Friday, January 18, 2019



At the outset, Miranda Davis has nothing much going for her. The tourists are long gone by October in the quaint Carolina town of Black Mountain, her realty business is at a standstill, and her weekend stint managing the local tavern offers little to pull her out of the doldrums. When prominent church lady Cloris Raintree offers a stipend to look into the whereabouts of a missing girl hiker on the Q.T, Miranda, along with her partner Harry (an unemployed features writer) agree.

But then it all backfires. A burly figure shambles down a mountain slope with a semi-conscious girl draped over his shoulder. Miranda’s attempts to uncover Cloris Raintree’s true motives become near impossible as she puts up one smokescreen after another, including a slip of the tongue regarding an incident in Havana. The local police keep stonewalling and Harry is of little help.

Tarot cards left on Cloris’ doorstep and arcane prompts on her e-mail only exacerbate the situation. Growing more desperate over the captive girl’s fate, Miranda comes across a link to a cold case of arson and murder. With the advent of the dark of the moon, she is summoned to “Tower Time” as this twisty tale continues to run its course.

Book Details:

Title: The Secluded Village Murders

Author: Shelly Frome

Genre: Cozy mystery

Publisher: Boutique of Quality Books (September 1, 2018)

Print length: 332 pages


Shelly, what’s the story behind the title of your book?
The pixilated antagonist of this story is fixated on the moon as he sets out to play games with his unsuspecting victim until the time is right according to the Zodiac when “the sins of the past finally come due.”

Where’s home for you?
My adopted home is Black Mountain, North Carolina even though I spent over 35 years as a professor of dramatic arts at the University of Connecticut and grew up in Miami, Florida. 

What do you love about where you live?
Being nestled in the Blue Ridge among colorful, encouraging people far from the mad constant competitive ambiance of New York, in a small town where no one judges you gives you a wondrous sense of refuge and rejuvenation.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

I’ve discovered that everything is relative and anyone trying to place a frame around any aspect of life in one way or another is missing out on wonders and possibilities.

What is the most daring thing you've done?

Taking off for New York in the hopes of becoming an actor with absolutely no idea where I was going to stay, how I was going to going to go about it or what I’d find in the late fifties.

What is the stupidest thing you've ever done?
Bought used cars that looked cool that soon felt apart on me.

What’s one thing that you wish you knew as a teenager that you know now?
The realities of getting involved with the opposite sex and what it takes to create a home and a family.

What’s one thing you wish your younger writer self knew?
The vast difference between writing a viable play and writing a novel in terms of a reader’s expectations and experiences.

What makes you bored?
Routines, small talk and anything that’s safe and predictable. 

What choices in life would you like to have a redo on?

Putting up with relatives and so-called elders who sensed my vulnerability and took advantage of my fear of authority figures.

What do you love about writing?
The element of surprise lurking around the corner. In a sense, discovering things you didn’t know that you knew all along.

What’s the hardest thing about being a writer?

The huge gap between your experience creating and polishing your work and the plethora of responses from readers stating things you had no idea were lurking behind the cover.

What’s the easiest thing about being a writer?

Taking your time, going with your own schedule, following the energy wherever it takes you.

What’s something you never want to run out of?
A compelling creative project.

Words that describe you:
Antic, dreamy, an incurable storyteller, caught somewhere between being and intra and extra-vert.

What’s something you wish you could do?
Take off and cruise the tropics and intriguing parts of Europe

Something you like to do:

Interview fascinating people.

Something you wish you’d never done:
Worked in the produce department of the A&P.

People you consider heroes:
Creative people who have followed their bliss no matter what. Activists who have gone out there no matter what the odds and gathered together to right great wrongs.


Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at the University of Connecticut, a former professional actor, a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. He is also a features writer for Gannett Media. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, and Murder Run.  Among his works of non-fiction are The Actors Studio and texts on the art and craft of screenwriting and writing for the stage. Moon Games and The Secluded Village Murders are his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Connect with Shelly:
Website  |  Blog  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  Goodreads

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