Cowichan author pens first murder mystery

Jennifer Lafortune has finished and published a novel she first cnceived in high school. - Peter W. Rusland
Jennifer Lafortune has finished and published a novel she first cnceived in high school.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Author Jennifer LaFortune's active imagination helped her eventually sleuth her first whodunit called Murder In Parksville: Confusion In Tofino.

Tenacity was the name of LaFortune's mystery-writing game.

"The plot was a story I started in high school, but never finished," the Sooke-raised honours grad said.

"I've been using my using my imagination since Grade 3 — little short stories with handmade pictures," the Shawnigan Lake writer said, preparing for her Feb. 26 book signing, from 2 to 4 p.m. in Duncan's Beverly Corners Starbucks.

Diamond River Books dubbed Murder a classic mystery after helping LaFortune develop her novel idea further.

The fictional story focuses on Leann who returns to Tofino after enjoying supper with her new fiancé and her parents in Parksville (where LaFortune has family).

"But on that same night," Diamond says, "Leann is unexpectedly woken by police who tell her that her parents are the apparent victims of a fatal car crash. She returns to Parksville to identify the bodies."

That's when things turn strange.

"Appearances are deceiving, and after some surprising twists and turns, many on fruitless leads, the local RCMP detective unmasks her parents’ murderer," the publisher says of 140-plus page Murder.

LaFortune, 30,  said she's proud of the results of her debut book — which has already sold out once at Volume One Bookstore — partly prodded years back by a writing course she took in middle school.

Watching tension-filled films with dad, Don Miller, helped too.

"We watched horror movies, and I'm a big follower of CSI — it's (murder mystery) been a genre of books I've read lots of."

As the mother of one worked through Murder — the plot changed little during its inception — she'd read pages at work.

"It was more grammatical corrections rather than changes to the story," the pro esthetician said of the editing process.

Now the Camosun College grad, former figure skater and martial artist is wrestling with the background of her next murder mystery due in maybe eight months.

LaFortune's advice to other budding wordsmiths was simple.

"Don't stop — if you have an idea, write it down."





















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