Vegan Mystery and Character Interview: Picked Off by Linda Lovely
It’s been seven months since Brie Hooker, a vegan, moved to Udderly Kidding Dairy to live with her feisty Aunt Eva, a confirmed carnivore.But tonight there’ll be no family feud over dinner entrees.
Udderly’s hosting a campaign fundraiser for Eva’s best friend, who hopes to be South Carolina’s next governor. The candidate’s son, a pro quarterback, is flying home for the wingding. And Brie’s eager to get a close-up view of the cute tush she’s admired on TV, even though she’s reluctantly sworn off even more tempting local beefcake.
The campaign fundraiser promises to be a huge success until a pitchfork attack turns the goat farm into a crime scene—again.
To protect her friends, Brie puts her sleuthing skills to work. Will she live long enough to find out who’s behind a vicious assault, a kidnapping, blackmail, and murder?
Eva, welcome to Island Confidential. Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
My name is Eva Hooker. I’m 62 years old and I own Udderly Kidding Dairy, a 400-goat farm in Upstate South Carolina. I grew up in Iowa with my twin sister, Lilly, who recently died. When I was in college, I fell in love with a man from Ardon County, South Carolina, quit school and married him at age nineteen despite my sister’s pleas to finish college and wait. I soon discovered the hard way that my husband was abusive but I was too embarrassed to let my family know. After a number of broken bones, I finally got up the nerve to divorce the slime ball, despite his threat to kill me if I left. Before I could take the final steps, he disappeared on a fishing trip. I inherited his farm and decided to raise goats. My twin Lilly joined me and we turned the farm into a successful enterprise. When Lilly was killed in an accident, I asked my niece Brie to help me run the dairy until I could decide on the dairy’s future.
It’s hard for me to remember the fearful teenage bride who came to Ardon County. I vowed I’d never be a victim again and over the years I’ve become a very independent woman who thinks and says what she wants. I love my animals and my family. I have a special soft spot for my niece, Brie, even though I tease her every chance I get about her vegan diet. How anyone can give up cheese is beyond me. Our farrier, Billy, visits Udderly Kidding Dairy at least a couple of times a week for a friendly overnight visit. We’re both too old and stubborn to get married but we enjoy the occasional sleep over. I think that relationship gives my younger brother, Howard, Brie’s dad heartburn but that’s his problem not mine.
Who’s the character you get along with the best?
I get along with everyone as long as they respect my right to my own lifestyle and opinions. My twin and I got along best, of course, but Lilly’s gone now. I’m not sure that Brie would say we get along best, but I love having her living at Udderly. I love her youthful optimism and energy. And, don’t you let her know, but I even like a lot of those vegan dishes she fixes.
Is there anyone you don’t get along with so well?
A number of my ex-husband’s kin still live around here and hate me. For years, they suspected I killed my ex. The owner of the local newspaper also has it in for me. You can read all about them in this series. These old enemies can’t seem to let go of the past.
Just between you and me: What do you really think of your author?
I think I have more in common with the author than does Brie, the heroine, of the series. Let’s say we’re both more mature, and we’re independent cusses who like to tease and laugh. And we both love cheese. The author tried to go vegan for a couple of years but the lure of cheddar brought her back to the fold.
What’s next for you?
I’m not sure what the author plans for me and Udderly Kidding Dairy. Brie’s stay with me is supposed to be temporary. She’s restoring an old Southern mansion that she wants to make into a B&B that caters to vegetarians and vegans. Before she moves on, I have to decide if I want to take on a new on-site partner, downsize the dairy so I can manage it alone, hire more employees, or sell and move on. I’m not betting I’ll sell. Too fond of my lifestyle and my animals.
About the Author
Linda Lovely finds writing pure fiction isn’t a huge stretch given the years she’s spent penning PR and ad copy. Linda writes a blend of mystery and humor, chuckling as she plots to “disappear” the types of characters who most annoy her. Quite satisfying, plus there’s no need to pester relatives for bail. Her newest series offers good-natured salutes to both her vegan family doctor and her cheese-addicted kin. She’s an enthusiastic Sisters in Crime member and helps organize the popular Writers’ Police Academy. When not writing or reading, Linda takes long walks with her husband, swims, gardens, and plays tennis.