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Posted By Susan Bernhardt
The peaceful, calm surface of the small town in a cozy mystery 
series, can hide some wickedly, intriguing secrets. Sure, in a 
mystery series, the population of that small town is ever 
decreasing as it does in The Ginseng Conspiracy, but readers are 
willing to suspend their disbelief in exchange for appealing 
characters, an alluring setting, and a slew of long-kept secrets.

Readers get absorbed into the entanglements, the intricacies that 
lie in the undersurface of living in the small town. Everyone in a 
small town is right there. They can be watched, observed, 
questioned. Sudbury Falls is a charming, insular town where 
secrets, assumptions, and the relationships of the people are 
intense. Kay Driscoll, my protagonist, is a newcomer to Sudbury 
Falls. She can take in the city with fresh eyes. She sees things 
differently, from the people who live there.  

Usually in a cozy, there is a special meeting place. In The 
Ginseng Conspiracy, Kay and her friends spent a great deal of 
time, sampling pastries at Sweet Marissa's Patisserie which often, 
is a hot bed of intrigue.

At times, authors of cozy mysteries draw on their memory of actual 
places. In The Ginseng Conspiracy, almost every home I describe, 
I've been in. I've based the town on one I've known, and have 
walked its streets, back alleys, and paths. 

These days, especially in large cities people don't know their 
neighbors. There's a certain nostalgia to a small town, that takes 
one back to a time when residents knew and associated with the 
people they lived next to. These mysteries have an immediate 
intimacy that is lacking in a large city setting, and more of a 
focus on human relationships.

By reading my series, the reader will come to know this small town 
of Sudbury Falls and its on-going characters, intimately. 


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Susan Bernhardt


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