Author of the Week: Helen Grochmal

We end July with Helen Grochmal as Cozy Cat's Author of the Week! Helen is the author of mysteries Manners and Murder: A Carolina Pennsbury Mystery and Dinner and Death: A Carolina Pennsbury Mystery

Manners and Murder is about Carolina Pennsbury, who is a retired librarian living a perfectly content life in a retirement home. However, she seems to be the only one who doesn't have complaints at the home, but even the complaints around her can't compete with the horror of one of the home's residents being found stabbed to death in her apartment. Carolina becomes involved when her tablemate Margie is arrested, and Carolina is convinced she's innocent. Carolina is determined to not only solve this crime, but to make all her tablemates happy. 

Check out this excerpt: 

"Carolina looked around the room and then at the people at the table. She thought, there are some normal, balanced people in this place, but not at our table. They do have peculiarities-- at our ages everyone had at least one refined one, or else we were brain dead. Our table refined theirs to the finest grade of ore imaginable. Except for me, of course, thought Carolina."

Dinner and Death is the second of the Carolina Pennsbury mystery series. In this novel Carolina once again finds herself trying to solve a murder: the murder of Apolonia, Carolina's best friend's cat. While the poisoning of Apolonia is awful in itself, Carolina believes the poison was intended for Margie. She narrows it down to three new residents-- Mike, Frieda, and Paula-- who have filled an empty seat at her dining table. Can Carolina find out who the culprit is? 

Check out this excerpt: 

"This table harmony can't last," said Carolina. "It's all so agreeable and boring."

"You want trouble?"

"Excitement at least," complained a usually uncomplaining Carolina. 

"I thought we had enough of that with the murder. Do you want us all to join those raunchy databases like Margie says her husband did? She would have to be hospitalized if we did. I have a feeling he ex wears a different toupee and make-up in his pictures, depending on the subscribers."

Helen Grochmal was born and raised in a coal town until she went off to a small private college. Once she graduated she worked in the civil service in order to afford further college education, and worked her way to an M.A. in English from Penn State, and an M.L.S. in Library Science from Rutgers. 

Helen also worked as a librarian for over 20 years, and also was an associate professor at a state university in Pennsylvania. 

She began writing in her 60s, starting with a memoir and the moving one to fiction, where her first published work became Manners and Murder. 

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