We’re as excited as baby goats in springtime to announce the latest Chick to join us here at Chicks on the Case: Leslie Karst! Cheep cheep, whoo hoo!
Leslie writes the Sally Solari Mysteries. She’ll be blogging on Fridays.We couldn’t be more thrilled that she’s joining the nest, and for her inaugural post, we asked her some questions so you can get to know her a little better.
CHICKS: So, who is Leslie Karst?
LESLIE: I have to begin by saying how honored and thrilled I am to be initiated into the fabulous Chicks on the Case. (Is there a secret handshake? Oh, I hope there’s a secret hand…or, er…claw-shake.) Over the years, I’ve followed this blog and have hung out with the Chicks at mystery writer conventions, and to now be a part of the group is truly wonderful. So, thank you!
Okay, on to my bio:
The daughter of a law professor and a potter, I learned early—during boisterous family dinner conversations—the value of both careful analysis and the arts. Little did I know that one day these would prove ideal ingredients for writing a mystery series!
Being an “academic brat,” I lived in different places growing up: Columbus, Ohio; South America and Mexico; Oxford, England; and Santa Monica, California. And as a result, I acquired the taste for pretty much any kind of food, from barbecue to burritos to bubble and squeak.
I majored in English lit at UC Santa Cruz (home of the Fighting Banana Slugs) and after graduation, parlayed my degree into employment waiting tables and ringing up sales as a cashier. Finally deciding I was ready for a “real” job, however, I ended up at Stanford Law School and, for the next twenty years, worked as the research and appellate attorney in Santa Cruz.
CHICKS: Share a little about your life
LESLIE: I’m now retired from the law, and my wife, Robin, and I—along with our rambunctious Jack Russell mix (and what other kind is there?)—split our time between Santa Cruz and Hilo, Hawai‘i.
Of course, having taken on a second career as a mystery author, I now work almost as much as I ever did as an attorney. But it’s way more fun! When not writing or spending far too much time on Facebook, I occupy myself with cooking, singing alto in my local community chorus, gardening, cycling, and observing cocktail hour with Robin and Ziggy and whomever else happens along at five o’clock on any given evening.
CHICKS: Tell us about your Sally Solari Mysteries
LESLIE: Sally Solari is descended from one of the original Italian fishermen who arrived in Santa Cruz in the 1890s, and her dad is fiercely proud of the family’s traditional Italian seafood restaurant out on the historic wharf. But when Sally inherits her aunt’s trendy restaurant, Gauguin, her father—hurt that Sally no longer wants to work at Solari’s—becomes convinced she now looks down on her family heritage.
This dynamic between the old and the new provides the backdrop for my culinary mystery series, in which Sally finds herself solving murders, while at the same time juggling work at both family restaurants and trying to figure out her relationship with her ex-boyfriend/current bestie, Eric.
There are three Sally Solari Mysteries so far: Dying for a Taste, A Measure of Murder, and Death al Fresco (published by Crooked Lane Books). And an as-yet unnamed fourth in the series will be released next spring.
CHICKS: What are three things about you that people would be surprised to know?
LESLIE: One: I was the lead singer/songwriter/guitarist for a new wave band called Enigma back in the early 1980s. (Yes, I had spiked hair and wore red Converse hightop sneakers.)
Two: I have a degree in culinary arts, which I earned while working as an attorney.
Three: I once cooked dinner for Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, her husband Marty, and the five federal marshals who accompanied them for the evening.
READERS, please help us welcome our newest Chick in the comments below! Or ask Leslie your own question! And if you haven’t subscribed yet, now’s a great time to start. Just click the button on the top right side of this page and let the fun begin!