Murder and Mayhem in Small Town Ontario with Gloria Ferris
Small town, big mystery.
Gloria Ferris writes in several genres, but today we're talking about her Cornwall and Redfern mysteries, specifically book #3 in the series, Skull Garden.
Small towns in Ontario are some of my favorite places in the world. I grew up visiting my paternal grandparents outside Gravenhurst, and now have an uncle who lives in the exact area near Lake Huron that Gloria is writing about in these books. So it was very easy for me to picture the landscape and architecture as Gloria read from her book, which was a delight.
In the introduction, I also mention a class I took recently on using the Enneagram to create characters. I loved the class and it made me reflect that there is always something new to learn about writing, which I love. Sometimes it can be intimidating, but mostly I love learning and hopefully improving my craft.
Today's show is supported by my patrons at Patreon. Thank you! When you become a patron for as little as $1 a month you receive a short mystery story each and every month. And the rewards for those who love mystery stories go up from there! Learn more and become a part of my community of readers at www.Patreon.com/alexandraamor
This week's mystery author
Gloria Ferris is a former procedure writer at a nuclear power plant, an exciting job to be sure, but it afforded little opportunity for plot and character development. So, she turned to fiction writing and is now the award-winning author of the humorous Cornwall & Redfern mysteries; a co-written Suspense series; and a YA urban fantasy series. Occasionally, she writes a short story just for the heck of it.
Gloria lives in southwestern Ontario and is a member of the International Thriller Writers and the Alliance of Independent Authors.
To learn more about Gloria and all her books visit GloriaFerris.com
Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts. And listen on Stitcher, Android, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, and Spotify.
Excerpt from Skull Garden
I eased the Savage to the edge of the pavement and cut the engine. Chesley swung a lanky leg over my head and hopped off the back seat. While he checked his teeth for bugs, I spread a hand-drawn map across the seat. “It should be around here somewhere,” I told him.
Consulting the compass duct-taped to my dash, I faced north and pointed to a gentle incline covered with a century’s worth of pine growth. “It might be on the other side of that hill.” Hunting for a graveyard abandoned over a hundred years ago is no easy task, especially if the township records suck.
Chesley hung my spare helmet over a handlebar and tucked his chin-length hair behind his ears. “The cemetery could be inside the thicket. The undergrowth’s had plenty of time to cover the gravesites.”
The June afternoon heated up, and I stripped off my helmet and jacket. “I hope not. I want to take photos of any inscriptions, count up the headstones, and call it done.”
“How did Glory talk you into this? Seems odd she’d care about old burials.”
“She thinks she's my boss. She assumed I’d do it on a volunteer basis.” I snorted. “As if. So, she offered me minimum wage. I refused, but made a fatal mistake. I said I’d need the rate the town was giving summer students. After an epic tantrum, she gave in and pointed me towards the municipal archives for maps.”
We crossed the road and ploughed through an expanse of waist-high grass. If the cemetery was inside the gloomy stand of trees, Chesley might come in handy, to serve as bear bait. I shoved him into the lead.
As interim mayor of Lockport, a town of 7,000 hardy souls on the shores of Lake Huron in Ontario, Glory Yates was on a crazy power trip. Who cared if there were burial grounds being overtaken by time in the wilds of the township? Dust to dust, right? Apparently not. She wanted them located, inventoried,