12-26-2009 06:39 PM - edited 01-01-2010 03:40 PM
Dead Air : A Talk Radio Mystery
The first in an original new series.
When a psychologist hits Florida's airwaves, there's no telling who she's reaching...
...and there's no telling who wants to reach back.
Maggie left her clinical practice in Manhattan and moved to sunny Cypress Grove, Florida, where she became host of WYME's "On the Couch with Maggie Walsh." From co-dependent wives to fetish fiends, all the local crazies love her show.
Then threats start pouring in against one of the station's special guests-self-styled new age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii. When one of the threats becomes a deadly reality, Maggie's new roommate, Lark, is surprisingly the prime suspect. Now, Maggie has to prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy...
12-26-2009 06:41 PM
A review posted on B&N:
A delightful amateir sleuth novelby harstan
Reader Rating: 5 Stars
See Detailed Ratings
November 02, 2009: She is the host of On the Couch with Maggie Walsh on WYME radio; Maggie actually tries to help people with their problems. She laft the big Apple because she could not handle another cold winter and moved to Cypress Grove, Florida where the temperatures are year round balmy and crime is low.
Her current guest is New Age guru Sanjay Gingii who Maggie instantly dislikes. She tells her roommate Lark how she feels and that Sanjay is staying at the motel next door to their home. Lark obsesses over the New Age prophet and buys all his tapes, CDs, and books. She goes to introducer herself to Sanjay and he welcomes her into his room, but she needs to escape when he constantly makes passes at her. The next day, the two roommates learn Sanjay is dead and Lark is the last known person to have been seen with him. Adding to Lark's troubles is her past police record for assault and her admitting to the cops that she hit him to escape his pawing. With motive, opportunity and a violent history, Lark is the only suspect that the police focus on. Maggie believes Lark is innocent in spite of overwhelming circumstantial evidence that might convince a Grand Jury otherwise. She investigates with the help of her eccentric lovable mom who would do anything to get into the limelight as she dreams of stardom.
Mary Kennedy opens up her new amateur sleuth series with a delightful homicide that will keep the audience guessing just who the killer is. Readers will agree with the cops that Lark is a sure bet; yet Maggie quickly learns seemingly most of Florida hated the self anointed guru. The relationship between the shrink and her mom is touching yet also amusing; but the entertaining story line belongs to the radio hostess who uses her psychology skills to abet her inquiry.
12-26-2009 06:43 PM
Another review on B&N:
Make sure you tune into this book!by fdbolt
Reader Rating: Four stars
See Detailed Ratings
December 22, 2009: Maggie Walsh is a licensed PhD psychologist who gave up her Manhattan practice to become a radio "shrink" in Cypress Grove Florida. She fields call from women who are looking for advice on how to get out of an abusive relationship to an irate man who defends his life as a "furrie" (people who dress up as animals and have sex with each other).
"On the Couch with Maggie Walsh" frequently has special guests sit in for her talk show. Guru Sanjay Gingii is a new age prophet with a huge following. Maggie's roommate Lark is on the Guru bandwagon too. And when she finds out that he's staying at the inn right next door to their condo, well she MUST go over and meet him. Everyone seems to be in love with him. Until that is, he's found dead in his hotel room.Unfortunately Lark is the last person seen going into the Guru's room and that makes her the polices prime suspect. Maggie knows that Lark had nothing to do with the Guru's death and will stop at nothing to prove her innocence. She begins to investigate on her own - much to the dislike of the very handsome detective Rafe Martino. Miriam is the Guru's right hand "man" who is about to be replaced by someone younger.
Kathryn Sinclair is the mother of a young girl who went to one of the Guru's retreats and has never been the same physically or emotionally since. Lenore Cooper is the Guru's ex-wife, the driving force behind getting him where he is today. Together they wrote numerous bestsellers and had it all. Now she can barely get anyone to attend her book signings, and blames it all on Sanjay. Travis is one of the Guru's trusted employees who was cheated out of what could be millions. Working for years on his book. he mentions it to the Guru, who ends up turning in it as his own work, robbing Travis of the fame he believes he has earned.
Ray Hicks is not in a forgiving mood. He purchased a house from the Guru on the bay, only to have it ripped right out from under him - taken by the City by eminent domain. Causing him to not only lose his new home but his money as well. And he's conviced the Guru knew what was going to happen and the whole thing was a scam. Despite being bashed on the head and receiving threatening phone calls, Maggie is deteremined to find out who the real killer is. But will she be able to figure it out before she becomes the next victim?
Dead Air is filled with a fantastic cast of characters. Maggie is young, smart and refreshing. Vera Mae is Maggie's redneck producer who also has some witty comment and always has Maggie's back. Ted is the love-sick owner of the Inn next door where the Guru is staying. He has it bad for Maggie, but she's just not into him. Lark is Maggie's roommate who is quiet, into all things "new-age", has a shocking secret in her past and is the prime suspect in a murder.
Rafe Martino is the hottie detective assigned to the case. He is not happy with Maggie's involvement in the case, but might he want her involved in his life???? And then there is Lola,Maggie's mother. What a hoot! A TV/Movie star who has played in a role for every situation they find them selves in. She will have you in stitches!
This is an excellent start to the Talk Radio Mystery series. The characters are fresh, fun and exciting. The story moves along quickly and holds your attention. There are plenty of suspects to keep you turning the pages to find out what, if anything happens. I will definitely be tuning into the next...
12-26-2009 06:44 PM
Here's a link to Mary's website: http://www.marykennedy.net/
Here's a review from Romantic Times magazine, quoted from Mary's website:
Romantic Times says:
Floridians can claim another sleuthing marvel--and Kennedy has the beginning of a hit series. Charming, humorous, sassy psychologist Maggie Walsh is a cross between Carrie Bradshaw and Dr. Jennifer Melfi as she deals with flaky co-workers, a screen-siren mother and the attentions of a sexy detective and a gorgeous hotelier. The plot lures the unsuspecting reader into the laid-back Florida coast before turning up the volume on the competitive world of new age gurus.
Summary: Maggie left her Manhattan practice for sunny Cypress Grove, Florida. where she hosts a talk radio show on WYME, parceling out psychological wisdom between interviews with guests, commercial readings and turns on the news floor.
All the local lunatics appear to love her show. Well, maybe not all of them. She receives threats on her phone lines while interviewing New Age guru Sanjay Gingii. When he turns up dead, Maggie's roommate Lark comes under suspicion by an annoying--and gorgeous--detective. Maggie not only has to prove Lark's innocence, she must find out who's made more than one attempt on her life.
12-26-2009 06:46 PM - edited 12-26-2009 06:48 PM
About the Author
Mary Kennedy is a national best-selling author, and a clinical psychologist in private practice on the east coast. She has sold forty novels, all to major New York publishers, and has made the Waldenbooks, BookScan and Publishers Weekly best-seller lists. Her early novels included middle grade fiction and young adult fiction for Scholastic and Penguin.
Currently she's writing an adult mystery series, The Talk Radio Mysteries, which is set in a fictional town in south Florida. The first title, DEAD AIR, will be released in January, 2010, and the second, REEL MURDER, in June, 2010. The Talk Radio Mysteries was pitched and sold as "Frasier Meets Murder She Wrote." The heroine is Maggie Walsh, a psychologist who closes up her Manhattan practice and heads to sunny Florida to take a job as a radio talk show host.
And, yes, she solves a murder in every book! As a former radio copywriter and a practicing psychologist, Mary is uniquely qualified to provide realistic background for her books - although she hasn't personally solved any murders ;-). Mary's favorite vacation destination is South Florida and she makes an annual winter pilgrimage to Fort Lauderdale.
Mary won an award from the National Endowment for the Arts for "artistic excellence in literary fiction." A popular workshop presenter, she has spoken at over a hundred conferences, libraries and schools, all over the country. She also reviews for Book Page and has written articles for industry and chapter publications. When not writing, speaking, or traveling to exotic locales, she lives with her husband and eight neurotic cats. The cats have resisted all her efforts to psychoanalyze them, but she remains optimistic.
12-26-2009 06:50 PM
Dead Air - excerpt from Mary's website:
I think it was the call from the Furrie that put me over the top.
It was only thirty minutes into my three hour on-air shift at WYME Radio when Vera Mae Atkins, my producer, scrawled the word FURVERT on a piece of paper and waved it at me from the production room.
Once she had my attention, she flashed me a pussycat smile. "You have a call from Seymour on line one, Dr. Maggie. He says he’s a furrie." Then her lips gave a tell-tale quiver and I spotted the wicked gleam in her eye, the tell-tale shaking of her narrow shoulders. I expected her to break into the happy dance at any moment.
Enjoy! she mouthed through the large glass window separating the airy production area from the cramped recording booth where I sit for three hours every day. She circled her index finger next to her ear in a Looney-tunes gesture and tossed me a broad wink.
Okay, the truth finally hit me. I had a furvert on the line.
A furvert, in case you’re wondering, is a derogatory term–a mixture of the words furrie and pervert. What’s a furrie? (Sometimes called a plushie, by those in the know.) Here’s an idiot’s guide explanation. If you enjoy dressing up like a chipmunk and having sex with someone wearing a raccoon costume, you would call yourself a furrie. Or maybe you’re a snow leopard who likes to do the horizontal mambo with a giraffe. Or you could be a brown bear with a yen for a wildebeest–well, I’m sure you get the idea.
If this is what floats your boat, then Vera Mae–and others–might call you a furvert.
Most days, my training as a clinical psychologist leads me to be less judgmental, more accepting of all alternate life styles, including furries and their bizarre couplings. At least that’s what a psychoanalytic approach would endorse; two consenting adults dressing up as an animals and having sex. No harm, no foul.
But here’s the thing (as Dr. Phil would say)–I just wasn’t in the mood to be PC today.
I bit back a sigh. As the host of On the Couch with Maggie Walsh, I’ve had my share of unhappy callers–bored housewives, bitter employees, frazzled parents, desperate singles, and out and out crazies. In my quiet moments, I compare myself to Dr. Phil, except as Vera Mae likes to say, "Dr. Phil without the money, fame or glory."
Gee, thanks for reminding me, Vera. I needed that.
I punched line one. "Hello! You’re on the couch with Maggie–"
Before I could belt out the rest of my signature welcome, a male voice slammed over the line, practically hyperventilating with rage.
"So you think we’re a bunch of weirdos, is that it? A bunch of crazy kooks?"
Uh-oh. This was going to be worse than I thought. I glanced up to see Vera Mae grinning from ear to ear, her towering beehive bouncing from side to side like a dashboard bobble-head. Vera Mae, who hails from southern Georgia, believes that "the higher the hair-do, the closer to God." Her carrot-colored tresses could give Marge Simpson a run for her money.
She held up a sign with the word YES! on it, followed by another that read DAMN STRAIGHT!
I should explain that Vera Mae has an infinite number of these hand-lettered signs, and she delights in holding them up at strategic moments during my call-in show.
I like to think of her as a Dixie version of a Greek chorus.
"Really, sir, I have no idea–"
"Your coverage of our annual Furrie convention in Cypress Grove left a lot to be desired, young lady," the voice went on in a harsh rasp. A smoker’s voice, I decided. One of those gravelly whines that made you think he’d inhaled an entire truckload of Camels and was threatening to hack up a lung any minute. "I’d expected that at the very least you’d invite our esteemed president, Clarence Whittaker, on your show as a featured guest...but no, you walked right by him at the Furrie Awards without even a hello."
I frowned, trying to remember. The Furrie Awards. Oh yeah. I’d done a live, remote broadcast outside the Cypress Grove Convention Center last week, covering the Annual East Coast Furrie convention, but it was all a blur.
Which one was Clarence Whittaker, anyway? Was he the guy in the Smokey the Bear get-up? Or the portly skunk with the swishy tail? Or maybe the gray fox who’d patted my behind with his mangy paw? There must have been two hundred people milling around the square, all dressed as their favorite animal, paws entwined, drinking champagne and dancing in a conga line.
Is it any wonder I’d blocked the whole scene from my memory? As Freud would say, there are no accidents. I wanted to forget, so my mind was a blank.
"It’s discrimination, that’s what it is! I’m sure my congressman would like to hear about this. It’s un-American." His voice quivered with self-righteousness.
"Hmm. Well, I certainly apologize if I overlooked your esteemed, uh, leader, but..." "But nothing! Did you know that over half of our furrie members are in a committed relationship with another furrie? And that most of us are college-educated and upstanding members of the community? We’re doctors, lawyers and teachers. We even have a few preachers in our midst..."
This call was going nowhere. I looked up at the window. Vera Mae was pretending to slit her throat.
"No, I didn’t know that, but I’ll make a note of it. And the next time you come to town, I’ll be sure–"
"Well, listen, girlie, the next time we come to town, you be sure to give us the attention we deserve. And don’t forget the Furrie slogan." He had another coughing fit as I leaned toward the board to cut him off.
"I’ll certainly do that. And thank you for calling WYME."
I punched a button and disconnected him. "Well, Vera Mae, I guess now we’ll never know what the Furrie slogan is, will we? What a loss."
"Oh, I can think of a good slogan for that group," she said in her best throaty purr. "How’s this?" She leaned forward so her mouth was almost touching her microphone. "Once you try yak...you never go back!"
Ouch. "My producer thinks she’s a comedian," I said quickly. I could just picture the phones ringing at her yak comment. "Who do we have next, Vera? " I struggled to put a note of professionalism into my voice.
After all, I am a licensed Ph.D psychologist, although my grad school advisor would probably have an aneurysm at the career path I’ve taken. The truth is, I’d gotten sick of New York winters and rising real estate prices. When I spotted an ad for a "radio psychologist" in sunny Florida, I auditioned for the job and grabbed it.
I’m thirty-two and single and I figured this was the time to do something a little reckless in my life. So I closed my private practice in Manhattan, sold my IKEA furniture and moved into a two story mock-Hacienda style town house into a tiny town called Cypress Grove, Florida. It’s north of Boca, not too far from Palm Beach, a pleasant drive to Ft. Lauderdale.
As the Chamber of Commerce says, "Cypress Grove–it’s near everyplace else you’d rather be!"
That was three months ago, and I’ve never looked back. Well, not too often, anyway.
12-26-2009 06:52 PM
About "Dead Air"
"Frasier” meets “Murder She Wrote” in this new cozy series. Maggie Walsh leaves her clinical psychology practice in Manhattan to move to sunny Cypress Grove, a small south Florida town. She joins the staff of local radio station WYME to host a daily talk show “On the Couch with Maggie Walsh”. She also maintains a part-time private solo practice soothing the psyches of her troubled patients.
She thinks that being tucked away in her studio will keep her safe from all the crazies. But when she hits the airwaves, there's no telling whom she's reaching-and who wants to reach back. From codependent wives to fetish fiends, the locals love her show, but Maggie is not fond of all of its occupational hazards.
Threats start pouring in against one of the station's special guests, self-styled New Age prophet Guru Sanjay Gingii. And when one of the threats becomes deadly reality, Maggie's new roommate, Lark, is surprisingly the prime suspect. Now Maggie has to prove Lark innocent while dealing with a killer who needs more than just therapy. Along with hunky detective Rafe Martino, she uses her analytical skills to solve the crime.
12-26-2009 06:56 PM
12-26-2009 07:03 PM
Be sure to watch for the next book in Mary's Talk Radio series, REEL MURDER, due later in 2010!
Follow Mary on Twitter: http://twitter.com/marykennedybook
Friend Mary on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/Mary-Kennedy/158212
Here are links to some interviews, news and reviews about Mary and her books:
12-26-2009 07:06 PM - edited 12-26-2009 07:52 PM
I'm posting these introductions early (I'll have to finish tomorrow) because of the holidays.
I'm excited to welcome MARY KENNEDY, who some of you may recognize as a regular at B&N's Mystery Book Club. Although Mary has been published many, many times before, I believe DEAD AIR is her first mystery. We won't have long to wait for others in this series, thank goodness. I am eager to read more!
Mary, can you tell us something about DEAD AIR and the other books that will be coming out in 2010? (And, by the way, HAPPY NEW YEAR!) (Almost!)
12-28-2009 08:31 AM
Hi Becke and Happy New Year to you, too!! I just finished doing the copy-edits of REEL MURDER (I should say, my husband, who is not only a charming Brit but a computer genius, finished them). REEL MURDER is the second in the Talk Radio Mysteries. Maggie is back to her old tricks, uncovering a murder, and determined to find the killer (even though hunky detective Rafe Martino wishes she would let the police do their job!). This time the murder takes place on a movie set. One of Lola's (Maggie's mom) old friends, a Hollywood director is shooting a film in Cypress Grove and he hires Maggie as a script consultant. Maggie has a background in forensic psychology (like me) and he feels she add some touches to the dialogue and plot development. He's shooting a psychological thriller. Exciting times, even Lola gets a bit part in the flick! What could go wrong? Well, the leading lady is murdered, and it seems that almost the whole cast and crew would like to see her dead. So Maggie looks for MMO (means, motive and opportunity) and goes through the suspects one by one. Most of the book takes place on the movie set and this was great fun. In my younger (and more foolish <G>) days, I worked on quite a few films shot in Nashville. Bit parts, but it was quite an experience and it was fun to re-create the scenes for REEL MURDER.
12-28-2009 09:49 AM
Loved the excerpt, Mary! Can't wait to read it and REEL MURDER when it's available. Good luck on the new releases.
12-28-2009 06:06 PM - edited 12-28-2009 06:07 PM
Caridad! What fun to see you here!
Mary - You've made this reader very happy. I was really hoping we'd see more of Rafe, and that he and Maggie would get to know each other better! I have to say, I really love Lola. Maybe it's because I'm closer to her age than Maggie's, but I just thought she was a blast. Maggie and her entourage are a lot of fun, and I'm very excited we won't have long to wait before REEL TIME comes out!
12-28-2009 08:20 PM
Hey Caridad, thanks so much for stopping by!! I know you have an insanely busy schedule, between your law practice and your writing career. I was telling Stephanie Tyler all about you. Sometimes I wonder if all authors are Type A? Doing a juggling act, keeping a lot of balls in the air? Hmmmm. That might be an interesting psychological study. Speaking of personality types, there is a new "type" called Type T, that stands for Thrill-seeking. I won a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts for Confessions, and I seem to have gotten on the list for other grant notices. So now I'm on the lookout for a grant that might be targeted at research into psychology and creativity, or psychology and writing. It's a great field. Quite a lot has been doine on psychology and journal-writing. Not so much on fiction writing. Maybe it's time to dust off a proposal! The psychology of mystery writers? Now there's a fun topic!
12-28-2009 08:22 PM
Hey Becke, so glad you like the character of LOLA. I have to admit, she is one of my all time favorite characters, and I love writing dialogue for her. You've gotta love a 50-something wanna-be actress who buys her entire wardrobe at Wet Seal! And every year, she seems to make herself even younger on her resume. As Maggie says, pretty soon, she'll be younger than everyone in Hollywood, with the possible exception of Dakota Fanning...
12-28-2009 11:51 PM
12-29-2009 09:32 AM
Hi, Mary! I'm really looking forward to reading Dead Air!
Chapter and Hearse ~ Aug. 3, 2010
Murder Is Binding ~ April 2008
12-29-2009 12:21 PM
Mary, this sounds absolutely wonderful. Can't wait to get my hands on a copy!
ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY ~ February 2011
Writing as Heather Blake:
IT TAKES A WITCH ~ January 2012
My blog: www.booksbyheather.net
12-29-2009 04:56 PM
Hi there, Lorna..Chapter and Hearse?? You are a title goddess!! Love it, love it. I may hit you up for a title for Book 3 in the Talk Radio Mysteries. There's DEAD AIR for book one, REEL MURDER for book two, and zilch for book three. Seriously. Becke, maybe we should have a "name book three" contest? I have to confess, the Penguin genies came through for one and two. It's not easy, each title has to have an element of death or murder...and has to have something to do with radio. You see the dilemma...I was happy with REEL MURDER, because it takes place on a movie set. As for book 3...I am drawing a blank!
12-29-2009 05:00 PM
Heather, I just read the except from your wonderful book, TRULY MADLY on your website, I am going to order it, even as we speak. It looks fabulous, laugh-out-loud funny! Love the cover, too. People on one of the loops were just talking about "gift ideas" for people who like "funny mysteries"--wow, if I can find that llnk, I will recommend your book. A Feburary release, not so far away!! Thanks for stopping by, I can't wait to read TRULY MADLY.