Novel Spotlight: What Happened on Beale Street

Novel Spotlight: What Happened on Beale Street

What Happened on Beale Street is the second book in the Secrets of the South Mysteries by bestselling author Mary Ellis. Following the series opener Midnight on the Mississippi, these complex crime dramas follow an investigator’s quest to make the world a better place…solving one case at a time.

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The following is an interview with Mary Ellis, the author of What Happened on Beale Street, with a bonus giveaway at the end of the interview.

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Be in to win a copy of
What Happened on Beale Street
by Mary Ellis

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TWO copies to be won

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Contest open to entrants WORLDWIDE.
Contest runs 28 March – 11 April 2016 NZDT

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What can you tell us about the setting of this novel?

Beale Street 2What Happened on Beale Street is set in the city of Memphis, Tennesseee and the outlying areas of the Mississippi River delta. My story involves a young man who went to Beale Street to make his mark on the music world. Danny Andre took with him his dedication to Christian outreach and spent his free time volunteering with the homeless and at an outreach center for recovering addicts. His commitment to the downtrodden, along with his late-night work venues, often put him at risk and created a long list of suspects when Danny is murdered.

Who are the main characters, and what is at stake for them in this story?

Barbeque on Beale 2Other than the murder victim, my main characters are the two PI’s who come to investigate. Nate Price and his cousin, Nicki, were high school friends of Danny‘s. Neither can rest until the murderer is captured. Nate also had a crush on Danny’s sister, Isabelle, and endeavors to kindle a romance with her. Nicki’s misstep with Memphis Police keeps her confined to the elegant Carlton Hotel where she uncovers the mystery of missing diamonds. Helping Nate from behind-the-scenes, along with solving a fifty-year-old case, keeps Nicki plenty busy.

Which of the characters surprised you the most in this story, and how so?

This will probably surprise your readers, but my deceased victim surprised me the most. The complexity of Danny’s character continued to expand and deepen throughout the story. I liked Danny so much by the end of the story, I was sorry I “bumped” him off for the sake of the plot.

How did the writing of this story impact you as a person or as an author?

peabody fountain 2During my several research trips to Memphis, I fell in love with the Mississippi Delta. Someday I would love to cruise the length of the river in a big paddlewheel boat to study the history and dynamics of the area. I also fell in love with the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, the real-life inspiration for my fictional Carlton Hotel.

Why is this story important to you?

This story became especially meaningful because legendary bluesman, B.B. King, passed just as I was finishing the story. I have always been a fan of Mr. King’s music, and so his death was especially poignant to me. I dedicated my humble story, What Happened on Beale Street, to his memory.

What would you like your readers to take away from this story?

The character of Danny Andre can be an example for all Christians to be of service to their fellow man. Danny wasn’t afraid to walk the walk that the Lord spoke of. I plan to work more volunteer service into my own life as well.

 

What Happened on Beale Street

(Secrets of the South Mysteries #2)

What Happened on Beale Street
What Happened on Beale Street

by Mary Ellis

  • Harvest House Publishers
  • Contemporary
  • April 2016
  • ISBN: 9780736961714

Purchase
[Kindle | Amazon | The Book Depository]

How Can Music So Beautiful
Hide Something So Deadly?

A cryptic plea for help from a childhood friend sends cousins Nate and Nicki Price from New Orleans to Memphis. When these two private investigators arrive at Danny Andre’s last known address, they discover signs of a struggle and a lifestyle not in keeping with the choirboy they fondly remember.

Danny’s sister, Isabelle, reluctantly accepts their help. She and Nate aren’t on the best of terms due to a shared past. Can they get beyond painful memories to find her brother?

And what on earth was Danny involved in besides becoming a rising star as a sax player? Nate and Nicki follow clues into dim and smoky clubs, trail potential stalkers, and challenge dangerous men with connections to underworld drug trafficking. To complicate things, the hotel they are staying in has its own secrets. Confronted with murder and mystery in the land of the Delta blues, the cousins and Isabelle will have to rely on their faith and investigative experience to solve the case and not lose their lives.

 

Mary Ellis has written twelve award-winning novels set in the Amish community and several historical romances set during the Civil War. Her latest, What Happened on Beale Street, is second of a new mystery series, Secrets of the South, from Harvest House Publishers. Magnolia Moonlight will release this summer.

Before "retiring" to write full-time, Mary taught school and worked as a sales rep for Hershey Chocolate, a job with amazingly sweet fringe benefits. Mary enjoys traveling, gardening, bicycling and swimming, and lives in Ohio with her husband, dog and cat. She can be found on the web at: http://www.maryellis.net/ or https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Mary-Ellis/126995058236

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GIVEAWAY WINNERS

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Winners of a copy of
What Happened on Beale Street
by Mary Ellis

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Gail Hollingsworth
Rebecca Maney

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Contest was open to entrants WORLDWIDE and ended
11 April 2016 NZDT

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