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Get Acquainted with Gin Barnes & Lauren Beck 

The Ginger Barnes Cozy Mystery Series & The Lauren Beck Crime Novels

Interviewer: You two come from two very different backgrounds. How did you both end up solving crimes?

Gin: Our family had just moved into the school-owned house that came with my husband’s job, so if the school went under because of a murder, we would be out on the street. To the staff, I was just an overly worried wife, somebody they could tell stuff they didn’t dare tell the police.

Interviewer: Got it. Lauren?

Lauren: I was a cop in Landis, PA, before I got Hodgkins Disease. I also had a fiancé who dumped me when I got sick. I’m not proud of how I reacted to that.

Interviewer: How did you react?

Lauren: Not well, I’m afraid. Even after I was cured, I holed up in my cancer counselor’s house for a couple of years until she convinced me to rejoin the living. Unfortunately, my new job exposed me to a killer who sabotaged all my resources and framed me for murder. Like Gin, I had pretty good motivation to fight back.

Interviewer: I’ll say! Thanks for sharing, ladies. Now for the really important questions. To help you out, they’re multiple choice.

What would you do if your hairdresser fessed up and told you your shirt was on inside out?

  1. Tip him extra

  2. Laugh out loud

  3. Blush

  4. Sneak into the powder room to switch it asap


Gin: Laugh out loud, for sure.


Lauren: I rarely get my hair cut.


What would you buy if you discovered an extra twenty-dollar bill in a jacket pocket?

  1. A couple of beers at a sports bar.

  2. A set of shad roe for dinner, if it’s in season

  3. Earrings

  4. A thriller

  5. Pizza


Gin: Pizza. I hate to cook. What’s shad roe?


Lauren: Earrings—never ever ever! I like shad roe but have nowhere to cook it. My life is thrilling enough without fiction, and pizza isn’t very healthy. So it’s the beer for me, especially if I’m feeling friendly.


Your car broke down on a desolate country road. What would you do?

  1. Call AAA on my cell and nap under a tree until the tow arrives.

  2. Look under the hood.

  3. Knock on the nearest farmer’s door.

  4. Run into town for the exercise.


Gin: The AAA choice. Then I might pet cows if there were any nearby or take pictures of nature. Napping under a tree would be too buggy.

Lauren: I don’t have AAA because I’m broke, so I’d look under the hood for anything obvious. Then I’d hunt up a farmer. With luck, he—or she—might be mechanically inclined.

If it were up to you, how would you celebrate your birthday?

  1. Watch my favorite movie On Demand

  2. Have a few beers at a sports bar

  3. Mani/pedi

  4. Nothing special

  5. Count my blessings


Gin: I’m always trying to fix stuff. Not saying I’m great at it, but it’s hell on a manicure. If somebody else bakes a cake, I’ll gladly blow out the candles. But if I’m alone, it’s popcorn and an old movie: Maybe Hopscotch with Walter Matthau and Glenda Jackson, Charade with Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant, or The Full Monty. First choice probably The Full Monty.  I love a good buddy movie 😊


Lauren: Seriously? Number five, same as every other day. Surviving cancer left me with very few priorities.


What was the stupidest thing you’ve ever done?

Gin: Walked into the New Jersey Pine Barrens by myself. That place is another world, folks.

Lauren: There was this guy I met at a sports bar…


If you had a magic wand, how would you use it to fix the world?

Gin: I would eliminate prejudice if I could. It’s ignorant and unfair and the source of way too much suffering.

Lauren: [nodding]: You do that, girlfriend. I’ll eliminate violence. I’ve never understood violence. Never will.


Last question. What would you name your pet turtle if you had one?


Gin: Sheldon

Lauren: I’m going with Over Armour. Nike for short.


Thanks, ladies.




Donna Huston Murray’s only poem, with good reason




Dust, dust

Ubiquitous dust

On everything I own

Including the bust

Of Lady Godiva that sits in the hall

Wearing nothing at all

But dust, dust

Ubiquitous dust.

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