– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Man At The Door (Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Book 3)’ blogtour, organised by Baker’s Blog Tours and Promo.
To promote this book I have a Q&As post, but b
About the Author :
For almost thirty years, Desmond P. Ryan began every day of his working life with either a victim waiting in a hospital emergency room, or a call to a street corner or a blood-soaked room where someone had been left for dead. Murder, assaults on a level that defied humanity, sexual violations intended to demean, shame, and haunt the individuals who were no more than objects to the offenders: all in a day’s work.
It was exhilarating, exhausting, and often heartbreaking.
As a Detective with the Toronto Police Service, Desmond P. Ryan wrote thousands of reports detailing the people, places, and events that led up to the moment he came along. He investigated the crimes and wrote synopses for guilty pleas detailing the circumstances that brought the accused individuals before the Courts. He also wrote a number of files to have individuals deemed either Not Criminally Responsible due to mental incapacity, or Dangerous Offenders to be held in custody indefinitely.
Now, as a retired investigator with three decades of research opportunities under his belt, Desmond P. Ryan writes crime fiction.
Real Detective. Real Crime. Fiction.
Man At The Door, the third in Desmond P. Ryan’s Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, Detective Mike O’Shea solves a homicide, juggles an increasingly complex personal life, and continues to hunt for the cop-killer who has remained at large for the past thirteen years.
It all begins at 6:10 a.m. on a Friday morning when Glen Brebeuf calls demanding answers. He had reported his former lover, Elizabeth MacDonald, missing the previous day and Detective Mike O’Shea finds himself cleaning up the mess some rookie had made of the initial call.
Within hours, Mike takes over the investigation and is on the doorstep of the missing elderly woman’s home, determining that Elizabeth MacDonald—Sibby Mac to her friends—is not missing.
Sibby Mac has been murdered.
Along with Detective Ron Roberts and Detective Sergeant Amanda Black, Mike kicks the investigation into high gear. Very quickly, the ex-lover and a high-profile political figure become prime suspects, but, without a body, would there be enough evidence to charge either of them?
A day spent sifting through rancid garbage at one of the city dumps comes up empty for Mike and Ron, but a foul-smelling steamer trunk reported in another jurisdiction provides the eureka moment they need to proceed.
Meanwhile, Mike is doing double-duty, still investigating what he believes to be a link between the accused he has up in court now and his old partner’s killer.
And then there is his mother. Sensing that her son needs her, Mary-Margaret O’Shea has moved into Mike’s home—and his personal and professional life—pending further notice.
As the pieces of the Sibby Mac investigation start to fall into place, Mike follows up on a hunch and decides to take a detour on his way to work one morning. Using every trick in the book, he ends up saving a life, nearly ending another, and almost getting himself killed in the process.
Whether as a stand-alone or as your next step in the Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series, Man At The Door will keep you reading far too late into the night following Detective Mike O’Shea through the twists and turns of a homicide investigation. Once you’re done, take a breath and get reading for Blind Spot, coming out in early 2020!
First of all thank you very much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Here we go! 🙂
My absolute pleasure. Thank you for asking me.
Can you, for those who don’t know you already, tell something about yourself and how you became an author?
Well, I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada, and lived there until about a month ago when my wife and I moved back to her home town of London (Ontario). I joined the Toronto Police Service (it was the Metropolitan Toronto Police Force back then) in 1987 and,after almost thirty years, retired as a detective. Having spent all of that time writing reports, court documents, and other legal stuff, I decided to take all of that experience and turn it into something, and here I am. Or, more importantly, here is ‘The Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series’.
Fun fact? I’m a classically trained pianist. True story.
Which books did/do you love to read as a child/now as a grown-up?
Truth to tell, I did not read a lot growing up. To compensate, I did my undergrad degree at the University of Toronto in English Literature. I really enjoyed Dickens and anything by F Scott Fitsgerald. And then I discovered Raymond Chandler, Joseph Wambaugh, Peter Temple. And Maya Angelou and Paulo Coehlo.
I look for strong—often unconventional—characters and a story with moral undertones and subtle social commentary.
Is there a writer whose brain you would love to pick for advice? Who would that be and why?
I would love to be able to sit down with Charles Dickens and ask him how the heck he was able to keep track of so many characters and so many storylines while working on such a tight deadline.
If you could, which fictional character (from your own book(s) or someone else’s) would you like to invite for tea and why?
Oh, that’s a great question! I feel like I spend enough time with the characters of my own books, so I’d choose someone else. I think I’d have to say Don Quixote, although, really, I think he’d be the type of character you’d want to go for a couple of pints (or bottles of wine) with! He’s kind of a hopeless romantic in the truest sense of the word who stumbles across fabulously interesting characters while pursuing some hapless quest. I’d definitely be humming (if not outright singing) ‘The Impossible Dream’ at some point during our meeting!
Do you have some rituals or habits whilst writing?
You know, I don’t. As un-sexy as that sounds, I have none. My time is incredibly crunched so I organzied my day to give me a couple of hours to write and, when those hours arrive, I sit down and start. If I’m absolutely not feeling it, I edit. But I sit down and do something every day.
Where do you come up with your idea(s)? Do people in your life need to be worried? 😉
Haha! Increasingly, I am drawing names from people I’ve known, although I have yet to cast those names as pivotal characters. The ideas come from my years on the job, with the twists and turns that I imagine.
Are you a plotter or do you go with the flow, as a pantser?
I am a plotter whose plots get hijacked by my characters. I try to nail down the chapters and what needs to happen to keep the story going, and then, out of nowhere, a character will pipe up and the chapter’s flow will shift or another chapter will have to be added or…. I find the whole process kind of amusing and am sometimes qutie surprised at the outcome(s).
MaryMargaret O’Shea, for example, was just supposed to be a bit player in ‘The Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series’. The more I wrote her, however, the stronger a character she became, such that, by the time she appears in ‘Man At The Door’, she is practically taking over the subplot. As a result, I’ve had to give her her own cozy series (coming out soon!).
Can you give novice writers some tips (do’s/don’ts)?
The only real suggestion I would make is to stick with it. If you think it’s good, somebody else will, too. Maybe a lot of people will. And that would be great.
Writing is a very solitary activity, and we/I look for external validation. Be open to the possibility of what that may look like: a traditional publishing deal, seeing your books on the shelves of your local library, doing a reading at a book club, interacting with readers via social media, or maybe something more personal like typing ‘The End’ on your 70,000-word manuscript. Whatever the case may be, if you’ve got it in you, write it down.
What are your futureplans as an author?
There are three more books in ‘The Mike O’Shea Crime Fiction Series’. Before that, though, I’ll be lunching the MaryMargaret Cozies. I’m toying with the idea of a noir based on D/s Robby Williams, but we shall see. A number of readers really love Detective Julia Vendrameni and have asked about a series for her. Or D/S Amanda Black.
Or maybe I’ll do something competely different!
Last, but not least : Can you give my readers one teaser from your book, which is featured here on my blog, please?
Absolutely! Grab a quick cuppa and enjoy.
The two men walked quickly from the car to the front door. Mike fumbled for a few moments with the house key he had taken from his pocket.
“Here, let me. The door can be ornery. There’s a trick to it.”
Standing back, Mike watched Brebeuf effortlessly unlock the door and push it open.
“You’ve done this before.”
“I told you I always watered her plants when she went on vacation, Detective,” Brebeuf sniffed.
Even though Mike had been to thousands of crime scenes during his career, none were more unnerving to him than homicide scenes, particularly after the body had been removed and the air had had time to settle. Maybe it was the influence of his mother’s version of Irish Catholicism, so deeply steeped in spirituality and otherworldliness, or maybe it was just his own imagination, but Mike always felt as though the deceased was watching him trample through their last worldly address. Shake it off.
Mike directed Brebeuf to the kitchen and pointed to the cluttered island. “I’d like you to take a look at this.” He noticed the chalked circles that were Forensics’ calling cards around various patches of red on the floor and wall and hoped that Brebeuf would not. “What do you see?”
Brebeuf pointed to the roll of plastic wrap that lay within the quagmire of random things. “This isn’t hers.”
“What isn’t hers?”
“This. Plastic wrap. Hated it. Doesn’t belong here.” The words practically exploded out of Brebeuf’s mouth.
“I’ll make a note of that. Tell me what else you see.”
“The cards, the scrabble pieces… She cheated, you know.”
“Okay.” Mike looked around the room to see if there was anything else to bring to Brebeuf’s attention.
“And she was terrible at it. I think it was the only thing she was terrible at. Everything else…” Brebeuf’s voice seemed to change very subtly, and Mike noticed the man’s shoulders starting to shake.
Shit. He’s crying.
“I’m sorry, Detective,” Brebeuf sniffled. “I thought I would be okay with this, but I guess I’m not. Can I have a picture of all of this and just write down what it is and where she got it from? I’m really not up to this now.” Turning abruptly, he walked out of the kitchen.
“Yeah, sure.” Mike followed behind as Brebeuf locked up the house. As the two men walked down the steps, Brebeuf stopped abruptly at the bottom one.
“She’d be so annoyed if she saw this.”
“This.” Brebeuf pointed up at a gouge in the wood of the second step from the top. “I knew he would damage the stairs with that trunk.”
“Who?” Mike’s hand froze on the car keys he had been hunting for in his coat pocket.
“The man at the door.”
Isn’t that a great reason to pick up this book and to find out more?!
Thanks once again for this lovely interview, Desmond P. Ryan.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds
P.S. Are you an author (or publisher) who also wants a FREE interview like this? You can always contact me via e-mail!