I’m delighted to have Pat Tierney here with me today. Pat is the protagonist of Rosemary McCracken’s mystery series. Safe Harbor, the first novel in the series, was a finalist for Britain’s Debut Dagger in 2010 and released by Imajin Books in 2010. It was followed by Black Water in 2013 and Raven Lake earlier this year. Pat has also appeared in several of Rosemary’s short stories, including “The Sweetheart Scamster” in the 2013 crime fiction collection Thirteen, which was a Derringer award finalist. Jack Batten, The Toronto Star’s crime fiction reviewer, calls Pat “a hugely attractive sleuth figure.”
Pat, you are a professional woman, a financial planner. How do you meet up with so many criminals?
Pat: Much of my involvement comes from the kind of work I do. I’m a financial advisor, so I’m well-positioned to spot white-collar crime. In Safe Harbor, red flags went up for me when a rookie financial advisor was given a large investment account to manage. And when I looked closely at that account, I saw that a sizeable part of its assets were invested in slowpoke stocks. Now why would anyone put money into laggard investments? Things didn’t add up. And when things don’t add up for a financial advisor, something is very wrong.
Greed for money is a motive for all sorts of crime—even murder.
Do you always agree with how Rosemary tells your story?
Pat: Rosemary gets most things rights—probably because of her training as a journalist. But she keeps bringing my family into all the novels. Everyone has families, and I don’t know why she thinks mine is in any way interesting.
Well, you’ve faced a lot personal problems in recent years—the death of your husband; learning about his love affair, then adopting his young son who resulted from that affair; your daughter, Tracy, who’s in a same-sex relationship; and now your teenage daughter, Laura, is expecting a baby. Rosemary is clearly impressed by how you cope with it all.
Pat: Those were stressful situations, but what choice did I have but to accept them? To keep my sanity, I always try to look on the bright side. Michael is gone and nothing will bring him back, but his son Tommy is a dear boy, as you know if you’ve read Rosemary’s books, and I’m delighted he’s now part of our family. Tracy is in a stable relationship with a good woman, and I’m standing by her choice of a partner. Laura will be young to raise a child, and she doesn’t want to marry at this point. I’ll do my best to help her, and I’ll see that she goes back to school next year. My kids are healthy, mentally stable, and they stand to live happy, useful lives. Hey, I can’t really ask for much more!
You have a strong social conscience. Can you comment on some of the issues that have been raised in the novels?
Pat: The issue that comes up most frequently is fraud: investment fraud and other kinds of fraud. The financial industry deals with money, and therefore it provides an opportunity for people who are clever and greedy enough to challenge the system. I’m a champion of small investors who can get taken by financial fraudsters. I want to see these crooks weeded out and punished. I want tougher penalties for their crimes. The system in Canada is currently too soft on offenders.
I don’t like to see anyone getting a raw deal. My heart went out to the refugees in Safe Harbor who were forced to leave their homelands, and were then terrorized in Canada where they thought they’d be safe and free. And I really felt for the victims of the cottage rental scams in Raven Lake—vacationers sent their money to those fraudsters in good faith, then lost their money and their holiday lodgings. And elderly property owners were terrified when would-be renters started turning up at their doors.
What’s next for you, Pat?
Pat: I left Norris Cassidy, the big investment firm, in Raven Lake, and the fourth book will open in Toronto where I’m trying to set up my own business. I decided to buy an existing business from an advisor who wants to retire. I found one that looked terrific, then I realized that something that looks too good to be true…probably is.
Does that mean you’ve left the beautiful Glencoe Highlands where Black Water and Raven Lake are set?
Pat: The fourth book opens in Toronto, but I didn’t say where it will take place after the opening chapters. You’ll have to wait for Rosemary to finish writing it to find out.
Where can readers find the Pat Tierney novels?
Pat: They can check out Raven Lake at myBook.to/RavenLakeTierney. Safe Harbor is at myBook.to/SafeHarborTierney. And Black Water is at myBook.to/BlackWaterTierney. These are universal links that will take readers to the Amazon stores in their own countries
Thank you for inviting me here today, Karen. Always a pleasure to chat wit you!
Rosemary McCracken, Pat’s author, was born and raised in Montreal. She worked on newspapers across Canada as a reporter, arts reviewer, editorial writer and editor before turning to freelance journalism and fiction writing. She now lives with her husband in Toronto, and teaches novel writing at George Brown College.
Follow Rosemary on her website: http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/
On her blog: http://www.rosemarymccracken.com/
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rosemarymccracken
And Twitter: https://twitter.com/RCMcCracken