BARBARA COOL LEE
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Barbara lives on the California coast in a cozy cottage where she writes Her favorite meal as she writes is veggie soup with a freshly baked loaf of sourdough bread-perfect for those foggy coastal days. Barabara writes the Pajora Bay Novels and the Maggie and Jasper Caper series.
Maggie McJasper is starting over in a little California beach town. She has a bead shop, a nice circle of friends, and a handsome movie star who keeps flirting with her. Life would be pretty great if she could just stop stumbling over dead bodies. Do you like dogs, crafts, quirky friends, a slow-building romance between grownups who genuinely like each other, and a twisty little mystery with red herrings galore? Then this is for you.
Who is your protagonist’s sidekick?
Jasper, a rambunctious sable Rough Collie. He’s the spitting image of Lassie, and has never met anyone he didn’t immediately consider his best friend. He’s also clumsy, overbearing, and knocks people over in his excitement. Jasper is based on my own Collie, Tucker, who was happy, sweet, and quite unintentionally destructive at times.
What role does the animal play in the story?
Jasper is Maggie’s sounding board. She discusses her cases with him, and he is always supportive, offering sympathetic looks and grunts of approval. He has also gotten involved unwittingly in the mysteries, from digging up clues, to being wounded during a gun fight with a villain (he’s okay now!).
Does your animal help or hinder your sleuth?
He’s always my Maggie’s side, through thick and thin. He offers his support, and will always leap to her defense.
Give us 1 example of the interaction between your main character and the Fury Sidekick.
Jasper’s best dog friend, a rescued German Shepherd, became the key to solving a crime involving its owner. Jasper ended up distracting the killer at the perfect moment so Maggie could save the day.
Is your book part of a series, if so, tell us about the series.
Maggie got divorced from an older wealthy man when she caught him cheating. Jasper had been a gift to her ex-husband, and she adopted the lonely, neglected pup, even though she had never owned a dog before–much less an eighty-pound, untrained pooch with more energy than common sense. Now they live happily in a tiny house in a little beach town. Life is pretty good, when she’s not getting involved in murders.
Give the readers a hint of what’s to come for your character in future books.
Maggie will finally marry her true love, and Jasper will be the ring bearer. The only hitch in that plan is that Jasper decided to herd a litter of baby skunks, and he may add an unexpected aroma to the wedding ceremony!
Isn’t Tucker adorable? I can see why Barabara used him as a model for Jasper!