Kate Carlisle on Creating Lighthouse Cove
Hello, my name is Kate Carlisle, and I have power over life and death.
I’ve just launched my second mystery series, The Fixer-Upper Mysteries, with A HIGH-END FINISH (available now in paperback and ebook), and I brought to life an entire town for your reading pleasure.
At first glance, Lighthouse Cove is an idyllic northern California coastal community, with a charming downtown and amazing views everywhere you look, but behind that perky façade is a growing sense of unrest. (This is a mystery series, after all.) Those with all the wealth want more of it, and they won’t let small-minded townies get in their way.
Shannon Hammer bridges the gap between have and have-not. She’s blue collar all the way, townie to her core, but she makes nice with the rich and powerful because her construction company is the go-to choice for the wealthy owners of all of the cliffside Victorian homes in need of restoration. In Lighthouse Cove, the best man for the job is a woman.
The Bibliophile Mysteries, my first mystery series, are set primarily in San Francisco, so I work within the framework of a place that really exists. With the Fixer-Upper Mysteries, though, I needed to create Lighthouse Cove from the ground up with such a sense of history and place that it would feel as real to readers as it does to me.
From A High-End Finish:
I turned up the radio to distract myself and cruised through downtown past the Town Square on my way to one of my houses a few streets north of Main Street.
The Town Square was pretty much deserted at this time of the morning. In the center of the grassy square, a large gazebo was set beneath sheltering trees. During the summer, free band concerts were held there on the weekends. Everyone in town turned out, carrying their lawn chairs and picnic hampers. The ice cream shop on the corner did a bumper business on those nights. Some of my earliest best memories had taken place right here. Fireworks. Marching bands. My mom and dad holding hands. Ice cream.
Now, though, the Square was silent. I scanned the area anyway on the off chance that I’d catch a glimpse of one of my girlfriends opening her shop, but the only place open was the diner on the corner. The other shops on the Square wouldn’t open for business for another two hours or more.
It was just as well, I realized as I drove on. I should probably avoid the area for the next few days. I knew my gossip quotient had skyrocketed since I’d stumbled over Jerry’s body on Sunday. Everyone in town would be vying to get the inside scoop from me, but I dreaded the whispers and questions that would follow. I had to endure scrutiny and doubt from the new police chief, but not from people I’d known my entire life.
I hope Lighthouse Cove will be a town you’ll enjoy visiting again and again. Grab A HIGH-END FINISH to get in on The Fixer-Upper Mysteries from the very beginning!
About the book: In the seaside town of Lighthouse Cove in northern California, everyone knows the best man for the job is actually a woman—contractor Shannon Hammer. But while Shannon can do wonders with a power drill and a little elbow grease, she’s about to discover that some problems aren’t so easily fixed....
Shannon’s home-renovation and repair business is booming, but her love life needs work. On a blind date with real estate agent Jerry Saxton, she has to whip out a pair of pliers to keep Jerry from getting too hands on. Shannon is happy to put her rotten date behind her, but when Jerry’s found dead in a run-down Victorian home that she’s been hired to restore, the town’s attractive new police chief suspects that her threats may have laid the foundation for murder.
Determined to clear her name, Shannon conducts her own investigation—with the help of her four best friends, her eccentric father, a nosy neighbor or two, and a handsome crime writer who’s just moved to town. But as they get closer to prying out the murderer’s identity, Shannon is viciously attacked. Now she’ll have to nail down the truth—or end up in permanent foreclosure.…