M.R Dimond writes the Black Orchid Enterprises Mystery series. She has also been a part of several anthologies and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy. She hails from Texas and if you visit her website, you can see some fantastic photos of the wild flowers in bloom.
Johnny Ly, Dianne Cortez, and JD Thompson quit high-powered jobs and moved to an old mansion in Beauchamp, TX. In Birth of the Black Orchids, murder invades their grand opening holiday party. In The Sphynx Who Stole Christmas, they throw another holiday party to celebrate surviving their first year in their business. They might not survive additional murders and a Sphynx cat named Godzilla.
Who is your protagonist’s sidekick?
One of my protagonists is a cat vet who runs a cat shelter for the small town. Besides the cats he naturally meets and acquires, townspeople bring him all their unwanted felines. I wouldn’t describe them as sidekicks, more of a constant presence needing care. They are capable of great cuteness and destruction. The cover of The Sphynx Who Stole Christmas gives you an idea of what they did to the company Christmas party.
Police Officer Alejandro Quintanilla-Villanueva, on the other hand, is not the protagonist, but he is a recurring secondary character. So is his constant companion Cupcake, a demented-looking husky. They have a starring role in the first book of the series, Birth of the Black Orchids. At my first book group discussion, Cupcake was voted Most Favorite Character.
What role does the animal play in the story?
Cupcake was trained as a search dog, but she’s not always inclined to work. Officer Al bought her for $20 from her frustrated owner after Cupcake wrecked a search (again). She rides with him in his police car, because if he leaves her at his apartment, she eats the furniture.
Does your animal help or hinder your sleuth?
Officer Al has fond delusions that Cupcake can be a police dog for the small town of Beauchamp, TX, but she’s been so unreliable that his captain won’t hire her. He’s sure the problem is she doesn’t like the job she was trained for. Most police dogs today are not cross-trained, but he keeps trying to find something she wants to do. She now has a wide variety of skills, which she demonstrates or not, according to her mood. When she does feel like working—and when the people around her know how to interpret her signals—she’s very helpful.
Give us 1 example of the interaction between your main character and the Fury Sidekick.
From my reader magnet The Bobcat of Beauchamp and Other Tales:
[Officer Al] described their day over dinner, “During lunch I saw this new truck go by, sputtering and straining. Later I saw it broken down on the highway. As I talked with the driver, Cupcake did her drug signal. I ran his plates. The border police had suspicions too, but they didn’t find anything. I brought him in, had the truck towed to Rodrigo’s garage. We didn’t find anything either. We’ll have to let him go tomorrow.” He looked sadly at Cupcake, nuzzling his leg. “The Captain won’t take Cupcake’s word for anything.”
Spoiler: Cupcake saves the day.
Is your book part of a series, if so, tell us about the series.
The millennials are on the case! Join them as they solve crime small Texas town while trying to earn livings in a as a veterinarian, accountant, lawyer, and ABBA tribute band.
Give the readers a hint of what’s to come for your character in future books.
There will always be more cats. Some, like Godzilla from The Sphynx Who Stole Christmas, will be helpful in their own way. But Most Favorite Character Cupcake will continue to accompany Officer Al wherever he goes and interject her own brand of crime solving. When she feels like it.
Preorder book 3, to be released June 2, 2023