Guest Chick: Loretta Ross

We’re thrilled to have Loretta Ross as our guest today! Loretta’s Auction Block Mysteries have been called “fresh and enjoyable” by Mystery Scene Magazine and “charming” and “lively” by Publishers Weekly.  The fourth in the series, Death and the Viking’s Daughter, is out February 8 from Midnight Ink.


Last week I got the author’s copies of my fourth book, Death and the Viking’s Daughter, and realized, to my dismay, that in my perpetual airheadedness I never actually turned in the acknowledgements. I considered, briefly, using this opportunity to thank all the usual suspects—you know, my agent, my editor, the cop who tells me when my ideas are stupid and/or illegal, etc. But then I realized that there’s another group of people I should probably thank but whom I will never, ever, under any circumstances mention in the front of one of my books.

You see, every book begins with a dream and when you write murder mysteries, every book begins with a certain kind of a dream. So, with your kind indulgence, allow me to tell you about all the people who inspired my writing by giving me reason to want to kill them.

  • This list has to begin with my half-brother. Seriously. He’s an ass. You probably imagine that this is really masked affection. It’s not. My first memory of him is of him bullying me. He was a teenager. I was three. I understand that fratricide is not currently a viable option, but if he ever magically transmogrifies into a cockroach I am totally going to smack him with a phone book. And not a Tightwad phone book. A real phone book, with yellow pages and everything.

(No, really. Tightwad. It’s a place. I swear.)

  • When I was in high school I was on the speech team. At one competition the judge dissed my reading of Longfellow’s The Children’s Hour because I “mispronounced lower (sounds like blower) to rhyme with hour.” LOWER (rhymes with hour) IS A WORD! The two words are spelled alike but pronounced differently and have different meanings. It’s been decades and this still makes me grit my teeth. I just want a chance to sit down with that misguided person, explain to them the error of their ways, maybe share a cup of tea, and then beat them to death with a dictionary.

(Tightwad, Missouri. Google it. It’s at the junction of 7 highway and PP.)

If you’re like Loretta, you can get this lovely desk sign on Amazon and Ebay.
  • I used to have this boss who was a monster. Everybody has at least one, right? He was a lazy, manipulative, narcissistic misogynist who took advantage of his employees and smarmed his superiors into thinking he actually contributed to the business. One time he scheduled me to work 24 out of 27 hours and when I complained he said, “You’re just lazy. You should have my job.” And he was right. I should have had his job. Because I was the one who was doing all his damn work. This guy, at least, is going to get what’s coming to him. One of my author friends was looking for a name for a horrible person with a short life expectancy so I gave her his. She’s promised to give him a gruesome death because the writing community is awesome like that.

(Not that there is a Tightwad phone book. If there was, it’d be more a phone pamphlet. A phone memo, maybe?)

  • People who can’t turn without coming to a dead stop in the middle of the highway and then creeeeping slooooowly around the corner. I had to stop for one on my way to work this morning. It should not take five minutes to make a left turn into the Tightwad C-Store.

(It’s called the Tightwad C-Store even though it’s actually just outside the city limits. If you can dignify 67 people and a Dollar General with the term “city.”)

  • Joe Buck. If you know who he is you probably understand, even if you don’t agree with me. If you don’t know who he is, you probably don’t want to.

(There’s also a bank at Tightwad but it’s out of business because of course it is. It’s at Tightwad. Everyone keeps their money in their socks.)

  • The guy who inspired my character Eric Farrington. If you’ve read my work you know who I mean. Eric’s a sleazy, bombastic jail guard who is only employed and barely tolerated because his uncle’s the mayor. He’s based on a real person. I’m sorry. Not that I based a character on a real person, but that he exists. It’s out of my hands, y’all.

I’m sure there are more. My day job is in retail, after all. But you get the idea. So thank you, horrible people I have known, for helping me to achieve my dreams. Truly the pen is mightier than the sword because if I tried with a sword half the things I’ve done with a pen I’d be spending the rest of my life in an entirely different kind of pen indeed.

About Loretta:

Loretta RossLoretta Ross is a writer and historian who lives and works in rural Missouri. She is an alumna of Cottey College and holds a BA in archaeology from the University of Missouri – Columbia.  She has loved mysteries since she first learned to read.  Death and the Viking’s Daughter is her fourth published novel. You can learn more at


About Death and the Viking’s Daughter:

Next on Wren and Death’s Appraisal List:

Item #1: An Old Family Feud.

Item #2: A Missing Woman.

Item #3: A Body in the Rosebushes of their Dream House

Auctioneer Wren Morgan and her private eye fiancé Death (pronounced “Deeth”) Bogart are ready to settle down together. But their sleuthing days are far from over. While Death and Wren are helping prepare auction items at an old supper club, a Viking reenactor nearly dies at the historical settlement next door. The cause? Seeing the ghost of his daughter, who went missing twenty years ago.

As Wren looks into what happened to the Viking’s daughter, Death is hired to investigate the theft of historical items that have high sentimental value. When their respective investigations turn out to be connected, the couple gets caught in a deadly conflict.

Thank you Loretta for stopping by—and for your honesty. What about you guys? What type of people make your blood boil? Micro-managers? Know-it-alls? People who don’t hold the elevator when they see you coming up? And, more importantly, have any of you ever been to Tightwad?

25 thoughts on “Guest Chick: Loretta Ross

  1. Thanks for stopping by Loretta! i work in Manhattan and have to walk through Times Square to get to work so I want to kill people (on paper!) every day. I particularly hate folks who get off the escalator and immediately stop.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh yes! People who stop right in front of you.

      I love escalators, btw. It’s one of three weird things that are fun about cities to a small town girl. Elevators (our tallest buildings are only 3 stories), escalators, and revolving doors. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have never been to Tightwad. But I meet people all the time who provide fodder for murder. Well, fewer of them now that I’m working at home, but it seems every time I go out of the house there’s at least one.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. What a great article! I can’t wait to find the first in your series. Sounds like something I’m dying to read! Oh no, I didn’t just say that.
    I can relate to your town though. I’m from a place big enough to be considered a city because of the population, but when the only shopping center is a Dollar General? And the best place to eat is a hot dog shop with 5 stools? What kind of city is that!

    Liked by 4 people

  4. I have not been to Tightwad, and can’t wait to tell my husband about it because he’s from St. Louis. GREAT post! I totally relate. The first time I took a mystery writing class was in 1999 and the only reason I took it was because I wanted to KILL a writer I worked with on a popular TV show I won’t name. After I read my work in class and then heard everyone else’s, I realized that even though I was the “professional” writer, my chapter was the least interesting. I didn’t return to mystery writing for twelve years. But murdering the a-hole on paper prevented me from doing it in real life!

    Thanks so much for visiting us, Loretta!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I’m totally indignant on your behalf about the competition/pronunciation. That is so unfair…

    “And he was right. I should have had his job. Because I was the one who was doing all his damn work.” = Hilarious (and true)!

    Thanks for visiting us, Loretta! And congratulations on book 4!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Loretta, you crack me up. When my first book published a couple of weeks ago, two men, each of whom fathered one of my children, wanted to know if they were in it. First, I told them to buy the book and see. Then I told them not to fret, there would be more books. Congratulations on Book 4!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Loretta, you’re a hoot! Thanks for visiting the Chicks! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of Tightwad. But, I’ve been to Warrensburg. And we spent our wedding night in Sikeston. Not because we planned to, but because that’s where our car broke down.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’m literally laughing out loud at this. It’s so satisfying to kill someone off on the page — and it sounds like you’ve got plenty of material! (P.S. Beautiful book cover, too!)

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I can relate to the boss–there was one two levels above me that was the worst snake ever! And so incompetent. Did not know what he did not know and thought the best management style was to be abusive and try to make everyone mistrustful of everyone else and afraid of losing their jobs. BUT about six months after the little-to-midsized company I work for was sold to a larger company, he was fired by the overhead company folks. Via SKYPE! So satisfying. My boss called the members of my department into a conference room to give us the news. NONE of us could look at anyone else or there would have been giggles. And giggles. And someone might have brought in cocktail supplies at lunchtime.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Great post and so nice to “meet” you on Chicks, Loretta! And guess what? I know who Joe Buck is because every time my husband sees him
    on TV he mentions how much he hates him. You’d really be doing us both a huge favor if you bumped him off, ha.

    Liked by 2 people

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