May 21, 2012

Made It Moment: Kathleen Kaska

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 9:46 pm

Murder At The Luther

Kathleen Kaska is a great friend to mystery readers and authors. She writes almost-historical mysteries–I just can’t count the 50s as fully historical, can you?–and I know we have many fans of the genre here. Her series has an unusual conceit: they’re set in historical hotels. One of which figures into Kathleen’s Made It Moment, in a most surprising way. Read on…

Kathleen Kaska

I envisioned my “Made it Moment” before I published my first word, but the vision kept changing. Would it be when I signed my first contract; spotted my first book on the bookstore shelf; had my first book signing; received my first glowing review; opened an envelope to find my first royalty check? Well, these events have occurred, fortunately several times, but these moments, although exciting, never seemed quite “the” moment.

I write the Sydney Lockhart mystery series and each one is set at a different historic hotel. My first mystery, Murder at the Arlington, takes place at the Arlington Hotel and Spa in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Over the years, my husband and I have spent several weeks at the Arlington; so, it was only natural that my first mystery grew from this venue.

In 2010, we were planning another Thanksgiving Week at the Arlington. My second mystery, Murder at the Luther, had just been released. The day before we left, I received a letter—a real letter—the kind that comes with a stamp and is delivered by the postman. It was handwritten, two-pages long—my first fan letter. I was thrilled when I discovered it was from one of the Arlington Hotel housekeepers. I read it five times; truth be told, I read it whenever I need a pick-me-up. It was so beautifully written and full of compliments and phrases that made me blush. She even told me about a ghostly encounter she had on the eighth floor.

That day we checked into the hotel, and I asked at the front desk if Sherilyn was working. I found her on the eighth floor and surprised her with a signed copy of Murder at the Luther and thanked her for her lovely letter.

Murder at the Galvez will be out later this summer and guess who will be the first to get a copy? In fact, as long as I continue to publish this series, Sherilyn will never have to buy a copy of a Sydney Lockhart mystery.

Thanks, Sherilyn, for giving me my Made it Moment.

Kathleen Kaska is the author the Classic Triviography Mystery Series, which includes The Sherlock Holmes Triviography and Quiz Book, The Alfred Hitchcock Triviography and Quiz Book, and The Agatha Christie Triviography and Quiz Book. All three books have just been reissued by LL-Publications. Kathleen also writes the award-winning Sydney Lockhart mystery series set in the 1950s. Her first two mysteries, Murder at the Arlington and Murder at the Luther, were selected as bonus-books for the Pulpwood Queen Book Group, the largest book group in the country.


  1. Thanks for having me as a guest, Jenny.
    Your Made It Moment is one of my favorite blogs and I’m proud to be included with the other incredible authors you have featured.

    Comment by Kathleen Kaska — May 21, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  2. That is so sweet! Good job Kathleen. Thanks Jenny!

    Comment by Pamela DuMond — May 21, 2012 @ 10:29 pm

  3. Great moment! That was very inspiring! Congrats! Another great moment You brought us Jenny!

    Comment by Kellie — May 21, 2012 @ 10:43 pm

  4. I love books set in hotels and I love books set in the 50s so it sounds like these are just my cup of tea. Thanks, Jenny, for another new (to me) author and another new (to me) set of titles.

    Best wishes, Kathleen, for your continuing success.

    Pat Browning

    Comment by Pat Browning — May 22, 2012 @ 1:14 am

  5. What a beautiful moment! That has got to be the most rewarding thing ever – a REAL fan letter! Congrats.

    Thanks to Jenny for bringing us another great “Moment”.

    Comment by mountainmama — May 22, 2012 @ 5:47 am

  6. Kathleen, your story is one of the most heart warming Made It Moments that I read. The perfect proof of what fans and readers mean to an author.
    Thanks for a wonderful story.
    Nash Black

    Comment by Nash Black — May 22, 2012 @ 7:25 am

  7. What a wonderful moment.


    Comment by Arthur Levine — May 22, 2012 @ 7:47 am

  8. Oh, how I enjoyed your made it moment, Kathleen! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Comment by Anne K. Albert — May 22, 2012 @ 7:59 am

  9. It was so nice to get online this morning (I live on the west coast) and read all the wonderful comments. Thanks Pam, Kellie, Pat, Arthur, Anne, Mountain Mama, and Nash for stopping by, and for Jenny for hosting me.

    Comment by Kathleen Kaska — May 22, 2012 @ 8:48 am

  10. Kathleen, what a wonderful “made it moment! Thanks so much for sharing.

    Comment by Susan M. Boyer — May 22, 2012 @ 9:38 am

  11. I love this moment! And now I must get to the Arlington Hotel for a visit!

    Comment by Tara Lazar — May 22, 2012 @ 10:21 am

  12. What an absolutely wonderful moment! I love reading all the Made It Moments here on Jenny’s blog, but this one especially made me smile this morning. And your mystery series sounds great. Off to go look up the books…

    Comment by Gigi Pandian — May 22, 2012 @ 11:05 am

  13. How lovely! I love AK. Great state.

    Comment by SavvyBlue — May 22, 2012 @ 11:26 am

  14. Hi Gigi,
    Glad I made you smile. Moments like I experienced with my first fan letter are so unexpected, but forever memorable. I thought about framing that letter, but instead I placed it in front of my publicity notebook. When I open it, the letter is the first thing I see. It makes me happy and humble.

    Comment by Kathleen Kaska — May 22, 2012 @ 3:40 pm

  15. Tara, If you go to the Arlington, stay on the 11th floor for the view. If you want to experience the ghost, Sherilyn recommends her 8th floor.

    Comment by Kathleen Kaska — May 22, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

  16. It was an enjoyable day, Jenny. Thanks again and best of luck in your writing.

    Comment by Kathleen Kaska — May 22, 2012 @ 9:58 pm

  17. Thank you for being here, Kathleen, and everyone, for your (as always) great comments. It was a terrific Moment that clearly touched hearts. It did mine.

    Comment by jenny — May 22, 2012 @ 10:15 pm

  18. What a sweet story, Kathleen!

    Comment by Dan Andriacco — May 23, 2012 @ 10:36 am

  19. I totally love the Arlington and will look forward to reading these!

    Comment by Brenda — June 12, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

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