probably know even though there’s a vampire in it, it’s not a paranormal cozy.
(Have I mentioned yet that my relationship to vampires is complicated?)
Would you join me in welcoming my newest creation to the world? My first vampire book but likely not my last (as I’m fairly certain I haven’t finished vampire processing yet).
About The Book
Everyone knows vampires don’t exist.
So when Mildred Schmidt, one of Charlie’s customers, is convinced that her next-door neighbor’s house sitter is actually a vampire, Charlie of course has to step in to see what is really going on.
What she finds is … disturbing. The house sitter DOES have some peculiar habits—like digging holes in the backyard in the middle of the night.
Surely, they aren’t … graves.
But then Polly, a local teenager, goes missing.
Of course, teenagers DO run away from time to time.
Less explainable is the dead body that then appears in the “vampire’s” yard.
Luckily, Charlie is hot on the case, and not a moment too soon as she races to not only find Polly, but to discover the killer before the bodies start to pile up.
Meet Charlie. Better known as “Aunt Charlie” from the award-winning Secrets of Redemption series. She’s back, making teas and solving cases in this funny, twisty, cozy mystery series set in the 1990s in Redemption, Wisconsin.
Purchase Link – Amazon
About the Author
When Michele was 3 years old, she taught herself to read because she wanted to write stories so badly. It took some time (and some detours) but now she does spend much of her time writing stories. Mystery stories, to be exact. They’re clean and twisty, and range from psychological thrillers to cozies, with a dash of romance and supernatural thrown into the mix. If that wasn’t enough, she posts lots of fun things on her blog, including short stories, puzzles, recipes and more, at MPWNovels.com. For a free prequel to her cozy mystery series, The Charlie Kingsley Mysteries, visit https://mpwnovels.com/freebies/
Michele holds a double major in English and Communications from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she lives in the mountains of Prescott, Arizona with her husband Paul and southern squirrel hunter Cassie.
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