Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Welcome, Susie Black

I have been telling stories from the time I learned to talk. Like my protagonist, I am a ladies’ swimwear sales executive in Los Angeles. I have kept a daily journal during the course of my career and it is the foundation of my writing. I draw all my plots from situations I have experienced and build on them. My characters are based on the myriad of quirky, interesting people I have encountered in the apparel industry. My character’s names are often a wordplay on a real name: For example in one of my stories, Mr. Newman became Mr. Oldham, Mr.Turpiine became Mr. Tyne My writing style is not a plotter or a pantser, rather a hybrid. I plot the beginning and the ending but let the characters take me from the middle to the conclusion. What’s the most fun? Since I write humorous cozy mysteries, I get to knock off people on paper who in real life I would not have minded eliminating and  yet I don’t go to prison…LOL.


BLURB: The last thing Ditzy Swimwear sales exec Holly Schlivnik expected was to discover ruthless buying office big wig Bunny Frank’s corpse trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey with a bikini stuffed down her throat. When Holly’s colleague is arrested for Bunny’s murder, the wise-cracking, irreverent amateur sleuth jumps into action to find the real murderer. Nothing turns out the way Holly thinks it will as she matches wits with a wily killer hellbent on revenge. 

TAGLINE: Everyone wanted her dead…but who actually killed her?


Born in the Big Apple, Susie Black calls sunny Southern California home. Like the protagonist in her Holly Swimsuit Mystery Series, Susie is a successful apparel sales executive. Susie began telling stories as soon as she learned to talk. Now she’s telling all the stories from her garment industry experiences in humorous mysteries. She reads, writes, and speaks Spanish, albeit with an accent that sounds like Mildred from Michigan went on a Mexican vacation and is trying to fit in with the locals. Since life without pizza and ice cream as her core food groups wouldn’t be worth living, she’s a dedicated walker to keep her girlish figure. A voracious reader, she’s also an avid stamp collector. Susie lives with a highly intelligent man and has one incredibly brainy but smart-aleck adult son who inexplicably blames his sarcasm on an inherited genetic defect. 

Death by Sample Size Excerpt


When the elevator doors opened, I had to stop myself short not to step on her. There was Bunny Frank-the buying office big shot-lying diagonally across the car. Her legs were splayed out and her back was propped against the corner. Her sightless eyes were wide open and her arms reached out in a come to me baby pose. She was trussed up with shipping tape like a dressed Thanksgiving turkey ready for the oven with a bikini stuffed in her mouth. A Gotham Swimwear hangtag drooped off her lower lip like a toe tag gone lost. Naturally, I burst out laughing. 

Before you label me incredibly weird or stone-cold, let me say genetics aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. If you’re lucky you inherit your Aunt Bertha’s sexy long legs or your father’s ability to add a bazillion dollar order in his head and get the total correct to the last penny. Without even breaking into a sweat, it’s easy to spout at least a million fabulous traits inheritable by the luck of the draw. Did I get those sexy long legs or the ability to add more than two plus two without a calculator? Noooooooooo. Lucky me. I inherited my Nana’s fear of death we overcompensated for with the nervous habit of laughing. A hysterical reaction? Think Bozo the clown eulogizing your favorite aunt.

I craned my neck like a tortoise and checked around. Then I clamped a fist over my mouth. Cripes, how could I possibly explain my guffaws with Bunny lying there? Disappointment was simultaneously mixed with relief when there was no one else in the parking lot. Where was security when you needed them?

I toed the elevator door open and bent over Bunny. I’d seen enough CSI episodes to know not to touch her. She was stiff as a board and I attributed the bluish tinge of her skin to the bikini crammed down her throat. I was no doctor, but I didn’t need an MD after my name to make this diagnosis. Bunny Frank was dead as the proverbial doorknob. 

It was no surprise Bunny Frank had finally pushed someone beyond their limits. The only surprise was it had taken so long. The question wasn’t who wanted Bunny Frank dead. The question was who didn’t?


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  1. Replies
    1. Jennifer, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. What a fantastic presentation! I appreciate you introducing me and Death by Sample Size to your readers.

  2. Wishing you all the best with DEATH BY SAMPLE SIZE!

    1. Judith, with support like yours, how can Death by Sample Size possibly fail? Thank you so much!

  3. Enjoyed the inspiration behind your story, Susie! Wishing you continued success!

    1. Thank you so much, Mary. This means the world to me.

  4. Love the sound of this story--and of the origins of your ideas :) Also--how smart of you (and dedicated) to have kept a journal! Wishing you the best.

    1. Thank you so much, Barbara. The experts all say write what you know, so I did. The journal has been a source of inspiration as well as entertainment over the years. Thank you for the good wishes. It means a lot to me. Susie.