Title: Death of a Kootch Show Girl
Author: Corey Recko
Release Date: 25 February 2017
It’s Halloween night 1953, the last night of the carnival in rural Ohio, and a stripper turns up dead. Tom Davis, the chief of police, orders the carnies to stay in town while he investigates, but there are no leads to Mary’s killer—no fingerprints on the murder weapon, no blood but Mary’s at the scene, no foreign hairs or fibers—no clues of any kind.
Brian Stockton, a reporter for the local paper, hopes this will be his break into the big time, so he begins to investigate as well. But, alas, the killer’s identity eludes him, too. As tensions build, the carnies become paranoid, pointing fingers at each other. Could it be the owner, Bill Harris, the one who discovered the body? Or was it perhaps Gino Guglielmo, the man who runs the kootch show and has a nasty temper? Was it the eccentric clown, Otto Radowski, a man with dark secrets in his past and who just happens to have Mary’s cat?
And how did the killer manage to commit such a violent act without leaving a single speck of evidence? Mary certainly wasn’t killed by a ghost…or was she?
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~ Interview ~
Liz: Hello, thank you for this interview, how are you?
Corey Recko: I’m doing great. Very happy to be talking to you.
L.: It’s nice to hear. Can you tell us more about yourself?
C.: I have a great, smart, supportive wife, two wonderful daughters, and live in Hudson, Ohio.
L.: My first question will be, when did you first start writing?
C: I’ve written as a hobby as far back as I can remember. For publication, I first started writing in 1999 (for a book that wasn’t published until 2007) after I had read Leon Metz’s biography of Sheriff Pat Garrett. In the book was the story of the 1896 disappearance of Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain and his eight-year-old son Henry. I was fascinated by the mystery and wanted to read more about it. Even though it was a topic that deserved and entire book, all that existed were a few chapters here and there about it in books about broader topics. I began researching the case and eventually wrote the book I had wanted to read.
L.: Do you remember the first story you ever read and the impact it had on you?
C: I’m always been a reader, so I’m sure I’m forgetting some books and stories from when I was very young, but when I was fifteen I read Robert Utley’s Billy the Kid: A Short and Violent Life. I became obsessed with Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War, and that obsession led me to reading Leon Metz’s Pat Garrett: The Story of a Western Lawman, which eventually led to writing my first book.
L.: Why did you write this book and what are your expectations on its behalf?
C: I was in my car listening to Mick Ronson’s song “The Empty Bed.” The song begins with the narrator lighting a cigarette, and he finishes telling his story when the cigarette is finished. I thought this would be a great device for something that takes place in the 1950s. Then I thought I’d enjoy writing something that takes place during that time period, and by the time I arrived home I had a rough idea for the book worked out.
All of my previous experience is with nonfiction, so I don’t have any expectations for the book. I believe there is an audience that would enjoy it, and I hope my publisher and I are able to find that audience.
L.: What’s the story behind your latest book?
C: It’s a murder mystery about a death at a small-town carnival in 1953 and its effects on a small group of carnies and local citizens. It is the last night of the carnival in a small Ohio town when a stripper turns up dead. The chief of police orders the carnies to stay in town while he investigates. The novel is told in multiple first person narratives, with the main voice being that of a local reporter. It’s as much about the people as it is about the mystery.
L.: What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
C.: The finished product—having a book that, if I didn’t write it, I would buy and read.
L.: What motivated you to become an indie author?
C.: I think the uniqueness of the book—that it’s told in multiple first person narratives and is really a slice of life as much as a mystery—would make it a tough sell for a large publisher. At least that’s the feedback I received from agents. That’s what brought me to the small but dedicated publisher Black Opal Books.
L.: When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?
C.: I spend time with my wife and children. Also, I read, watch TV and movies, and listen to music.
L.: What are you working on next?
C.: I always have a number of projects going at one time. The next book that will be published is a nonfiction book about the 1875 assassination of a reverend in New Mexico, the political corruption that led to it, and the violence that followed.
L.: Can you describe your desk?
C.: Usually, messy. At the moment, however, it’s empty as I’ve vacated my office to have it painted and fixed up. The office will soon have a classic Victorian look.
L.: That should definitely look amazing! Thank you for the interview. Good luck with the book and renovation of the office.
C.: That you for having me. It was a pleasure to do the interview.
L.: Today we had an interview with Corey Recko, author of a fantastic thriller – Death of a Kootch Show Girl. If you have yet to read it, grab your copy now @ Amazon
~ About Author ~
Corey Recko’s first book, Murder on the White Sands: The Disappearance of Albert and Henry Fountain, won the Wild West History Association’s award for the “Best Book on Wild West History” for 2007. New Mexico Magazine said of the book, “The story moves along like detective fiction . . . .” Of his second book, A Spy for the Union: The Life and Execution of Timothy Webster, the Civil War News review of the book concluded, “Just about everyone will find something to like in this tale of Civil War espionage that mixes in portions of heroism, intrigue, cowardice and betrayal.” Along with books, Recko has written articles on a variety of historical topics for magazines and historical journals and has become a sought after speaker (including an appearance on C-SPAN). Death of a Kootch Show Girl, a murder mystery about a death at a small-town carnival in 1953, is Corey Recko’s first novel.
Recko is the author of two mystery books (one fiction and one non-fiction) and one biography. All three are available on Amazon in both print and kindle formats.
Death of a Kootch Show Girl is about a mysterious death at a 1950s carnival in a small town near Cleveland.
A Spy for the Union is a biography of New York City policeman, Pinkerton detective (under Allan Pinkerton) and Civil War spy Timothy Webster.
Murder on the White Sands tells the story of the murder of a lawyer/politician and his young son near the White Sands in old west New Mexico. The murder is investigated by Sheriff Pat Garrett, the man who killed Billy the Kid.
Corey Recko lives in Hudson, Ohio.