Murder at Serengeti Plains is the third mystery novel in the series, featuring amateur sleuths Hazel Davies and Anna Kohl. The earlier novels are Murder at Eagles Nest and Could They Be Twins?
The book is set in a new residential subdivision, Serengeti Plains, built by the renowned local builder, Zebra Homes. It is located in the peaceful, historic town of Centerville, Ohio. However, peace is shattered when the new residents are awakened one morning by the sound of police sirens. The procession of police cars, come to rest in their own neighborhood. A body has been discovered! Was it an accident or was it murder?
Hazel Davies and Anna Kohl have recently moved into this new subdivision. They have previously helped the police to solve murders in both Florida and Ohio, but they did not expect to find one on their own doorstep. When the police begin to look at their friend as the perpetrator, they find themselves drawn into yet another murder investigation.
After Noah left, Hazel and Anna sat down to review what they had learned.
It seemed that Detective Grant’s case was solely based on a perceived argument between Gary and Noah. Everything else was assumption and speculation. Noah had no reason to kill Gary, even if he had found him onsite without authority. He could simply have called the police. Both Hazel and Anna knew there had to be more to the story.
However, one question had emerged from Noah’s story – what was Gary doing on the building site? The likelihood of his body being brought to the site and dumped seemed highly unlikely as the hammer, now identified as the murder weapon had apparently been found in the undergrowth nearby. So, the inevitable conclusion was that Gary got there under his own steam, but why?
Hazel and Anna decided to make a list of the possible explanations. After half an hour of considering the options, they concluded that there were only two possibilities. Either he was there to meet someone, or he was there to steal something. They decided it was time to ask around and see what they could find out.
It was time to take their daily walk. Since moving into Serengeti Plains, Hazel and Anna had made a habit of walking around the subdivision for exercise. They found the established part of the area a little boring as the homes had long since been completed and during the day there was very little activity, apart from the occasional dog walker. As a result, they usually made their way to the streets where construction was still active. There were numerous homes under construction and if nobody was working on a particular house, they would slip inside to view the progress. They had watched many of the homes progress step by step from the footings to the roof and then observed each step inside towards completion.
When did you start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I wrote my first book ‘Finding God in an RV’ about the miracles we experienced on our first adventure in our motorhome back in 2015. It was written when we settled in Florida for the winter of 2015. I subsequently wrote my autobiography ‘The Power Within.’
How did you choose the genre you write in?
After the two non-fiction books, I wanted to continue writing but decided on a different direction. I have always enjoyed murder mysteries both in written form and as TV series. However, I have never appreciated the graphic violence and blood. Given my interest, it seemed logical to pursue my budding writing career by creating my own cozy mysteries.
Where do you get your ideas?
In the midst of the everyday activities in my life, I find myself envisioning a body in the most unlikely places. Sometimes this brief thought expands into a story.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
This latest book, ‘Murder at Serengeti Plains’ is the third in the series featuring amateur sleuths, Hazel Davies and Anna Kohl. It is based on a new residential subdivision in the historic town of Centerville, Ohio. This town’s history dates back to the early settlement of the region and has links to several famous people in history, including the Wright Brothers.
Hazel and Anna have moved into a new home on an active building site and they spend their spare time checking out the progress of the homes being constructed around them. However, their focus changes when a body is discovered and their friend becomes the main focus for the murder.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
In truth, my imagination has its limits and I always draw on my own experiences. In this instance, my partner and I have recently moved into a newly constructed home in a subdivision.
How did you come up with the title?
I named the builder, Zebra Homes and decided to call the subdivision Serengeti Plains because that is where zebras are found in the wild.
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
As I indicated in a previous question, my amateur sleuths have been featured in my previous novels, Murder at Eagles Nest and Could They Be Twins. I believe Hazel Davies and Anna Kohl still have at least two more adventures before they settle down to retirement.
What sort of writing environment do you create? I.e. music or not? Pen and paper or laptop/PC?
I concentrate most effectively in a quiet environment. When we were traveling, I used to sit in the passenger seat at the front of our motorhome, with the computer on my lap. Now I am blessed with a reclining chair in my office.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I would just like to thank my readers for taking the time to read my books and hope they find them as much fun to read as I had in writing them.
How would you change the world? The things around you? The people around you?
I have no idea how to change the world but would like to see people in the world no longer focused on money and power but on peace and community instead.
How do you learn best?
I am by nature a detailed person and as such like to find and read the details about a subject in order to understand it.
What unusual hobbies or interests do you have?
I enjoy animals and birds in their natural environment and taking photographs. My favorite hobby is creating stained glass pieces.
What are you especially proud of in your life?
That I live my life honestly and try to bring a smile to the faces of those I meet irrespective of the circumstances.
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Originally from Manchester, England, Pat Duggan moved to the U.S. in 1985. After a career in finance, which included running her own book-keeping and tax business, in the Cincinnati area, Pat and her partner retired and moved to Oregon. Years later, they embarked on a five-year journey, traveling across the country in a motorhome.
Writing was a whole new direction for Pat, which began with two non-fiction books – The Power Within and Finding God in an RV. Then she branched into writing fiction as she turned to her love for solving murder mysteries and the challenge to figure out ‘whodunit!’
Sadly, their traveling days are over, but settling down has brought its own reward as it inspired this latest novel.
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Pat-Duggan/e/B0845YGGV3/