African Lions, Jane Austen and a Paranormal Detective with Vered Ehsani


Podcast episode 21Today’s podcast episode has all kinds of fascinating connections…with a Michael Douglas / Val Kilmer movie, with turn-of-the-century Victorian England, and with Africa and African mythology. Which, as author Vered Ehsani points out, has much more to it than just the Egyptian mythology we most often associate with Africa.

Vered’s describes her paranormal detective mysteries as a cross between Jane Austen and Lara Croft, which makes for some really fun reading. The books are witty and sharp, and have layers of social commentary, as well as fascinating and mysterious plots. Vered has three novels available for free if you sign up for her newsletter, which is a fantastic way to get to know her detective, Mrs. Knight.

Later in the episode, Vered mentions a photo journal about Nairobi that she’s just released. You can find out more about that here.

You can find out more about Vered and her books on her website She’s also on Twitter and Facebook.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.

Transcript of Interview

Alexandra: Hello Mystery Readers, this is Alexandra Amor and this is It’s a Mystery Podcast. I’m here today with Vered Ehsani. Hi Vered.

Vered: Hi, how are you doing dear?

Alexandra: I’m good, how are you?

Vered: Good, I don’t actually have electricity right now, but it’s not a normal state of affairs, we just don’t have electricity whenever it rains, so we’re good.

Alexandra: Well, it’s nice that your WiFi is working anyway.

Vered: For a little while, yeah, we’ll see how long it lasts.

Alexandra: You’re the first author I’ve spoken to in Africa, so this is pretty exciting.

Vered: Cool!

Alexandra: Yeah, I’m looking forward to this very much, so let me introduce you to our listeners.

Vered-BooksVered Ehsani has been a writer since she could hold pen to paper which is a lot longer than she cares to admit. Since mid-2000 she’s lived in Kenya with her family and various other animals. When she isn’t writing she pretends to work as an environmental consultant. Her current book series can best be described as Jane Austen meets Lara Croft in colonial Africa. Although she can’t claim to be a paranormal detective, Vered does share a lot in common with the series main character who refuses to let danger and death inconvenience her.

And this series looks like so much fun and I was so excited to talk to you about it today.

Let’s start with Beatrice Knight, your main character, so she’s a paranormal detective. It’s the late 19th century, like 1890?

Vered: Yeah, 1890..she arrives in Kenya in 1899.

Alexandra: Okay, all right, and she was working as a paranormal detective in London, correct?

Vered: Yeah, yeah.

Alexandra: Okay, so take us on a bit of her journey to find Africa.

Vered: Basically the character is a British woman during the height of colonialism and of course as you know at that time Kenya, which was called East Africa, was under British rule. Because of some sort of problem in the family, they had to leave England and go to Kenya, or East Africa at the time, and she thought that she was retiring from investigating the paranormal but it turns out that Africa is actually full of paranormal and mythological stories and I had a lot of fun investigating and researching that.

We tend to hear a lot about Egypt mythology; that’s quite a common. When people think of Africa it’s usually Egypt mythology but there’s actually a lot of beautiful stories and mythology and fantastic characters when you go south of Egypt, yeah, and it’s also in Africa. That’s where my focus has been and what I’ve been exploring.

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Culinary Competition Cozy Mysteries with Janel Gradowski


There’s no doubt that Janel Gradowski loves to cook. Her blog is filled with recipes and cookbook reviews. So it’s no surprise that her cozy mystery series is based around culinary mysteries.

Today I talk to Janel about the inspiration for her books, her interest in flash fiction, and the intrigue and politics involved in the fictional culinary competitions that are catalysts for the murders in her mysteries. The first book in the series is Pies and Peril.

You can find Janel at As well as on Twitter and Facebook.

Press play (above) to listen to the show, or read the transcript below. Remember you can also subscribe to the show on iTunes. And listen on Stitcher.

You can also click here to watch the episode on YouTube.

Podcast episode 9

Transcript of interview with Janel Gradowski

Alexandra: Hi, everyone. This is Alexandra Amor with It’s a Mystery Podcast and I’m here today with Janel Gradowski. Hi, Janel.

Janel: Hello.

Alexandra: Nice to see you. Thanks for being here.

Janel: Thank you for having me.

Alexandra: You’re welcome. So just for anyone that doesn’t know, I am going to give our listeners a bit of an introduction. Janel Gradowski is the author of the bestselling Culinary Competition Mysteries series. She also writes several short fiction series. Her work has appeared in many magazines, anthologies and online journals. She is a wife and mother who lives in the mitten-shaped state of Michigan. I’ve never heard Michigan described that way before and I love it.

Janel: Yes. We always have our map with us when we point to where we live, so it’s great.

Alexandra: It must be easy to teach kids in school then.

JanelGradowskiJanel: Yes, and actually the Upper Peninsula, you go sideways, so that’s a great way to do both sides of the state.

Alexandra: Yeah. Oh, fantastic. My parents live in Southern Ontario.

Janel: Not far away.
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