I met Leah Dobrinska at agency Zoom meetings, and we became friends. Leah is the author of the Larkspur Library Mysteries, a cozy mystery series set in the Wisconsin Northwoods, and the Mapleton novels, a series of standalone small town romances.
She earned her degree in English Literature from UW-Madison and has since worked as a
freelance writer, editor, and content marketer. As a kid, she hoped to grow up to be either Nancy
Drew or Elizabeth Bennet. Now, she fulfills that dream by writing mysteries and love stories.
Death Checked Out is her debut cozy mystery.
A sucker for a good sentence, a happy ending, and the smell of books—both old and new—Leah
lives out her very own happily ever after in a small Wisconsin town with her husband and their
gaggle of kids. When she’s not writing, handing out snacks, or visiting local parks, Leah enjoys
reading and running. Find out more about Leah, join her newsletter community, and connect
with her through her website, leahdobrinska.com.
Leah gave me to opportunity to read Death Checked Out, and it’s a hit. I believe you’ll enjoy it too.
Enough from me, I want you to get to know Leah.
It’s cozy mystery season, y’all! I know, I know, technically I could make an argument that every season is cozy mystery season, but I don’t know, there’s something about this time of year that makes me want to curl up in front of the fire with a warm cuppa and get lost within the pages of cozy mystery.
Actually, it was this time of year three years ago that I was struck with a desire to pen my own cozy mystery. I had recently finished writing several romance manuscripts and I was itching to try something new. My family and I had returned from an end-of-the-summer visit to a small, northern Wisconsin town where my husband’s aunt and uncle own a cabin on a lake.
While cruising the lake on a pontoon boat, we came around the corner of this little cove and I spotted a tiny log cabin nestled up and in the trees. I said right out loud, “That’s the perfect setting for a mystery novel.”
When I got home, the idea wouldn’t leave me alone. So I decided to write it.
Truth be told, I didn’t think anyone else would ever read it. This was a creative exercise meant just for me. I grew up on Nancy Drew. The tales of the daring, strawberry blonde teenage girl sleuth are woven into the fabric of my childhood. She made me into the reader I am, so it wasn’t surprising to me that, eventually, I’d write a mystery.
I deemed my draft the little mystery that could because I kept chug, chug, chugging along with it. I had no idea what I was doing, having never written in the genre before. I did plot the entirety of the story using the Save The Cat beats, and then I simply told the story that came to me.
It took me a while, but the bones of my first cozy mysterysolidified. Nine months later, on a whim, I decided to query literary agents. After some heavy revisions, one took me on (thanks, Dawn!), and now in less than a month, the little mystery that could will hit shelves.
I am at once excited and terrified to be jumping from the comfort of the romance genre to this new terrain of the mystery genre. Fortunately, mystery authors and readers alike have welcomed me with open arms. I’ve had authors willingly take my uncorrected proof, read it, and provide me with amazing blurbs. I’ve had readers sharing my cover art and drumming up interest for my book. What a gift this cozy community is!
I can’t wait for the world to read the cozy mystery that could, now officially titled Death Checked Out. It’s releasing on December 6, 2022, and you can preorder it now.
Here’s what you’ll find within these cozy pages:
- A trio of friends (my own small nod to Nancy, Bess, and George!)
- A library hook
- A Northwoods, lakeside town setting
- A quirky cast of neighbors and side characters
- A cat named Biff
- A lot of humor
- A disgruntled detective
- A touch of romance (…maybe?!)
- A fast-paced mystery
I hope you’ll give it a try, along with any of the other amazing mysteries releasing this fall and winter.
Some that are on my TBR list include:
The Plot and the Pendulum by Jenn McKinlay
Too Much To Candle by Sarah E. Burr
A Christmas Candy Killing by Christina Romeril
Film Crews and Rendezvous by Heather Weidner
What are you reading this November and December?
Friends, here are some links to get to know Leah better.
Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/3zB9eeg
Death Checked Out Purchase link (Amazon): https://amzn.to/3T4XK9n