The Notorious Noel Caper


The Notorious Noel Caper (Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries)
by Sally Carpenter

About The Notorious Noel Caper 

The Notorious Noel Caper (Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol Mysteries)
Cozy Mystery
5th in Series
Publisher ‏ : ‎ Cozy Cat Press (August 18, 2021)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 235 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1952579317
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1952579318
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09CN1W7V1

It’s Christmastime in Tinsel Town, and there’s plenty of ho-ho-homicide at the soon-to-open Santa’s Magic theme park, where bodies are dropping like snowflakes. Former pop star Sandy Fairfax has a killer job—he’s the emcee for the televised Miss North Pole beauty contest–er, scholarship pageant. But will the beautiful contestants make his girlfriend jealous? Or will she join him in his sleuthing? The deadly Christmas season begins at a celebrity bowling tournament when a pinsetter plops down a body instead of the pins. Throw in surfing Santas, a seductive executive’s wife, a sleazy tabloid editor, an egotistical movie rival and a gift-wrapped death trap, and it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

About Sally Carpenter

Sally Carpenter is a native Hoosier living in Southern California.

She has a master’s degree in theater from Indiana State University. While in school, her plays “Star Collector” and “Common Ground” were finalists in the American College Theater Festival One-Act Playwrighting Competition. “Common Ground” also earned a college creative writing award. “Star Collector” was produced in New York City and served as the inspiration for her Sandy Fairfax series.

Sally also has a Master of Divinity and a black belt in tae kwon do.

She’s worked as an actress, college writing instructor, jail chaplain and tour guide/page for Paramount Pictures.

Her first book, The Baffled Beatlemaniac Caper, was a 2012 Eureka! Award finalist for best first mystery novel. She has published five books in the Sandy Fairfax Teen Idol series and two books the Psychedelic Spy series, Flower Power Fatality and Hippie Haven Homicide.

She penned chapter three of the group mystery Chasing the Codex.

She has short stories in three anthologies: “Dark Nights at the Deluxe Drive-in” in Last Exit to Murder; and “Faster Than a Speeding Bullet” in Plan B: Omnibus as well as a Sandy Fairfax adventure, “The Puzzling Puppet Show Caper,” in Cozy Cat Shorts.

Q&A With the Author

When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?

I’ve always been a writer. My baby book says I loved stories. I’ve always been an avid reader. I made up stories when I was young, although I never wrote them down. My first published piece was a short puppet play that I wrote when I was in high school. I’ve published short pieces here and there over the years. In 2008 I started writing mysteries and became more disciplined at that time. My first novel was published 10 years ago.

What advice do you have for a new writer?

Do it! Too many wannabes talk about writing, join clubs, go to conferences but never actually sit down and write. Or they have story ideas or a few chapters tucked away in a drawer. Start a project and finish it. You can’t publish something unless it’s done. Your first projects will, of course, be rough, but practice makes perfect. The more you write and the more you learn about writing, the better you become. It’s like a pianist who practices the scales; you have to learn the basics of grammar and spelling before you can write the symphony.

What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?
Thinking up various scenes, which play out in my head like a movie. The problem is then getting it down on paper before I forget the dialogue. The hard part is stringing all the scenes together in a coherent plot, and coming up with new scenes to bridge the gaps.

What is your favorite part of this story?

The best scenes are the ones with strong emotions. In one chapter, the wife of a studio executive offers Sandy a plum movie role. But as the conversation progress, Sandy realizes what the woman really wants from him. She’s in a position of power, and it’s difficult for him to say no. She gets more insistent. The scene gives me chills every time I read it.   

Which Character was the most fun to write about? Why? 

Sandy Fairfax is always a hoot. The story is told in first person from his POV. He’s funny, smart, talented, egotistical, opinionated, but also very warm and loveable. He can put on an act for others while voicing his real opinion to the reader. He has a strong sense of justice in solving the crime. He adores his girlfriend. He’s athletic and spry and can do all sorts of things that I can’t do.   

Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?

The killer is hard because the writer has to play fair with the reader and leave hints, but it can’t be too obvious as to who done it. The murderer must have a strong motive, but that can’t be apparent until the end. It’s a juggling act to balance the red herrings with the clues to keep the reader guessing. The killer must be involved with the story—not just pop up ten pages from the end—yet keep his/her identity hidden. 

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