J. Kent Holloway
Charade Media has been up and running now for a whopping two months and already some amazing things are happening with us. I wanted to take this opportunity to share a bit about what's coming down the pike and how we've already begun to make a name for ourselves among literary agents and our publishing peers. It is not hyperbole to say there are great things ahead for us and we're only getting started. By the time you reach the end of this post, I think you'll agree with me.
First of all, I wanted to talk a little about the vision we have for Charade. Yes, we're a mystery publisher. That much is certain just from our logo, right? Well, we here at Charade hope to be so much more than that. While we will always publish mainstream cozy and traditional mysteries, as other areas of our website suggests, we're going to strive to publish cozy and traditional mysteries with a twist. We're going to dare to go outside the box a bit when we choose the books we're going to release.
Part of that "outside the box" thinking will be on full display in 2024 when we release the first book in our Mazes and Mysteries series, tentatively entitled An Eye for Murder, which will be co-written by myself (Kent Holloway) and Charade's Editor/Acquisitions Editor Halle Smith!
So what is Mazes and Mysteries and how is it outside the box? First of all, it asks the question: what would it look like if you dropped a cozy mystery into a Dungeons & Dragons-type universe? Small village. Ghastly murder. A thief, a mage, or a barmaid forced to solve it before they're thrown forever in a dungeon or are eaten by a dragon. The series will have the same comfy feeling as any other cozy, only with a fantasy backdrop and characters to play with.
What's more, it will be a shared world series, meaning that specially selected authors will contribute their own characters, stories, and mysteries into the same world which provide you readers with an almost infinite possibilities to sate your love for both mysteries and fantasy! But we'll go into more specifics on this at a later date.
But you won't have to wait until Mazes and Mysteries is released to experience our mystery with a twist journey. Our very first original cozy mystery series is coming out on July 11, and it's sleuth promises to be something really special and unique within the cozy mystery genre. I'm of course talking about Nikki Knight's upcoming Wrong Poison and her sleuth Grace Adair.
See, Grace is a cozy sleuth like no other. She lives in a small peaceful town (check). She's a PTA mom, a freelance editor, and a former lawyer (check). And she's an amateur sleuth (check) with an awesome dog (check). I checked all the boxes required to make a proper cozy mystery protagonist, right? So where's the twist?
Well, Grace is also a consecrated assassin. She belongs to a secret order of women assassins who's divine mission is to kill evil men for doing evil things. They've been doing this in secret for centuries and Grace is just one down a long line of women involved in this order.
I could almost feel some ya'll's jaws dropping as I just wrote that last paragraph. Wait a minute. A cozy sleuth who is a professional killer? And you call that cozy? Sure crime fiction has their fair share of hitmen and criminals who solve crimes, but a cozy? Trust me. I'm not quite sure how, but it works. Wonderfully. Nikki Knight has written a truly comforting piece of whodunnit fiction perfect for a steaming cup of tea and fuzzy slippers as you curl up on the couch to read it.
But twisty, right? Outside the box, right? Yeah, we thought so too and we cannot wait for you guys to be introduced to Grace and her mysteries.
So what's after that? Well, I've got book three of The Grim Days Mysteries called One Foot in the Grave coming out around October of this year. The Grim Days Mysteries, if you're not familiar with the series, is sort of a hybrid cozy/procedural mystery in the vein of Castle, I suppose. It's cute. Humorous. Lighthearted. And involves the Grim Reaper as the amateur sleuth who teams up with a small town police chief in a small Florida beach town to solve a string of unlikely, impossible deaths. Impossible, I say, because these deaths are happening without the Grim Reaper's knowledge or approval. This third book will conclude what I'm calling the Hand of Cain saga, but I have plans for many others.
We might have a surprise or two for you before the year is over (a few plans still lurking in the shadows that can't be discussed just yet).
Then, 2024...April to be exact...and we'll be introducing you to the most ornery group of retired women and their young wrangler, Cassidy Jamison, in the Pearly Girls Mysteries. The first book is called Murder Strikes a Chord, and it's a whole lot of fun! Cassidy is an event planner. Her four sexagenarian cohorts are her staff and are thrilled to be hosting a big music festival featuring the Pearly Girls' favorite 1970s rock band. Of course things go awry when one of the band is found murdered and Cassidy has to solve it to save her business.
This one is a bit more traditional, of course. But that's the fun part of running Charade. We get to introduce you all to a wide gambit of selections to choose from. Basically, if you love mysteries, we're about to have something for everyone. So buckle up and join us for the ride of your mystery loving lives! We're just getting started. We sincerely hope you'll join us on this journey.