Meet Kira Brightwell’s Canadian Cousin: Mackenzie Quinn

Photo by Dominika Roseclay from Pexels

I wrote a lot of Kira Brightwell adventures last year during the first six months of the pandemic. (All shorts, but still.) Honestly, if I hadn’t had a set schedule already in place to write all those stories during that time, I probably would have got a bit crazy. (Crazier?)

I still love Kira, and I definitely have future plans for her, but I kinda got burned out. The difficulty in writing a mystery series is that the stories are very much tied to the lead detective. I did try to mix things up with all those Kira shorts as much as possible to have some kind of variety and keep things fun (different locations, character focus, themes, etc.), but it’s pretty much always going to be the same main character in the same timeline.

Then I thought, ‘What if Kira had an older, Canadian cousin?’

Even though the Kira Brightwell series mainly takes place in California, Kira does have relatives north of the border. And the thought of writing a Canadian cozy mystery series with a quirky female sleuth in her forties was different enough from the kickass action of Kira Brightwell to be a fun change of pace.

So that’s what I’ve been working on lately… I decided to write two shorts as a sort of warm up before giving the first novel in the series a go. The first short is already done and in the revisions process. (It was only meant to be a short story, but turned into a short novel instead.) I’m almost finished writing the second short now (which is also trending in the direction of a novella, of course). My plan is to have the first one publicly available to purchase, while the second will be a free exclusive for members of my newsletter list.

The Mackenzie Quinn Mysteries

Zee never planned to move back to her hometown of Ashwood, Ontario—and definitely not with her parents. (At the age of forty, no less.) She never expected to stumble across a dead body either. And the kittens… They took her by surprise as well.

With her life turned upside down by cats and crime, and her own secrets under threat, she decides to become the author of her own destiny. (And good luck to anyone who stands in her way—or tries to call her ‘Mackenzie.’)

Follow Zee’s (mis)adventures in this Canadian cozy mystery series by Jacquelyn Smith, author of the Kira Brightwell mysteries.


…I’m hoping to release the first two shorts in October, so stay tuned! (Oh, and just for the record, the cats mentioned above are just cats. They aren’t feline detectives.)

Posted by Jacquelyn

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