Larissa Reinhart: A Composition in Murder & 15 Minutes Tuesday, Nov 15 2016 

Auntie M and Doc watch a show regularly on HGTV called “House Hunters International.” It’s a neat way to see how people live in other parts of the world, what their housing costs are, what the US family moving to another culture faces.

A recent show piqued Auntie M’s interest because it centered on a mystery writer finding housing for her American family in Japan. Auntie M contacted Larissa Reinhart,and here’s her story of being on a reality sho–and trying to write at the same time~

Real Life on a Reality Show by Larissa Reinhart

How real is real life on a reality show? That depends . . .

Actually, my family was lucky to be chosen for HGTV’s House Hunters International. If you don’t know, this is a cable tv show depicting a family or individual moving to or within a non-US location. There’s a brief introduction to the setting and the people moving, but the majority of the show depicts the subjects choosing one home among three.

In our case, our real life depiction was real, although some of it had to be recreated. We moved to Nagoya, Japan, with our two school-aged daughters and “little dog, Biscuit” last year when we were filmed (it took about a year for the show to be edited and shown). It’s the fourth time my husband and I have lived in Japan. Because of his work, my husband has to live in a teeny apartment two hours from Nagoya, where my daughters and I live, where they can attend international school. Biscuit enjoys a jet set life, alternating between his country apartment and city house.

He’s one spoiled dog.
And I am a writer as depicted on television (how much fun is that to say!). As proof, my sixth Cherry Tucker mystery, A Composition in Murder, releases on November 15th. My first Maizie Albright Star Detective novel, 15 Minutes, launches on January 24th, 2017. And in September my Cherry Tucker novella, “The Vigilante Vignette,” was published in a Halloween anthology, Midnight Mysteries.

On House Hunters International, they showed me typing away next to a pile of my books. If only real life was that glamorous. I normally write in an old t-shirt and jeans with my hair up in a clip. My computer barely recognized me for that scene. Plus, I could never focus well enough to write anything for real on camera.

There’s your re-creation.

Ironically, 15 Minutes is about a reality star, Maizie Albright—once a child actress who starred in a famous mystery series, “Julia Pinkerton, Teen Detective.” After her star tarnished, Maizie returns home to Georgia, hoping to become a real life detective.

I had the idea and began fleshing out the characters and plot before moving to Japan was even a glimmer of reality. I had basically finished the first draft when my husband contacted House Hunters International to see if we could be on the show. We were HHI fans and he thought it’d be fun.

I said, “Why not, it’s not like moving to Japan is a new experience for us. It’d be great research for this book series.” But in my mind, I thought we didn’t have a chance in hell of making it.

Imagine our surprise when we kept getting callbacks after each step in the extensive application and interview process. The reality of reality tv didn’t really hit us until we began communicating with the producer. And then the director, sound, and cameraman arrived in Nagoya. It was thrilling and nerve-wracking.

My writing life is always a balancing act with children and all the stuff-that-happens-when-you’re-on-deadline. I was actually writing A Composition in Murder at the time, but I took notes for Maizie Albright during our five day shoot. Now I’m writing her second book, 16 Millimeters, with that experience in mind.

I’ve always felt the best part of writing has been the people. Meeting readers and connecting with other writers has enriched my life. That’s also been the best part of my very small, 15 minutes of reality star fame.

I have new friends in our British producer and American director. They’re lovely, interesting, smart women, who I genuinely enjoyed getting to know. I love having met our talented Japanese sound guy and British cameraman and enjoyed learning about their interesting work. Now I follow them virtually (on Facebook) around Asia to see their work on commercials, documentaries, and more HHI shoots.

During our filming, they all had an amazing rapport with my children (and our dog), giving my girls a positive experience, something I worried about before the shoot. My daughters received first hand experience in directing, sound, and filming. Also the hard work and long hours that goes into a show.

And after our episode aired, lost friends who saw the show searched us out on the internet to reconnect. New friends and readers, really lovely people, reached out just to tell me they enjoyed us on the show. It humbles me to realize our fun, family experience has made people smile. This is why I write for publication, to entertain readers, particularly for those wanting to escape from life’s difficulties. I didn’t think about the crossover into a twenty-five minute tv show.

It’s been an amazing real life experience.

P.S. If you have the HGTV app, you can see the episode, “Living for the Weekend in Nagoya.” The show also re-airs occasionally, check here for the listing:

A 2015 Georgia Author of the Year Best Mystery finalist, Larissa writes the Cherry Tucker Mystery and Maizie Albright Star Detective series. Her family and Cairn Terrier, Biscuit, now live in Nagoya, Japan, but they still call Georgia home. Visit her website and join her newsletter for more book news at and feel free to friend her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Social Media Links:
Newsletter signup:

End of Summer Beach Reads: Robertson, Korman, Ballard Friday, Sep 2 2016 

Auntie M has three lovelies coming your way, perfect for the Labor Day beach weekend:

Michael Robertson’s Baker Street Mystery series have a devoted following of the two brothers who receive and answer the mail for 221B Baker Street addressed to Sherlock Holmes. The hijinks continue in The Baker Street Jurors.

With barrister Reggie Heath finally off on his honeymoon, solicitor Nigel Heath is keeping the office running smoothly. Well, maybe not that smoothly. He’s actually been living in the office after his American adventure and its accompanying romance ended badly. It’s up to Lois, their receptionist/legal secretary/admin. assistant/ barrister’s clerk to keep him topped off with coffee, working on the wills and other legal papers that cross his desk and having an occasional shower to get him out of his depression.

Then Nigel receives a jury summons–but in that day’s mail, so does Sherlock Holmes! Nigel promptly makes a paper plane of Sherlock’s summons and sails it out the open window. He does, however, turn up to do his duty, and is immediately drawn to one of the young female jurors. This might not be too bad at all, he thinks.

But it couldn’t be worse when he’s assigned as an alternate juror to the case of the century: National hero Rory McSweeny is on trial for the murder of his wife, the victim of a horrendous beating with McSweeny’s own cricket bat. On the verge of leading England’s team to another international championship, the papers have been full of outraged talk mostly pro and con about the accused man playing in the games.

It’s not a case for the faint-hearted as the jurors start having unfortunate accidents. One of the alternates seems to be more than closely acquainted with the sayings of Holmes, too. And then the judge is persuaded that the jury must travel to Devon to see the site of McSweeny’s alibi, and things take a decided turn for the worse. Before it’s over there will be accidents during a storm, rumors of secret tunnels, and a locked room murder. Bright and sparkling with that Robertson irony.


The Killer Wasps Mysteries bring the four friends–antique dealer Kristin, tiny Sophie, Bootsie and Holly–back together for another outing. The annual Tomato Show is at the country club, and their goal is to outdo their nemesis Eula, just in the annual Tomato Show, but also in the tennis tournament.

But then a valuable painting of a pastoral scene disappears from the country club, and everyone is pointing fingers at everyone else. What are the four friends to do but investigate? They secretly hope Eula is to blame, but can only find evidence of another crime: buying her tomato plant entry from a New Jersey dealer.

And as if the gals haven’t enough on their plates, a new Mega Wine Mart plans to open in their little village, cutting a swath right through their forest. Everyone’s in favor of cheap wine, but to take out their forest for it takes the cake. It’s not bad enough that Sophie is going through a tough divorce, and the details of that one will bring a smile to your face, she’s also hoping for a proposal from her loving Joe.

It’s enough to drive a gal to drink! A charming cozy series~

miss dimple_MECH_01.indd

Mignon Ballard bring her two series heroines together in a charming cozy set in the small Georgia town of Elderberry in Slightly Bewildered Angel.

It’s 1944 and schoolteacher Dimple Kilpatrick and her town do their best to help with the war efforts, while worrying about the ones they care for serving in the armed forces and trying to cope with rationing. Things are made worse when the boardinghouse cook, Odessa Kirby, who helps Miss Dimple’s friend Phoebe Chadwick run the house on a shoestring, has to leave to care for a relative.

But all is not lost when on the doorstep they find Augusta Goodnight, whose wise ways with cooking and even cleaning soon save the day. Then the shy Dora arrives, hoping to stay on the library’s porch, toting her things in a paper bag. She brings out the town’s charitable spirit and soon she’s being fed and cared for.

Miss Dimple is suitably shocked when Dora is found dead in the church, and Augusta persuades her she must find the culprit. She enlists her friends to search for clues, even traveling to Dora’s hometown, where her horrible married life is exposed. It will be up to Augusta to convince Miss Dimple to follow the threads that will solve the mystery that will change Miss Dimple’s life.

A heartwarming cozy with exacting period details and the the meeting of Ballard’s two sleuthing heroines.