Marketing Agency Owner Releases First Cozy Mystery Novel - Robin Leemann Donovan Introduces Donna Leigh, a Menopausal Heroine

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Donna Leigh is a menopausal ad exec. When she receives the shocking news that a former colleague has been brutally murdered, she knows her vitriolic relationship with the victim will plant her squarely on the suspect list. She jumps right into the investigation in order to keep the wolves away from her door and manages to amuse, as well as impress, with her effective but unorthodox sleuthing.

“As I continued on my own journey through menopause and I met many exceptional women along the way, I realized that the world was sadly mistaken about us.

Robin Leemann Donovan announces the launch of her first cozy mystery novel, Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was A Bitch?, published by WriteLife.

A graduate of Suffield High School, Suffield, CT and the University of Connecticut, Donovan is the author of the award-winning blog Menologues, a humorous, yet informative, look at the trials and tribulations of menopause by someone who’s been there. She was born and raised in New Jersey, but lived and worked in Connecticut for a number of years, teaching English at Watertown High School and working in ad agencies in Hartford, New Haven and Fairfield County before moving to Nebraska in 1999. She currently co-owns the Omaha based marketing agency Bozell. Experiences from all three have been incorporated into the heroine of her first release, Donna Leigh. Donovan still has family living in northern Connecticut.

Donna Leigh is a menopausal ad exec. When she receives the shocking news that a former colleague has been brutally murdered, she knows her vitriolic relationship with the victim will plant her squarely on the suspect list. She jumps right into the investigation in order to keep the wolves away from her door and manages to amuse, as well as impress, with her effective but unorthodox sleuthing.

The idea for Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was A Bitch? was rooted in Donovan’s frustrations with the stereotypes about menopausal women.

“As I continued on my own journey through menopause and I met many exceptional women along the way, I realized that the world was sadly mistaken about us. They needed to be told. But how could I, a menopausal woman, tell them that I—that we—did not fit their stereotype?

I couldn’t just tell them, but maybe there was a way to show them. Maybe there was a way to make them laugh a little and get to know a menopausal woman who does not dress like Grandma Moses, sit in a rocker on her front porch, with her hair in a bun, knitting and crocheting the day away.”

The result was Donna Leigh.

“Donna Leigh is a menopausal woman, but you don’t have to be menopausal to relate to her. She could be your mother or your aunt, but she could just as easily be your co-worker and friend. She’s not every menopausal woman, but she is representative of the dynamic and vivacious qualities that exist in the majority of menopausal women today.”

Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was A Bitch? is available for sale in paperback through the WriteLife website marketplace or at the author's website http://www.rldonovan.com/

About Robin Donovan
Robin Donovan is the author of the blog, Menologues, which is a humorous yet informative look at the trials and tribulations of menopause by someone who’s been there. Menologues is republished on two commercial sites: Vibrant Nation and Alltop, and has won regional honors for social media at the AMA Pinnacles and PRSA Paper Anvil awards.

Donovan was born and raised in New Jersey, but lived and worked in Connecticut for a number of years before moving to Nebraska in 1999. Starting her career as a high school English teacher, Donovan moved into advertising in the early 80s. In 1999, she accepted a job offer from Bozell, an Omaha based ad agency. In late 2001, she and three colleagues purchased Bozell from its New York based parent company.

Donovan lives with her husband and two bulldogs, Jasmine and Roxi.

An excerpt from the novel is below. To request a copy of the book for review in a publication, or to schedule an interview with the author, contact:
Cindy Grady at 877-974-8354 or cindy.grady(at)writelife(dot)com.

Excerpt from Is It Still Murder, Even If She Was A Bitch?

Claire Dockens was dead. Wow, that was a shock. When Kyle told me I almost dropped right on the spot. How often is it that someone you’ve known for years, worked with in the trenches, whose house you’ve been to several times, drops dead? She wasn’t even that old – like early fifties.

If that weren’t enough of a bombshell, Kyle’s next revelation definitely put me over the edge – “And they say she was murdered.” At that point I think I did lose consciousness for a second or two – not enough to make me actually hit the floor – but I’m sure, moments later, I wasn’t facing in exactly the same direction as I had been before my momentary lapse.

The next thought that entered my shock-addled head was, “I wonder if they’ll suspect me? I mean, it’s not like I could stand her.”    

Then, Kyle said, “Gosh, I hope they won’t think I did it.”

Kyle Thoroughgood was my colleague and friend at Marcel, the oldest and most revered advertising and marketing consulting firm in Omaha, Nebraska. We’d both been colleagues of the victim a few years prior, and the day that Claire tendered her resignation had been an occasion of mutual celebration. Her mere existence had elicited an intense aggravation in both Kyle and me. She’d openly sought to condemn and abuse us for her own personal sport. With Claire as a colleague, we definitely hadn’t needed any enemies. Truthfully, Kyle and I were but two of her multitude of victims since verbally abusive banter was her preferred pastime, but with the two of us she’d taken it to a level beyond. She had elevated her abuse to an art form.

That’s when we both heaved a sigh of relief. Hell, the list of suspects would be monumentally huge! Sure we’d be on it – but undoubtedly we’d get lost in the shuffle of characters with sufficient motive.

“So how’d they do it?” I tentatively pressed.

“Bludgeoned as she was leaving a charity dinner,” Kyle offered.

“Oh god, that really could have been any of us,” I shuddered. “With what?”

Still nodding Kyle responded, “Hasn’t been released yet. I don’t think they’re sure. From what I know they haven’t found the weapon and the autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow morning.”

“Oh yeah, how’d you find out?”

“Facebook.”

That’s when my partner Liv walked by with her third coffee of the morning. “Gotta run – late for a meeting,” she tossed out, and then, “Shit, does coffee come out of silk?” As she frantically swiped at the growing brown stain on her new couture blouse.    

“Hey,” Kyle pursued “hear about Claire?”

“I read it on Facebook at 2 a.m. last night when I was finishing the proposal for this meeting. Her poor family!”

Leave it to Liv to give the kind, humanitarian response. Liv Danielsen was my partner and fellow owner of Marcel. I’m Donna Leigh. Ten years prior Liv and I had the amazing opportunity to purchase Marcel, the legendary ad agency that had once grown to global status and revenue before being purchased by a somewhat short-sighted holding company and allowed to idle long enough for Liv, two other partners and myself to buy the company. Over the years, our other two partners had eased out and/or retired. Liv and I hand-picked a third partner who had worked with us to reposition the business and shed the “ad agency” persona that was killing every agency unable to make the jump into the future and the world of social media and one-on-one dialogs with customers: Donny Miller.

“Kyle and I are on a mission to identify the murder weapon.”

Liv just rolled her eyes and grabbed a damp cloth. She dabbed at her spreading stain while running toward the already packed conference room.

I turned back to Kyle in time to see Donny motoring up the hallway. “I suppose you know about Claire too?”

One thing about Donny; he was connected. If you needed anything you could count on him to hook you up with the best in the city. With his pervasive human network in place it was virtually impossible to be the bearer of any kind of news to Donny, because there was nothing he hadn’t already heard.

“Hell yes, two of my high school buddies were cops on the scene. One of them texted me even before the coroner pronounced her dead. I would have run down to check it out – but he didn’t think his CO would be too thrilled. I tried you on your cell. Man, this will really be a blow to the Omaha business community. She was unquestionably one of the smart ones, one of the few I could really respect.”

“You’re kidding.”

“Yeah, she didn’t know anything. She sure thought she did though. One thing’s for sure – they won’t have a shortage of suspects. Hey Donna, now that I think of it, you’re probably on the list – you too, Kyle.”

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