Please join us in welcoming back the fantastic Margaret Mizushima, author of the award-winning Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries!
The Joys of Being a Veterinarian’s Wife
(or How Being a Vet’s Wife Inspired My Writing)
I’ve been married to a veterinarian for almost forty years. (No applause needed, but sometimes I do think I deserve a medal.) During this time I’ve learned to deal with countless interruptions in whatever we happen to be doing at any given moment.
Actually, it all started on our first date when we had to box up our dinner at a restaurant so that he could respond to an emergency call to repair a horribly maimed pony that had been attacked by a dog. I rode along with him and held the flashlight while he stitched the poor little horse back together. If that didn’t scare me away, I guess nothing will. (By the way, that pony survived.)
Even holidays haven’t been spared from interruption. One Christmas, our adult daughter brought her boyfriend home to meet us. True to form, my husband received an emergency call from a client whose pregnant bulldog had gone into labor and needed a C-section. Our entire family—with guest in tow—trooped up the road to our clinic to help. After delivering the puppies one by one, my husband handed each of us a wriggling, wet baby, which we wrapped in towels and rubbed vigorously to stimulate breathing. My daughter’s friend said it was the most memorable Christmas he’d ever had. For us, it was par for the course.
They say “Write What You Know” so when I decided to write a mystery series, I knew that one of the characters needed to be a vet. In real life, however, vets may solve medical mysteries, but rarely (or perhaps I should say almost never) are they involved in murder mysteries. I decided that a veterinarian and a K-9 handler could make an interesting crime fighting duo—trio if you count the dog, and dogs should always be counted.
Soon three characters came to life: Deputy Mattie Cobb, her K-9 partner Robo, and Cole Walker, DVM. Cole is a newly divorced workaholic whose wife left town, leaving him alone to raise their two daughters. He faces a sharp learning curve for being a single parent as he struggles to keep up with his busy practice. When his teenaged daughter’s friend is murdered, Mattie and Robo come into their lives. They investigate the crime and try to track down the girl’s killer in the first book of the series, Killing Trail.
Mattie carries her own baggage, which she has been unpacking slowly over the past six books. An abusive father figure, her mother’s abandonment, and her subsequent time in foster care have left scars, making it difficult for Mattie to trust others; but the bond she has with Robo is working its magic. And so is the love that develops between Mattie and Cole. The latest episode, Hanging Falls, presents another murder case for this trio to investigate while it answers some questions about Mattie’s past.
The Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries are about family, mental health, the animal-human bond, friendship, and loving support. Cozy readers should be aware that these books are classified as police procedurals, although I call them “soft-boiled police procedurals with heart.” Each book presents a new case for Mattie and the reader to solve as a stand alone, but to get the full effect of the characters’ stories you might want to start at the beginning with book one. The seventh book, Striking Range, is set to release on September 7, 2021.
My life as a vet’s wife might have inspired my mystery series, but the books also feature plenty of law enforcement and K-9 work. Thanks to my husband and several K-9 handlers who’ve agreed to act as consultants, I have the information needed to keep the police and vet work real while I spin tales of murder and mayhem. I invite you to join Mattie, Robo, and Cole in these adventures.
What has inspired you in your endeavors, dear readers? And what questions do you have for Margaret?
Margaret Mizushima is the author of the award-winning and internationally published Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries. Active within the writing community, Margaret serves as president for the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, was elected the 2019-2020 Writer of the Year by Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers, and is also a member of Northern Colorado Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Women Writing the West. She lives in Colorado on a small ranch with her veterinarian husband where they raised two daughters and a multitude of animals. She can be found on Facebook/AuthorMargaretMizushima, Twitter @margmizu, Instagram at margmizu, and her website at www.MargaretMizushima.com