Mikki Lincoln, the protagonist in my “Deadly Edits” series, hasn’t had much time for hobbies lately, but at some point she’ll reveal that she shares one with me, and with Liss MacCrimmon, the sleuth in my other Kensington mystery series. We’re all “puzzlers”—folks who enjoy doing jigsaw puzzles.
I’m not sure when I caught the puzzling bug, but at one point everyone in the family seemed to have a puzzle going—me, my mother-in-law, and my sister-in-law. We all had the same problem, too. We needed a way to keep the puzzle pieces organized and prevent the pets, mostly cats, from running off with them. At about that same time, my husband set up a woodworking shop in our garage. One thing led to another and before long, between us, we’d designed a jigsaw-puzzle table that would fill the bill. It has drawers for sorting and storage and a cover to keep the cats off. Eventually, my husband ended up producing custom-made jigsaw-puzzle tables as a retirement business, but the prototype is all mine. It has detachable legs, so it can be set up anywhere, but I soon discovered I preferred to leave off the legs and keep it on the dinette table instead. Puzzles I’ve done and puzzles I’ve yet to do are stacked against the wall to one side of the table.
I find doing jigsaw puzzles relaxing, as long as there aren’t huge stretches that are all one color. That can be frustrating, which takes the fun out of it. I like my pieces, just like my mysteries, to contain plenty of clues. When you get right down to it, putting a puzzle together and writing a cozy mystery have a lot in common!