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Author Q&A ft R.J. Lee | GRAND SLAM MURDERS Book Tour | GREAT ESCAPES TOURS Presents Cozy Mystery

Grand Slam Murders (A Bridge to Death Mystery) by R. J. Lee is on book tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and stops at Readeropoli...

Grand Slam Murders (A Bridge to Death Mystery) by R. J. Lee is on book tour with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours and stops at Readeropolis with an author interview and giveaway. Enjoy!


Author Interview

Who is your intended audience and why should they read your book?
Intended audience are those who enjoy cozy mysteries; those who belong to book clubs and/or bridge clubs; and particularly women who fit those categories. Not to say that men are excluded, by any means. But I do have a female, amateur sleuth and other interesting female characters in my book.

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?
The series title is a bit of a pun: A Bridge To Death Mystery. Each mystery in the series has some connection to the game of bridge. The title does double-duty, therefore. As for the title of the debut novel—Grand Slam Murders—that was easy. Four wealthy widows who belong to an established bridge club are all poisoned at a bridge luncheon while preparing to play a Grand Slam contract in practice for an upcoming championship.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image?
The cover art was designed by the Kensington Art Department in New York—particularly the very talented Kristine Mills and Sara not on staff. I made some general suggestions to them, but I think they outdid themselves in coming up with such a colorful cover with the just the merest wisp of wit to it.

Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
My favorite character is Merleece Maxique, the domestic servant who is accused of murdering the four ladies preparing to play a game of bridge. She is witnessed stirring cyanide-laced sugar into their coffee by the gardener and is the primary suspect. She has few defenders in the Deep South town of Rosalie, Mississippi, and it begins to look like she will be railroaded. Throughout the ordeal, she maintains her strong faith and innocence. I like her lack of pretension and goodness of heart.

How about your least favorite character?
What makes them less appealing to you? My least favorite character, though a minor one, is Harry Keller, who is, quite frankly, an old-fashioned racist brand of District Attorney. Unfortunately, he still exists in this country in various forms. 

Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book or series:
What other books are similar to your own? What makes them alike? Grand Slam Murders takes place in Rosalie, Mississippi, which is a tweaked version of my historic home town of Natchez, Ms., on the Mississippi River and founded in 1716, two years before New Orleans. I have gotten a lot of my ideas for characters and plots from the extremely-layered and eccentric town of Natchez, which has a very laid-back, partying mentality in a state not widely-known for that. (Celebrates Mardi Gras, for instance.)

How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
You can like my R. J. Lee, Mystery Writer or Bridge To Death Mysteries pages. I will respond to any questions. I am also at under R. J. Lee.

What can we expect from you in the future?
I intend to write murder mysteries from here on out.

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?
Write a review for amazon or Goodreads and recommend it to friends, book clubs and bridge clubs.

Do you have any tips for readers or advice for other writers trying to get published?
Actually sit down and complete something, preferably long-form fiction of at least 75,000 words. Try your best to get a New York agent to represent you. Unagented submissions are difficult to place. Network with other writers if you can get to know them and ask them for their advice as well.

About the Book

Grand Slam Murders (A Bridge to Death Mystery)
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (January 29, 2019)
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-10: 149671914X
ISBN-13: 978-1496719140
Digital ASIN: B07CWF82MH

After four bridge players are poisoned, newspaper reporter Wendy Winchester sets out to catch a killer who's not playing with a full deck . . .

When the four wealthy widows who make up the venerable Rosalie Bridge Club never get up from their card table, this quiet Mississippi town has its first quadruple homicide. Who put cyanide in their sugar bowl? An aspiring member and kibitzer with the exclusive club, Wendy takes a personal interest in finding justice for the ladies.

She also has a professional motivation. A frustrated society columnist for the Rosalie Citizen, she's ready to deal herself a better hand as an investigative reporter. This could be her big break. Plus, she has a card or two up her sleeve: her sometimes boyfriend is a detective and her dad is the local chief of police.

Partnering up with the men in her life, Wendy starts shuffling through suspects and turning over secrets long held close to the chest by the ladies. But when a wild card tries to take her out of the game, Wendy decides it's time to up the ante before she's the next one to go down . . .

About the Author

R. J. Lee follows in the mystery-writing footsteps of his father, R. Keene Lee, who wrote fighter pilot and detective stories for Fiction House, publishers of WINGS Magazine and other 'pulp fiction' periodicals in the late '40's and '50's. Lee was born and grew up in the Mississippi River port of Natchez but also spent thirty years living in the Crescent City of New Orleans. A graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) where he studied creative writing under Sewanee Review editor, Andrew Lytle, Lee now resides in Oxford, Mississippi.

Author Link: Facebook -

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1 comment

  1. Thank you for being part of the book tour for "Grand Slam Murders" by R. J. Lee. Enjoyed reading the interview with the author to learn more about this newer author to me. Can't wait for the opportunity to read the book.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net