Enter a Wizard, Stage Left


Enter a Wizard, Stage Left (A Zodiac Mystery)
by Connie di Marco

Come and journey as the reason for the crime fall, and soon you will want to read this series!
~Maureen’s Musings

Great characters, well to the series…ed clues and an adrenaline-fueled search create a dynamic and enthralling read.
~Cozy Up With Kathy

About Enter a Wizard, Stage Left 

Enter a Wizard, Stage Left (A Zodiac Mystery)
Traditional Mystery
Prequel Novella
Suspense Publishing (October 26, 2021)
Print length ‏ : ‎ 111 pages
ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09JGV526H

Julia Bonatti wasn’t always a crime-solving San Francisco astrologer. She was a young woman, engaged to the love of her life, preparing for a teaching career when tragedy struck. Her fiancĂ© was killed in a hit and run accident. As Julia struggles with her loss and attempts to find meaning in her life again, she takes refuge with her grandmother Gloria. But there’s little time for grief or rest because Gloria, a retired seamstress, needs Julia’s help. Gloria’s been hired to create costumes for a production of Agatha Christie’s Appointment with Death at the newly opened Theatre Mars in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood.

Theatre Mars is a stunning jewel, the cast is supremely talented and the script is brilliant. What could go wrong? Julia gets the first hint of trouble when her new friend, the owner of The Mystic Eye bookshop, warns that all might not go well. Opening night will take place during the dark of the moon, the last three days before the new moon, a time that bodes disaster for any new project. The dire prediction comes true when the lead actress is murdered before the final curtain, echoing the play itself. Julia discovers a vital clue to the murder, but a clue that puts Gloria’s life in grave danger. Can Julia rescue her grandmother before it’s too late? And will a black cat play a leading role?


About Connie di Marco

With the Zodiac Mysteries, featuring Julia Bonatti, a crime-solving San Francisco astrologer, Connie di Marco has combined her fascination with astrology and her love of writing mysteries.  Writing as Connie Archer, she’s the national bestselling author of the Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime.  You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook.  She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters in Crime.  She lives in Los Angeles but dreams constantly of the San Francisco fog.

Q&A With the Author

When did you first consider yourself to be a writer?

Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog today!  

If I had to pin down an exact moment when I could call myself a writer, I think it was the day my editor approved the first book in my first series, the Soup Lovers’ Mysteries.  Even though I had already written the first three books in the Zodiac Mysteries, those hadn’t been sold or published.  When that first manuscript was accepted and I knew my story would be out in the real world, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I knew then I wasn’t crazy to think I could write a good mystery.  

What advice do you have for a new writer?

Always remember to believe in yourself and the story you want to tell.  There are many excellent ‘how to’ books on the market, but the best way to learn is to read the authors you admire.  And keep writing.  The more you exercise that muscle, the stronger it gets.  Take rejection in stride and don’t let it stop you from believing you can produce good work.  

What is the easiest part of the writing process for you?

Are there any easy parts?  I’m not sure.  But there are moments and time periods when ideas seem to flow and take shape on their own.  Inspiration strikes.  Those are the times I can “get out of my own way.”  That’s to say, I’m not calculating with one part of my brain or judging how something will turn out.  Then of course, when I go back to read what I’ve perhaps written in the wee hours when I was fighting off sleep, it doesn’t work.  But then, miraculously, sometimes it does.

What is your favorite part of this story?

Setting a mystery in a theater was great fun.  And in retrospect I realize I was following in the footsteps of some wonderful Golden Age authors – not just Agatha Christie, but Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh and others, who all wrote mysteries in theater settings.  That setting works quite well in terms of a plot, rather like an English country house murder.  There is a select group of characters bound together in their situation and the killer is among them.

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

I’d have to say the evil Suzette, the murder victim, was the most fun to write.  I didn’t have to worry about making her a sympathetic character.  In every scene where she appears, she really lets loose and makes the other characters quite miserable.  Her death puts a major crimp in the theater production, but everyone’s glad to see the end of her.  

Which Character was the hardest to write about? Why?

Well, I chose to write a prequel to the Zodiac Mysteries because of questions and comments from readers.  A few people asked, for example, how Julia first became interested in astrology and how she found her cat, Wizard.  Other people really enjoyed the character of Gloria, Julia’s grandmother, and wanted her featured even more.  So, in this story, I’d have to say that Julia, my protagonist, was the most difficult to write.  Unlike the first books in the series, the death of her fiancĂ© is quite fresh.  Her grief is very real and I wanted her emotional life to be believable, but not so heavy that it dragged the story down.  That was something I hadn’t foreseen when I first began to write this story.

Author Links

Twitter: @Connie di Marco
Purchase Link – Amazon 

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