Featured New Book: Most Likely to Murder by Carole Shmurak


Another of the 25 Years in the Rearview Mirror author is Carole Shmurak. Let’s give her a warm welcome and see what song makes her think of her book. It’s a good one!

Stayin’ Alive by the BeeGees is the song that comes to mind, for two reasons.

First, it is set at a high school reunion, and after a certain age, that’s what reunions are all about, aren’t they? Who’s still staying alive? Of course my book, Most Likely to Murder, is a mystery, so at least one member of the class doesn’t achieve that goal!

Second, it is the class of 1980 that is having their 32 year reunion, and “Stayin’ Alive” was one of the songs they danced to when they were in high school. It was funny that when I looked up the songs that might be played at the reunion, there were several titles that were appropriate: “Stayin’ Alive” from 1977-78, “I Will Survive” from 1978, and “Another One Bites the Dust” from 1980. So I got to use all three songs during the course of the evening.

When I started writing Most Likely to Murder, I had just come from my own high school reunion, and I’d been the editor of the reunion book, so I had the faces and the lives of nearly 200 people in my mind. But to quote Sue Grafton, my detective, Susan Lombardi, is “younger, smarter and thinner” than I am. That meant that all the music we had played at our reunion would be all wrong for Susan’s class, and so it was necessary to research the songs. It also meant that the names of my classmates were wrong for the era too, so I had to look up the popular names for people born in 1962; all the Carols and Barbaras had to become Sharons and Lisas.

The version of “Stayin’ Alive” that I’ve chosen is the one with the BeeGees singing but with images that come from the 1940s and feature the gorgeous Rita Hayworth. I’m not that old, but I am a film lover and she is just such a glorious dancer to watch!

The class of 1980? I don’t talk about things that make me feel young often, but this is one of them. However, I’d like to point out the excellent name the detective has. Notice that? I sure did!

Ready for the blurb? I am!

What high school class has a thirty-two year reunion? A class whose president has left the country, whose vice president is dead, and whose treasurer is in the Witness Protection program — in fact, Professor Susan Lombardi’s class from Count Basie High School. Susan has misgivings about revisiting her hometown: she’s leery of seeing her former high school sweetheart, now a high tech millionaire, and reluctant to get involved in a battle between her squabbling brothers. But when she does go, one of her “old gang” ends up dead, and Susan and her friends team up to find the classmate Most Likely to Murder.

I may need to buy this one. How about you?





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  1. Carole Shmurak

    October 29, 2012 11:49 am

    Thanks Susan for having me as a guest today. I’m sitting here watching the trees sway, while Hurricane Sandy is still hundreds of miles south of us.

  2. Bob Lurie

    October 29, 2012 4:09 pm

    You are definitely Stayin’ Alive.

  3. Monica M Brinkman

    October 29, 2012 7:15 pm

    A High School Reunion Murder Mystery, eh? Sounds quite intriguing. Will have to check this one out.

  4. Stacy Juba

    October 30, 2012 9:03 am

    I remember walking one of my babies to the BeeGees over and over again in the middle of the night – apparently something about the high voice was soothing! A fun post, Carole and Susan. I have it shared on Pinterest and scheduled for Twitter and Facebook.

  5. Carole Shmurak

    October 30, 2012 11:24 am

    Thanks, Susan, for having me as a guest, and thanks to Stacy for dreaming up this blog tour.

  6. Pat Abbruzzi

    October 31, 2012 7:46 am

    Thanks Carole,

    Great Book.Great choice of music. Brings me back to a wonderful time in life.

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