Interview with Joan Havelange

Author of The Trouble with Funerals

Whodunnit author/ cozy mystery. Golfer, trailer storyteller

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Quick description of the book for a new reader - what should they expect?
  • Humour and mystery. There are many layers to this mystery. Quirky characters and a visitor who is a fish out of water in a small prairie town. Is the man who he says he is, or is he a con man? And the mystery at the Gravenhurst Manor that Mabel must solve. Seniors seem to die in unexpected circumstances.
What was your inspiration for this book?
  • I grew up in a small prairie town. Humour is always just around the corner.
Which authors do you admire? How have they influenced your writing style?
  • Richard Osman, Rhys Bowen, M. C. Beaton. Each author is different, but all tell a fine tale.
Can you tell us a little about the locations in your book?
  • The Trouble with Funerals is set in a little fictional town on the Canadian prairie.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
  • Edit, edit and edit again. And never give up, you have a story to tell.
Could you talk a little about your writing process?
  • I write better in the winter. I live in Canada. And it's not just chilly. It's darn right cold. So I curl up in a big comfy chair and let my imagination take me away.
Which character has had the greatest impact on readers?
  • I think my protagonist, Mabel. She jumps in and asks permission later. I think we all wish we were a risk taker like Mabel.
If the book were to be adapted for TV or film, who would you see in the lead role? Who did you have in your mind’s eye ?
  • A British actor, Helen Mirren.
How have readers responded ?
  • I have had a great response. I have been the best-selling author for my publisher for two years in a row.
Where next? What are you working on now?
  • 'Moving is Murder.] A mystery set in the same little prairie town. Publishing date October. And a historical mystery, 'The Séance Murders' set in the 1900s. Publishing date 2024.
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The trouble with funerals is there are too many of them. Mabel’s mother is convinced there is something nefarious going on at the senior’s condo ‘Gravenhurst Manor.’ She convinces her daughter to look into the death of her best friend, Mini, who died in suspicious circumstances. If there is a cold, calculating murderer at work. Mabel needs to find the killer before it’s too late. Her mother could be next. But what is the motive? Why would anyone want to kill a senior? And her main suspect has a perfect alibi, namely Mabel.

Her reliable sidekick Violet is no longer reliable. Violet may have gotten herself involved with a con-man. Against the backdrop of the peaceful little town of Glenhaven, Mabel’s challenge is to solve the motiveless murders; and save Violet from herself.