Mystery Thriller Week (MTW) Book Review and Author Interview - Expired Listings by D M Barclay

I'm kicking off MTW by posting a review of D M Barclays's Expired Listings, and I started with a goodie! Well they're all good to be honest.

This is a murder mystery with a difference. The protagonist Dana, has huge psychological issues from her childhood, and in order to cope she's buried herself in the BDSM community. She also has a dysfunctional relationship with her mother and sister, and an unusual partnership with Dare, her BDSM partner.

By day she's a Realtor, but unfortunately her rival Realtors are being killed and she seems to be being set up for the murders, and due to the blackouts she experiences she can't really provide an alibi. This leads to an interesting relationship with a detective who also dabbles in the BDSM community. So what's Dana's connection to the murderer, and why is she being set up?

This was a fun read, and very tongue in cheek. I liked Dana, and found her relationships and choices believable. At one point I did wonder what was going on with her mother, but then it all became clear. I won't say anymore! I also enjoyed the OTT portrayal of Realtors. The relationships Dana engages in are about power, not sex, but there are some explicit scenes in here which wouldn't be for everyone. However if you enjoy a snarky lead character, and an unusual story line, this is for you!

Author Interview

1. When you did you first start writing?
I've been writing (to be read) since I was about 10--poetry and parodies, mainly. I've been writing for publication since I was 20, starting with a review of a comedy improv group (I was dating one of the members) for a throwaway publication called "Downtown Manhattan." I've spent most of my life writing nonfiction.

2. Are you indie or traditionally published?
Both. I had five offers from small presses for "Expired Listings" but decided to go indie--mostly for control over the cover, pricing and marketing as well as retaining rights I wanted and making sure there'd be a paperback and audiobook out there. I have another novella published traditionally through Loose Id under a different pseudonym.

3. When not writing you really are a Realtor. How do you find the time to write?
The beauty of being a Realtor is that I make my own hours. I also specialize in listing property so my time is more my own (as opposed to working with buyers, which means you have to be available on their schedule.) But I have to admit, there were a lot of days where I was writing from 4am-7am, before the workday started.

4. And I have to ask, are Realtors as bad as you portray them in Expired Listings?
No, I wrote it way over the top to make it a satire. There are a few real incidents in the book that happened in real life but they are so tame, I'm sure the average reader overlooked them. I think that real estate agents who read the book will see where I took my digs. Every time a buyer, seller or fellow agent did something to annoy me, it went into the book but boosted about 1000%.

5. What made you write about the BDSM community and how did you do the research?
I have friends who are part of "the scene" and I was always struck by how most people would never suspect. They are from all walks of life and their sex lives are just part of who they are. The way other books/movies represent them--sex addicts, perverts, glamorous people, only about the sex--well, it's just not true and I wanted to make that point. I wanted to de-demonize BDSM. These friends were very generous about speaking openly with me about their preferences and also took me to some parties and clubs.

6. What are your plans for the next book? If there is one!
I'm currently writing a Contemporary Women's Fiction/mystery called "Slashing Mona Lisa." I bet I could actually finish it if I spent less time promoting "Expired Listings" but I'm one of those freaks who likes promotion as much as writing, so there you are.

You can find out more about D M Barclay here: 

And of course more info on MTW here: https://mysterythrillerweek.com/



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