Friday, October 19, 2018



Early one gray November morning, retired Lighthouse Cove, New York police chief, Edmund DeCleryk, finds Emily Bradford’s body on the beach at the base of the bluff where the local museum and historical society stands. At the same time, a break-in has been reported at the museum, and Emily’s coat and purse are found hanging on a peg in the museum’s gift shop where she worked. Was her death the result of a burglary gone bad or something more sinister?

When the police chief is called out of town for a family emergency, he hires Ed, now working as a criminal consultant, to assist deputy police chief, Carrie Ramos, with the murder investigation. After several leads don’t pan out, the chief, now back in Lighthouse Cove, decides to close the case. Confident that with more time the murder can be solved, Ed is determined to continue investigating on his own, with encouragement from his wife, Annie the museum’s executive director.
One morning while in the basement of the museum, the couple discovers a copy of a map dated 1785, and Ed’s instincts tell him it may be connected to Emily’s death. On a hunch, he and Annie travel to Toronto, Canada, where he learns of the original map and a manuscript written in 1847 that were unearthed during an archaeological dig. The manuscript contains information about a ship that capsized during a fierce storm on Lake Ontario — in 1785. Now Ed has clues as to why the murder occurred, but he still doesn’t know who committed the crime. Or does he?

Book Details:

Title: Murder in the Museum

Author: Karen Shughart

Genre: Cozy Mystery

Series: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery, Book 1

Publisher: Cozy Cat Press (February 13, 2018)

Print length: 266 pages

On tour with: Great Escapes Book Tours


Edmund DeCleryk was raised in Lighthouse Cove, New York. After graduating from high school, he received his B.S. in Forensic Science from Syracuse University; and a Masters’ degree in Criminal Justice from Rochester Institute of Technology. He retired as a Rear Admiral in the Navy, where he spent much of his career as a SEAL. 

After heading a violent crimes squad in Albany, New York, Ed served as police chief in Lighthouse Cove and then became a criminal consultant. He currently helps to solve murders when the small police force is overwhelmed with other responsibilities. He and Annie, his wife, live in a restored ship captain’s home, have two sons and daughters-in-law, five grandchildren and a ten-year-old beagle, Gretchen.


Q: How did you first meet Karen? 

She had heard about me through some of her criminal justice buddies and thought my character would be perfect as her sleuth. I’m tough but gentle.

Q: Want to dish about her?

Yes, she’s a bit intense and sometimes needs to focus-she’s good at a lot of things. I told her to pick something and stick with it. She decided it would be writing.

Q: Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?

I’m a bit of a Renaissance man, if I do say so myself.

Q: Tell us about your favorite scene in the book. 

My favorite scene is when Annie and I travel to Toronto, Canada and combine business with pleasure. We discover a manuscript, written by a man named Thomas Battleforth in 1847, that provides us with clues about the murder, but we also have a very intimate evening where we dine at an exceptional French restaurant and then later in our hotel have a romantic interlude.

Q: Did you have a hard time convincing Karen to write any particular scenes for you? 

Yes. I wanted a love scene with my wife, Annie. Karen was somewhat uncomfortable at first because cozies don’t have explicit adult scenes. We negotiated a bit then finally agreed that the scene would be a “fade away,” like the film noir movies of the 1940s and 1950s–more suggestion of what comes next than description. My wife approved.

Q: What do you like to do when you are not being read somewhere?

Oh, the book pretty much describes what I like to do. But I’d say ice boating is among one of my favorite activities in the winter. My vintage sports car is almost restored, so when it’s ready, I’ll take to the backroads. I love going fast. And I spend time with my Navy buddies and Annie and our friends and family.

Q: If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?

I’d probably tell Karen to write a little less about how the characters' dress. Some of it sets the scene, some of it may not be necessary.

Q: Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters? 

: I like most, but not all of them. I respect some, but not all. You’ll have to read the book to guess which ones.

Q: Do have any secret aspirations that Karen doesn’t know about?

I’ve always been in law enforcement in one form or another. I might be a racing car driver if I were a bit younger.

Q: If you had a free day with no responsibilities, what would you do? 

I’d have breakfast at Bistro Louise with Annie, take my metal detector to the beach after that, have lunch with friends, continue working on my sailboat and sport’s car restorations, have drinks and an intimate dinner with my wife.

Q: What impression do you make on people when they first meet you?
I hope they like me. I’m very calm and rock-solid, and I think I’m warm. I’m interested in people I meet. I think I also appear a bit serious at first, but when they’ve known me for a while, they get to see my sense of humor.

Q: What's the worst thing that's happened in your life? 

I got shot, but it was only a graze (it’s not in the book). I learned to be more careful.

Q: Tell us about your best friend. 

My best friend is definitely my wife, Annie. We’ve been together since we were at college, and we tell each other almost everything (except when we are told things in confidence that we can’t share). We have the same values and share many of the same interests.

Q: What are you most afraid of? 

Losing Annie, our children and grandchildren.

Q: What’s the best trait your author has given you?

I’m very loyal and even-tempered.
The worst?
I’m not at home as much as I’d like to be to help around the house.

Q: What do you like best about fellow character Charles Merrill?

He’s very smart and very complex. He’s a wonderful historian. And he’s honorable.
At times his loyalty to others clouds his judgement, and he can be a bit irascible.

Q: What’s Karen’s worst habit?
She’s a bit obsessive about wordsmithing, sometimes she just needs to realize that what’s she’s written is good enough.

Q: How do you feel about your life right now?

I love my life and wouldn’t change a thing.

Q: What aspect of your Karen’s writing style do you like best?

She writes great descriptions. She paints beautiful pictures with words.

Q: If your story were a movie, who would play you?

Andy Garcia, or if he’s not available, then Richard Gere. I’m a little taller, but they are the right age and either of them would fit the part.

Q: Describe the town where you live. 

Small, quaint village on the southern shore of Lake Ontario in upstate, New York, not too far from Rochester, Syracuse and Canada. Friendly people, real sense of community, spectacular scenery:  apple orchards, vineyards and of course, the sea. Who wouldn’t want to live here?

Q: Describe an average day in your life. 

I get up early, around 6:00, let our beagle, Gretchen, out, then make coffee for myself and get Annie’s tea ready. She sleeps later than I do. We read the local daily newspaper and/or watch the news on TV, then walk Gretchen. Other than that, there’s no average day. If I’m sleuthing, I may be interviewing, writing notes, traveling to different locales, contacting other law enforcement agencies or sitting in meetings with the police chief. On days I’m not working and Annie can take time off from her job, she and I do stuff together and I work on projects and hobbies or meet some of my Navy buddies for lunch.

Q: What makes you stand out from any other characters in your genre? 

I’m male. Many cozy protagonists are female.

Q: If you could be “adopted” by another writer, who would you choose?

Louise Penny. She’s a wonderful author.

Q: Will you encourage Karen to write a sequel?

Yes, she’s told me that she’s already started writing it. It’s called Murder in the Cemetery, and the historical link is the War of 1812.


Karen Shughart received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comprehensive Literature from the University of Pittsburgh and completed graduate courses in English at Shippensburg University. She is the author of two non-fiction books and has worked as an editor, publicist, photographer, journalist, teacher and non-profit executive. Murder in the Museum: An Edmund DeCleryk Mystery is her first work of fiction. Before moving to Sodus Point, New York, she and her husband resided in south central Pennsylvania, near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Connect with Karen:

Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Goodreads

  |  LinkedIn 

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