About Jane Bennett Munro

I've published 5 murder mysteries set in Twin Falls, Idaho, where I live. My main character, Dr. Toni Day, is a pathologist in a rural hospital, much like me. Murder under the Microscope came out in 2011, Too Much blood in 2012, Grievous Bodily Harm in 2013, Death by Autopsy in 2014, and The Body on the Lido Deck in 2016. I'm currently working on my sixth, A Deadly Homecoming.

I’m back! Where have I been all this time?

The last 2 years have been incredibly busy. In 2017, I went back to working 3/4 time to allow another of my partners to go half time for medical reasons. That meant I was making half again as much money as I had in previous years working half time. Plus, now that I’m over 70, I’m collecting Social Security and mandatory distributions from 2 pension plans. I also had a huge tax deduction for 2016 because of all the repairs on my Hilton Head house, which I then sold, exactly one month before Hurricane Matthew hit and drowned Hilton Head Island.

What to do with all that extra money?

I decided to go all out on marketing for all 5 books. Working with a delightful marketing consultant, Red Hernandez, my books got advertised in Reader’s Digest, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and countless others. I had Hollywood treatments done and screenplays written. I had publicists up the wazoo working on my behalf. I’ve had author videos filmed right here in my home. Finally, all 5 will be made into audiobooks. I spent over $300,000.

Which gave me another huge tax deduction for 2017.

Now, I’ve written a 6th Toni Day mystery, called A Deadly Homecoming.

Here’s what it’s all about.

Pathologist Toni Day returns to her hometown of Long Beach, California. Her mother’s best friend Doris’s husband Dick has disappeared, and Doris has moved in with Toni’s mother and stepfather, convinced that the historic house she shared with Dick is haunted. To make things even more complicated, Doris is also suffering from a mysterious illness.

When Toni and Hal arrive, Doris takes a sudden turn for the worse and ends up in the hospital in a coma. While doctors struggle to diagnose and treat, Toni explores the historic house looking for clues, and finds evidence suggesting that Dick may not be who he seems, as well as a malfunctioning dumbwaiter, a laird’s lug, a secret staircase, and a half-empty bottle of white arsenic. She also finds Dick’s body.

Toni embarks on a whirlwind investigation revealing insurance fraud, identity theft, and serial murder reaching back at least four decades, while struggling to convince doctors that Doris is suffering from chronic arsenic poisoning. The Long Beach police, not accustomed to Toni’s unorthodox methods of crime-solving, are skeptical of her conclusions until Toni herself nearly becomes the final victim.

It’s been through all 3 stages of editing and received Editor’s Choice from iUniverse, the 4th of my 6 books to do so. It has now moved on to Cover Copy Polish, and then Proofreading, and then interior and cover design.

I’ve sold books at Shoshone Art in the Park, and at Twin Falls Art in the Park, and still have Thousand Springs in September and Art of the Gift in December. I’m noticing that people who are new to my books usually want to start at the beginning with Murder Under the Microscope, while those who are familiar with them have already bought all of them, and are impatiently wondering why I don’t have a new one yet. I’ve assured them that it’s coming, it’s coming, but I don’t know when. I’m praying to have it for Thousand Springs, but it’s far from a given.

However, there’s a development.

I received a thumb drive in the mail upon which was the audiobook for The Body on the Lido Deck. I’ve listened to it. It’s good. I approve. Maybe, just maybe, if I don’t have Deadly Homecoming for Thousand Springs, I will have an audiobook to sell.

And that’s where I’ve been all this time.

 

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Foreword Clarion Review: A really good one!! I had no idea I was this good.

     CLARION REVIEW * * * * * MYSTERY

The Body on the Lido Deck

Jane Bennett Munro
iUniverse (Aug 19, 2016)
Softcover $20.99 (290pp)
978-1-4917-9550-7

The Body on the Lido Deck will delight any lover of quirky mysteries and fascinating forensic crime novels.

The Body on the Lido Deck by Jane Bennett Munro is a brisk thriller with scientific smarts and solid detective  work from a likable leading lady. 1

Pathologist Toni Day is sailing blissfully aboard the North Star on a Caribbean cruise with her family. One  Sunday, just as dawn is breaking over the coast of Barbados, Toni is awakened by odd noises out on the Lido deck  and leaves her cabin to investigate. When the mangled body of a woman falls into the pool before her eyes, Toni uses
her keen curiosity, forensic expertise, and Scotland Yard connections to hunt a killer.

With only days left on the journey, more bodies surface, and Toni calls on the aid of her stepfather, a retired  homicide detective. The two work quickly to solve the case and save the ship’s passengers-and themselves-from an  invisible threat. From Barbados to Puerto Rico to the Fort Lauderdale port, The Body on the Lido Deck starts with a  scream and ends with a satisfying snap.

Toni is feisty and fearless; diving into a swimming pool to examine a decapitated head is all in a day’s work for her, as is challenging the authority of both the ship’s crew and foreign police. She is a natural detective with scientific training, and she moves swiftly on her mission, asking limitless questions, performing an autopsy in the ship doctor’s  small office, and using the resources at her disposal to collect and preserve valuable evidence. The technical lingo on  the details of pathology appears to be spot-on but readable, and even a novice to the inner workings of the post-mortem process can follow Toni’s explanations.

Despite her initial busybody demeanor, as a narrator, Toni brings a heaping dose of heart to the story. As  caring as she is tenacious, her actions are driven by justice and truth. Her affection for her family is evident as she  works to balance her fast-paced work life with her longtime marriage to Hal, a professor, and her close relationship
with her prim and proper mother, Fiona. Toni entertains and exasperates everyone on board in her pursuit for clues.  She is perceptive and cautious, bubbly and authentic, and the story is effectively told in first person, keeping Toni  relatable and self-aware.

At times, the book unfolds so rapidly that it’s tempting to get lost in the waves of information. Each port of call  adds more supporting characters, as well as potential killers and victims, but Munro’s plot-driven writing keeps the  story on course.

This book offers believable dialogue, a breakneck pace, and a unique story that breathes new life into the  literary murder-comedy genre. It’s Jessica Fletcher meets CS/, with the usual crime-scene gore and droning medical  jargon now wrapped up in a charming, entertaining package.

The Body on the Lido Deck will delight any lover of quirky mysteries, easy-to-read medical dramas, and  fascinating forensic crime novels.

MEREDITH HARDWICKE

Now let’s see if my head will fit through the door …