KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
A Dark Suspense Saga
By KATHRYN ORZECH
Past and present clash when a family secret endangers a reluctant heiress bent on solving the mystery behind her grandmother’s hidden past.
On an innocent day in 1899 while her father travels abroad, twelve-year-old Maggie Delito, daughter of the wealthy industrialist, unwittingly witnesses a shocking scandal. The next day, she’s dragged from her family’s estate and locked in an asylum to ensure her silence. Beneath the noted asylum’s polish of respectability, a wicked villainy hides in dank shadows—and Maggie fears she will be its next victim.
Seventy-five years later, Laura Delito inherits more than assets when her prestigious family’s mysterious past comes knocking. After sacrificing an independent career on the brink of success, she assumes control of Delito’s failing jewelry business while daring to expose its ghosts—a strange old woman, cryptic messages, backroom betrayals, and a rare antique key that might unlock the truth. As she pursues clues from the Northeast to North Africa, she fails to see danger looming close to home.
Interview with Character, Laura “Del” Delito
1. You left a dream job at a renowned Chicago museum. What made you cave so easily when asked to go back East?
I guess Chicago wasn’t far enough from Connecticut and my family’s reach. Delito, Inc. is a family owned business that designs and manufactures costume jewelry. As the only grandchild, everyone understood that one day I would assume control and I wanted to—after I made my mark. When Gram called and threatened to sell, I believed her. My sense of duty kicked in with urgency.
2. When most people would kill to run a business, why the reluctance?
I can’t style my hair without critical comment, so I anticipated harsh judgement of my business decisions. My family demands perfection.
3. Your grandmother offered full support, didn’t she?
Yes, and I counted on her mentorship—then she died and left me with a mess, a failing business with scandals from the past. Success wasn’t possible without cleaning the closets, but I didn’t know where to begin. Everything I believed about my family’s history was a lie, deeper and more dangerous than I knew.
4. When you settle into your new power position, what will you enjoy most?
I’ll give management and accounting a wide berth. I know what’s going on, but prefer an overview position though trust remains an issue. With design and marketing, I’ll remain hands-on with a tight grip. I won’t let go of design.
5. What inspires your jewelry design ideas?
Soul of an artist, which might explain my lack of interest in business and finance. For inspiration, I travel, visit museums, and study costumes and body decoration from all cultures and time periods. My great-grandfather, Antonio, who founded Delito, often traveled abroad for ideas.
6. Do you sketch your designs?
Hah! I can’t draw for beans. I snatch the newest sample parts from Providence and play with different beads, chains and filigree stampings. Hands-on. Or I see something I like and turn it into a thing I love.
7. For such a wild and lawless fashion decade, why dress so conservatively?
You’re right, the ’70s were a fashion catastrophe. No limits. No rules. I’m comfortable with rules. Can you see me in hip-hugger bell-bottoms? Mini-skirts? Hot-pants? Good grief. Give me simple jeans and a big knit sweater, a tailored tweed suit or knit dress with a strand of pearls and I’m good for any occasion. Rough times for me in the fashion industry. Classic dress served as my life jacket.
8. Who were Delito’s American competitors?
Monet, Napier, Trifari. I won’t speak ill of them, though one was quoted in a trade publication as saying Delito’s once impressive line was now “mediocre.” That’s what I came home to, mediocre. It hurt because I had sacrificed so much, yet I had to agree our line had grown stale. My fresh eyes should change that.
9. What new ideas are you working on?
Hmmm… Trade secret.
10. You said earlier you hate secrets.
Only those kept from me. Gram was the worst offender, but she’s gone. As close as we were, there was always something sad and mysterious between us, between her and everyone. Gram broke our pact, “No secrets.” You don’t lie to those you love. What could have happened that was so bad? I’ll get to the bottom if it kills me.
Kathy writes mystery, suspense and thriller from her Connecticut home. Before writing full time and before a graphic design career, she designed costume jewelry for The Napier Co. and drew on real life experience for the protagonist’s back story and the fictional Delito, Inc.
A seasoned world traveler, avid film fan and news nerd, other interests include geopolitics, society and culture, women’s issues, archaeology, psychology and parapsychology, leaving few subjects off her literary table.
Links to Kathy’s Website, blog, books, etc.
Thanks, Kathy, for sharing your book with us!
Don’t miss the chance to read this book!