Welcome to the book tour for A Tale of Two Freddies by Eric Small! It’s a part of the Arnie & Zellie Cozy Mystery series.
What kind of research did you have to do for this book?
While I invented the characters and fictional venues, the book is set in a real place. So, I needed to keep the roads and landmarks accurate. Arnie and Zellie knew nothing about the requirements for getting a private detective license, and neither did I before I researched New Jersey’s Private Detective Act of 1939. And while I read The Brothers Karamazov a number of years ago and liked it very much, I needed a refresher. I had never seen the movie, or even knew of its existence before I looked, but Arnie and Zellie are movie buffs. So, I researched the book, and rented the movie.
Which character was your favorite to write?
I like many of the characters in A Tale of Two Freddies, but if I have to choose, I think my favorite is Jake Rothberg. I grew up knowing people just like Jake, who were gruff on the outside but had hearts of gold. Also, I love great deli.
To which character did you relate the most?
I’d have to say Arnie. He and I have similar backgrounds, growing up in a great neighborhood in New Jersey, with wonderful friends sharing the same street. I think we have similar senses of humor. We’re not the same, of course. Arnie’s a former math major who had a brief stint in medical school. I’m not a math person, or a science type. Also, I’m shorter and don’t carry a gun.
What was one of your favorite scenes?
You might expect me to pick a scene where Arnie and Zellie are in grave peril, teetering on the brink of disaster. But I really like when Arnie is nervous about picking up Zellie for their date at the charity benefit.
Will we see these characters again?
I hope so. I like Arnie and Zellie. I’m pretty far along in writing the third book in the series, so I have a fair degree of confidence I’ll finish it. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, so I can’t predict what happens next. Maybe there will be a fourth book, and maybe I’ll write something completely different.
What do you hope people will get out of your book? How do you make yourself stand out in this genre?
I hope people enjoy reading about two sweet people trying to be detectives while falling in love. Just have fun with it, and don’t take it too seriously. It’s a cozy mystery, not War and Peace. I hope what stands out in my version of this genre is its gentle humor.
Tell us about your other published works.
My only other published work is Brazen Gambit, the first book in the Arnie and Zellie Cozy Mystery Series. In it, Arnie and Zellie encounter murder and the mob, and begin falling in love.
What are you currently reading? Up next on your TBR?
I’m currently reading The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway. Next up is probably a mystery, although I haven’t chosen one yet. My late father was an avid reader, and he often alternated between mystery novels – he loved Sue Grafton – and lengthy tomes like the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. I guess I’m my father’s son in that regard. I do much the same thing. But I never could get into the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
When not writing, what can we find you doing?
I am fortunate to live near a great walking beach. I love the ocean, So I walk several miles every day. I like to read, and I’m an avid baseball fan. But mostly, I like to spend time with my sweetheart – my wife to whom I’ve been married for over thirty years.
Thank you so much for your time!
A Tale of Two Freddies: An Arnie & Zellie Cozy Mystery Arnie & Zellie Cozy Mystery Series) book 2
The corpse barely missed my head. No flying cadavers, just a new case falling into the lives of our intrepid unlicensed detectives. While in dogged pursuit of a killer, Arnie and Zellie navigate the tricky waters of a full-blown romance. Solvers of a single case, they need all of that experience and more to find the murderer. How the heck did the killer get the dead guy up there? And what’s the deal with two men having almost the same name? Did one of them kill the other? Did someone else?
Along the way, Arnie and Zellie encounter a real estate company with a dark side and its own enforcer, a building manager with a chip on her shoulder, and a cleaning company owner with a grudge. Not to mention a massage therapist doubling as a realtor, and a florist who may or may not have witnessed a murder. And how does the gruff but kind deli owner fit into it all?
Is it worth risking their lives to find out?
Retired government attorney Eric Small began writing a cozy mystery series featuring the investigations and adventures of Arnie and Zellie in their fledgling detective agency, set in the environs of Middletown, New Jersey.
Brazen Gambit was the first in the series, and A Tale of Two Freddies continues from where that left off. Eric grew up in Middletown, and now lives in Florida with his wife, to whom he’s been married for over thirty years.
Arnie & Zellie Cozy Mysteries Website: