(A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
by Kathleen Valenti
About the Book
As Directed (A Maggie O’Malley Mystery)
3rd in Series
Henery Press (March 12, 2019)
Hardcover: 286 pages
Digital ASIN: B07LB6N22B
In the shadow of a past fraught with danger and tainted by loss, former pharmaceutical researcher Maggie O’Malley is rebuilding her life, trading test tubes for pill bottles as she embarks on a new career at the corner drugstore.
But as she spreads her wings, things begin to go terribly wrong. A customer falls ill in the store. Followed by another. And then more.
The specter of poisoning arises, conjuring old grudges, past sins, buried secrets and new suspicions from which no one is immune.
As Maggie and her best friend Constantine begin to investigate, they discover that some of the deadliest doses come from the most unexpected places.
Guest Post #1:
(headline) Paging Dr. Goodstory.
The two questions I’m most often asked by readers are “Where do you get your ideas?” and “How does your background in pharmaceuticals inform your medical mysteries?”
The answer to question one: everywhere.
The answer to question two: it doesn’t.
“Story-ticklers,” as I like to call them, are everywhere. I find inspiration in everything from the news to true crime shows to the magic of “what if?”
In fact, “what if” is how I began writing medical mysteries in the first place.
The vast majority of Americans take some kind of medication on a daily basis. This statistic led me to ponder about the power that pharmaceuticals wield in our lives—for good and for bad. Several years later and thanks to “what-iffing,” my debut novel, Protocol, was born.
The success of this book led many to ask that second question. After all, both my first book and those that followed delve into medicine, specifically drug development, medication side effects, medical conditions and anomalies.
The truth is, I don’t have a medical background. What I do have is a penchant for research, a cadre of experts in the field, and a fierce dedication to compelling storytelling.
My books require a great deal of research. As Directed, hailed as “A gripping tale of malice and deceit” by bestselling author Liv Constantine, required an especially deep dive into pharmacy operation, medication side effects, and—most importantly—poisons.
Yet as I spent hours researching poison lethality, dosing and administration, I kept my eye on the prize: creating an engaging story that would entertain readers from first page to last.
Sure, medicine is an integral part of the story. Yes, the details have to be there and the information able to withstand the brightness of fact-checking. But at the heart of my books lies medicine of another kind: the surgical knitting together of character and plot, the clinical application of strong writing, and the curative power of story that engrosses and transcends.
It’s a restorative combination that readers enjoy reading and I enjoy writing. So next time I prepare to sit down with my medical experts or page through medical journals, I’ll make sure I employ preventive medicine and page Dr. Goodstory. For me, that’s how good books happen.
About the Author
Kathleen Valenti is the author of the Maggie O’Malley Mystery Series, which includes her Agatha- and Lefty-nominated debut novel, Protocol. When Kathleen isn’t writing page-turning mysteries that combine humor and suspense, she works as a nationally award-winning advertising copywriter. She lives in Oregon with her family where she pretends to enjoy running. Learn more at www.kathleenvalenti.com.
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