Diner Knock Out
by Terri L. Austin
Diner Knock Out
Publisher: Henery Press (October 20, 2015)
Paperback: 302 pages
E-Book ASIN: B012B59QM4
Rose Strickland’s life is complicated. Besides her waitressing gig, she works part-time for Andre Thomas, a PI with no faith in Rose’s ability to investigate, her love life with Sullivan has stalled, and her BFF, Roxy, has found a new bestie, leaving Rose out in the cold.
Determined to prove herself, Rose takes a case on the sly. As she searches for a missing MMA fighter, Rose discovers an illegal fight club, a group of ruthless businessmen, dead bodies, and a trail of drugs.
Hunting down clues that lead too close to home, Rose finds herself in the fight of her life. Can she beat the killer to the punch before she gets knocked out for good?
Related subjects include: cozy mysteries, women sleuths, murder mystery series, whodunit mysteries (whodunnit), amateur sleuth books, book club recommendations, humorous murder mysteries.
Books in the Rose Strickland Humorous Mystery Series:
- DINERS, DIVES & DEAD ENDS (#1)
- LAST DINER STANDING (#2)
- DINER IMPOSSIBLE (#3)
- DINERS KEEPERS, LOSERS WEEPERS (novella after DINER IMPOSSIBLE in HEARTACHE MOTEL)
- DINER KNOCK OUT (#4)
Diner Knock Out is the latest installment in the Rose Strickland mystery series. Rose Strickland’s at it again! Trying to eek out a living with two jobs, living in a shabby 400 sq ft apartment, she is determined to prove her family wrong by making her own way.
She’s dating Tom and trying to get her PI license. Her mentor has her doing other things then investigating. Rose takes on a case and learns a lot of Tom’s other side more than she wanted to know.
With all the twists to keep you on your toes and things you find out thus book is wonderful. I have not read much of the other books in this series but I will start. On that note I did not feel lost in this book you have enough information to keep up to date.
Thanks for having me on today! It’s great to be here. My name is Terri L. Austin and I write the Rose Strickland Mystery series.
Rose is a former rich girl-turned-waitress. In book one, Diners, Dives and Dead Ends, Rose’s friend goes missing. Since he’s a stoner and a bit of a slacker, no one cares—not the police, not his family. But our Rose is a steadfast pal. She makes it her mission to find him. Along the way, she discovers she has a penchant for solving mysteries.
Which brings us to the fourth and current book, Diner Knock Out. This time, Rose must hunt down a missing MMA fighter by infiltrating an underground fight club. As you might have guessed, this is a humorous series, but there’s some family/relationship drama thrown in for good measure.
I think the key to writing a series, to keeping it fresh, is to fall in love with your characters. I adore Rose. She’s imperfect and snarky. When the first book opens, she’s been wandering aimlessly through life for the past six years as a part-time student. Having been shunned by her wealthy family, Rose has had to make her own way in the world. I bonded with her immediately.
Quirky characters and humor are sort of my stock in trade. I love offbeat people, and I love to write offbeat characters. Rose’s best friend, Roxy, is a tough cookie, but dresses like she’s a contestant in the Little Miss Princess pageant. Rose’s boss, Ma, is a tough old bird. She cares for Rose and Roxy as if they were her own daughters. She horns in on their adventures as often as possible. (See book three, Diner Impossible, where Ma dresses like a Klingon.)
Rose is also in a serious relationship. With a criminal—an unapologetic one at that. Don’t expect Sullivan to change for Rose. He’s not going to give up his crime lord status for anyone. But Rose has her own path to follow. As the series progresses, we see her change from an aimless young woman to an astute amateur detective.
Showing Rose’s progress has been exciting for me as a writer. I like to watch her grow and learn new skills. And of course, she meets interesting people who help her along the way. Enter Sugar de la Tarte. Sugar is an internet retro pinup girl and burlesque performer. I took to her from the get go.
There’s also former cop, Andre “Hard Ass” Thomas. He’s the yin to Rose’s yang. What starts as a cantankerous relationship in the first book has bloomed into an uneasy alliance by book four.
For me, my characters are close to my heart. I enjoy spending time with them. When I set about writing a new Rose story, it’s like taking a trip back home to visit old friends.
This is how I keep it fresh—my deep, abiding fondness for each character. The mystery part—that’s the point of the entire book. But how each character reacts and how they relate to Rose, that’s the part I love the most.
As a girl, Terri L. Austin thought she’d outgrow dreaming up stories and creating imaginary friends. Instead, she’s made a career of it. She met her own Prince Charming and together they live in Missouri. She loves to hear from readers. Drop her a note at www.TerriLAustin.com.
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