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Karen Vaughan lives in Peterborough Ontario with her husband Jim and a cat named JJ. She is the mom of a 25-year-old daughter and four grown step children and a 5 year old grandson named Izak who could very well be smarter than a fifth grader.
DEAD COMIC STANDING is her second novel. Her first novel DEAD ON ARRIVAL garnered praise from friends, family and online gamers. Her third book and sequel to DEAD ON ARRIVAL is called OVER HER DEAD BODY. DAYTONA DEAD is the third in that series and was released in May 2013.
Other than writing Karen loves to read, do crafts and play online games. Currently she hosts an internet radio show called WRITERS ROUND TABLE since January the 14th, 2014.
She has a quirky sense of humor and shows this in her mysteries and her side hobby of stand-up comedy. DEAD MEN DON’T SWING AND JAMAICA DEAD WERE PUBLISHED in January 2015.
What makes you proud to be a writer from Peterborough, Ontario Canada? I have a supportive group of writers in my area. My family also stands behind me in my passion to write
What or who inspired you to become a writer? I am inspired by Janet Evanovich’s Plum series for one. I love a great mystery and my stories are humorous as are hers. My mom encouraged me to write and gave me money to enter contests—none of which I won but said to keep going.
Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? No Not yet but I do have plans to write a story about living in the North of Ontario
When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I was on leave from work when I wrote Dead On Arrival. People Beta read for me and said I should get it published that was 2006.
What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Great reviews and having people say “When’s the next one coming out?”
What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Feeling that first hard copy in my hands. Then discovering I can self-publish on Kindle with little cost to myself
How many published books do you have? 7
Please list the titles of all your books:
Dead Comic Standing (Stand Alone)
Dead On Arrival (Laura and Gerry Mysteries Book 1)
Over Her Dead Body (Laura and Gerry Mysteries Book 2)
Daytona Dead (Laura and Gerry Mysteries Book 3)
Dead Men Don't Swing (A Laura and Gerry Mystery Book 4)
Jamaica Dead (Laura and Gerry Mysteries Book 5)
Left For Dead (Laura and Gerry Mysteries Book 6)
Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? It depends on the title really some before, some during and some after. Dead Comic standing was inspired by Last Comic standing
Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write cozy mysteries. I grew up reading Hardy boys/Nancy drew stories –I write cozies because they are light and funny.
Which book title would you like featured in this interview? Left For Dead.
What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? I had always written books where the main plot was a murder then I thought of a story where the victim didn’t die but was able to help solve the mystery.
What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Just keep writing. Never give up. Take the hard times as a lesson to keep slogging along.
Who is your favorite author and why? I have respect for all writers of all genres.
Things are really starting to heat up in the Fitz family. Gerry’s cousin and best buddy is left for dead after a beating. When the thugs responsible find out he didn’t die, the game is on to keep Pete safe until he has to testify. After finding a body on a mountain trail in cottage country Laura helps a local police officer solve the crime while waiting for the birth of her first baby.
Book Review: Left for Dead by Karen Vaughan, is witty and intelligently told mystery story. It’s the 6th in the Laura and Gerry mysteries series and a delightfully penned book.
It seems even pregnancy will not stop Laura Fitz from being a corpse magnet, as she stumbles yet again onto another dead body. While Laura is talking to the police, she receives a phone call from hubby. Apparently, Laura’s gift or curse for discovering the dead and becoming embroiled in the nasty affairs of the murder has rubbed off on to Gerry, for he has found his cousin near death.
The Fitz’s have once again become entangled in murder, mayhem, the lives of others along with the danger it entails. But, through it, all Laura remains her witty self. Gerry doesn’t fair as well as his love for Laura and their coming baby, upset his judgement at times. After all, it is difficult to be objective when the life of one's wife is on the line.
Ms. Vaughan has another terrific read in Left for Dead. I enjoyed this book enormously and highly recommend it to everyone. Review by M. Moran Bishop (Verified Amazon Purchase)
Stand-up comic Dave Feener has a great rapport with his audience, so when his body is found maliciously stabbed a short distance away from The Laff Attak where he's just performed, there seems to be no real motive for the brutal murder. A serial killer who does not think local comics are funny has just begun his rampage.
Constables Mike Borneo and Lissa Cassway along with detective Vince Vetters are racing to find the killer before he claims another victim. Was Feener just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Left with his wedding ring and his wallet, Feener's body isn't even cold when the killer strikes again-this time stabbing Phil Vetters, a comic known for his redneck shtick and the brother of detective Vince Vetters. Just as Vince vows revenge, the killer makes a fateful mistake when he stabs another comic and does not ensure his victim is dead before he leaves the crime scene.
The killer is a sicko, but not an idiot. He's right under everyone's noses and the anticipation of a righteous kill is all just part of the fun. Only time will tell if the killer will have the last laugh.
Book Review: Laughing and Dying Sept. 2 2013
After having read Daytona Dead by Karen Vaughan, I knew she had a sense of humor. But this was decidedly different from that novel. Dead Comic Standing was a delightful, five-star read. It was easy to slip into this novel about someone prowling the comedy clubs of Edmonton, killing comedians after they've performed their stand-up routines. Part of the enjoyment for me was reading the comedy elements. I also felt I got an inside view of the way comedy clubs are run. Part police procedural, part whodunit and part thriller, I breezed through this enjoyable novel. It was great fun. I truly enjoyed the killer's motive for doing what he did; it was unusual and humorous in an absurdist way. A wonderful way to spend some time. Reviewed by Mark Rubinstein (Verified Amazon Purchase)
After Graduating from the Crime scene investigator course, Laura and Gerry escape for some quality time in Jamaica. As usual, things are not going according to Hoyle for Cookie the corpse magnet as another murder takes place. The victim was obnoxious and not widely admired by his fellow vacationers but what did Donovan Mitchell do to deserve death?
Laura and Gerry are at it again. Death finds them close to home when a tenant is found in the dumpster behind their apartment building. Laura is thrust into the “who killed Denny?” mystery while she does battle with a tenant and dodges a school janitor the life of a college student is never boring but she wishes it would be!
Book Review: Cookie the Corpse Magnet is at it Again!
Laura Fitz is at it again! Cookie the Corpse Magnet can't seem to stop this propensity for finding dead bodies. The fact that she finds this one is lying in the dumpster, isn't really her fault. She's doing an assignment for her crime scene investigations class, when she comes across the body of Dennis, a resident in the apartment building. Once again, Laura becomes embroiled in an investigation that brings her to the brink of disaster. Her long suffering hunk of a husband, Gerry, can't keep up—poor guy!
Karen Vaughan's cozy mystery, Dead Men Don't Swing, is a wonderfully entertaining read. Her characters are funny, quirky and full of life. Her stories are top notch and full of sarcastic humor.
Vaughan has delivered another villain to loathe in the person of Missy Sawyer. Fortunately for Laura, Missy is more cocky than capable. I love following the antics of Laura and Gerry Fitz, along with friendly police detective, Gibbons.
Dead Men Don't Swing is a wonderfully light look at crime. Fun for everyone!
Review by Dellani Oakes (Verified Amazon Purchase) June 1, 2015
Book Description (Back Of The Book): The honeymoon of Laura and Gerry Fitz is off to a fast-paced yet deadly start when they arrive in Florida. There is a maniac behind the wheel who needs to win at all costs. When he wins, life is great but when he loses he is DRIVEN TO KILL! The first victim off the starting line is Laura's ex-husband Lou, and she is taking it personally. Mix in a creepy cop and some unexpected surprises and you have a race for your life. Who will win and who will wipe out?
Book Review: Threw me for a loop! June 19 2013
Laura and Gerry are on their honeymoon in Florida when they run into Laura's ex, literally! He's found dead in the road and they are immediately suspected of murdering him. However, they are miraculously let go after a series of events lead the police to a dead end. Not one to give up, Laura decides to do her ex justice by finding his killer. Though her new husband Gerry, has reservations, Laura is on a mission, one that puts them all in danger.
Daytona Dead has it all, crooked cops, NASCAR, and murder. I read this book in less than two days and enjoyed it all the way, the pacing was nice and author Karen Vaughan has readers guessing up until the hilarious and very dramatic ending. If you like a murder mystery with humor and unusual suspects, this is your book!
I easily gave this book 5 stars. Review by C. Giguere (Verified Amazon Purchase)
Take one beautiful vindictive woman....she's 1 part bimbo and 2 parts lethal gangsta- gun moll. Watch her try and hold onto her 84 year old husband by having his octogenarian paramour knocked off. Sometimes greed and jealousy lead to the last resort ......MURDER! Laura, Gerry and Gibbons try to stop her from also killing her husband, without getting themselves knocked off in the process!
Book Review: Landlord Crime Solver
Laura Hamilton has the perfect job for an amateur sleuth. It's actually strange that no mystery writer I've read so far has thought of using this job for a main character, but I can't think of one. She's a building manager. Think about it. Here's a person who has access to the apartments of many diverse individuals. She is no doubt aware of exactly which apartments hold nefarious goings on (if any) and which tenants (if any) are up to no good. She is in the perfect position to assist the police in their various lawful investigations--and to conduct her own private snooping by way of that handy little device called a master key.
So, it's not surprising that Laura's day starts out with a good jolt of murder when one of her tenants (sweet-natured octogenarian Ethel Peterson) is discovered head down in her shredded wheat. Laura is quick to assist local Toronto detective Gibbons, much to the consternation of her fiance and co-building manager Gerry. As with so many female sleuths, their men just don't seem to want them to get down and dirty in the investigative trenches--although Gerry certainly doesn't object to Laura assisting him with cleaning vacant apartments, a duty they split democratically.
The investigation into the old lady's demise takes a quick and delightful turn when Laura and Gerry meet the dead woman's sweetheart--Sandy. Although he was smitten with the deceased, the dapper old Sandy is unfortunately tied in a very legal way to a former Las Vegas showgirl named Leena, who gives new meaning to the term "jealous wife." Even so, Laura and Gerry soon manage to befriend Sandy--and he, them. The group gather together to plan an appropriate way to memorialize the dead lady.
No sooner do they start implementing their plans, but accidents begin to occur, people are shot and killed, and it soon appears that people interested in investigating Ethel Peterson's death are being warned to mind their own business in no uncertain terms. Of course, Laura cannot be threatened. It must be her training as a building manager that makes her so daring.
OVER HER DEAD BODY is a fun, fast-moving mystery. The plot is tight and the character dialogue rings true. I was immediately involved and my interest was maintained until the end. The only real complaint I have is the lack of red herrings; you really know who dunnit, just not how it will be solved. Now, I'm wondering what Laura's next adventure will be--and which apartment in her building will hold the clues.
Reviewed by Patricia A. Rockwell (Amazon Verified Purchase) October 2, 2011
Right from the start you know you are hooked!
Right from the start you know you are hooked! I mean how many people wake up to find a body had been delivered to their sitting room while they slept?
This is a good mystery with some romance thrown in. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Karen Vaughan has created a great character in Laura Hamilton. She is funny, smart with a wacky sense of humour - you just have to love her! Will she be able to find out who put the body in her apartment? Who actually was the killer? There isn't a dull moment in this book, more like a roller coaster of 'events' to keep you guessing what comes next!
There are lots of surprises throughout and it certainly makes you keep turning the pages. Altogether a great book, a definite to be recommended.
Review by Ann Stanmore (Amazon Verified Purchase) January 19, 2015