Douglas Carlyle's Murder by Times New Roman
Meet Cat Kavanaugh. A retired Army Captain who was seriously wounded in battle, i.e. a Purple Heart recipient. She was battle tested in the military as well in her unhappy childhood. Now tough, well-armed and well prepared to be a special undercover FBI agent, she has volunteered to be a murder victim. How many risks is this FBI agent willing to take?
Douglas Carlyle told me, “Cat has been through a lot. She suffers from PTSD which will become a big part of the plot in the next novel. All of this creates a woman who won’t take any crap from anybody, has more than a little trouble respecting authority, takes risks without hesitation, and has trouble with commitment. She also has a good sense as to who is good and who is not.”
In Doug’s story, author Brad Woodbury (a play on author Ray Bradbury, one of Doug’s favorites) writes a murder mystery each year, always set in a small town of about 2-3,000 people. I asked Doug about his choice of small towns. “When I visit family and friends in Illinois or Wisconsin, I drive. I haven’t been in an airplane since 2003. When I travel, I avoid interstates. This takes me through small towns in Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri or Arkansas, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Iowa. This is the America I know. “
As Brad Woodbury writes each murder mystery, a woman is targeted to be murdered in the very real town he has selected. So why are town folks begging to have their town selected for next the mystery? Is it part of America losing its moral compass?
There are almost more suspects than town members in Doug’s whodunit. Cat trusts only two friends, even her boss is suspect. And what about the writer himself? Turns out Brad Woodbury, eccentric and infuriating, is really a good guy, and with Cat, we come to like him.
In the novel, we see troubling corruptions that are revealed in the local police force, the FBI and eventually the military, becoming part of the twists and turns of the crimes. Cat’s career in the military is important to her, her world view and her too frequent risk taking. Doug’s volunteer role as am EMT and in the fire department has given him an understanding into those who are injured and under stress, plentiful in his novel. He shared, “
A subtheme in is the frustration of authors getting their works published and dealing with literary agents. Their desperation is something Doug and many independent have experienced and becomes a surprising (and literary) motive for murder. While Woodbury is researching and writing his novels, Cat is living the action he is writing, another unexpected and slightly creepy part of this murder mystery. No wonder the murders are hard for readers to solve!
Cat and Brad Woodbury enjoy several dinners in the novel and one of their favorite desserts Is a dense cheesecake. Try Susan’s New York Cheesecake. Make this killer recipe and enjoy reading Murder by Times New Roman as you savor the flavor.