When Birdie Watson’s husband Russell is killed during a bank robbery, Martha just wants to support her grieving friend. But en route to the burial plot in Oregon, Martha makes a harrowing discovery about the casket’s contents–instead of Russell, she finds an unidentified man. Now Martha and her quilting klatch can’t rest in peace until they unspool the truth behind the macabre mix up. . .
Amateur sleuth Martha Rose stopped by Island Confidential to chat about her character and her role in Mary Marks’ latest quilting mystery.
Q: Aloha, and thanks for stopping by! Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself–maybe something readers might not guess?
First of all, thank you so much for inviting me to be here today.
My name is Martha Rose and here are some things readers don’t know about me: I hate broccoli and love Project Runway. It’s the sewing that fascinates me. Although I own a computer, current technology intimidates me, so I rely a lot on my friend Lucy’s expertise.
Q: Who’s the character you get along with the best? Why?
This is an easy question to answer. Lucy Mondello has been my best friend since I moved to Encino seventeen years ago. She and her husband Ray are from Wyoming and are as down to earth as you can get.
We see each other at least once a week for quilting and talk on the phone almost every day. She’s stuck with me through the ups and downs of my love life, and helped me with a couple of murder investigations. I can always count on her.
Q: Which other character do you have a conflict with? Why?
I have an ongoing conflict with Detective Noah Kaplan who personifies everything I detest. He displays the arrogance of a misogynist, and tends to abuse his position of power. Women have had to battle against men like this for ages. Maybe Kaplan’s just demonstrating the callowness of youth. If so, I’m hoping one day he’ll get over himself.
Q: Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
Mary Marks didn’t publish her first novel until she was 70 years old. I think that demonstrates it’s never too late to pursue a dream and try something new. Perhaps that can be an inspiration for readers young and old.
Q: What’s next for you?
There’s an old Yiddish saying, “Man plans and God laughs.” I really never intended to discover dead bodies and solve murders. That’s just a thing that kept happening to me. I basically want a quiet life sewing quilts with my friends. At least that’s the plan.
And just between you and me, I’m thinking of making a deeper commitment to Crusher.
Born and raised in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area, Mary Marks earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UCLA and an M.A. in Public Administration from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In 2004 she enrolled in the UCLA Extension Writers Program. Her first novel, Forget Me Knot, was a finalist in a national writing competition in 2011. She is currently a reviewer of cozy mysteries for The New York Journal of Books atwww.nyjournalofbooks.com.