Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with Author N. A. Granger

I had the pleasure of meeting my guest today at the Bloggers Bash in 2017 and discovered a delightfully charming person and also had the privilege of meeting her husband. Noelle Granger is the author of the Rhe Brewster crime thriller series and has recently published Death in a Mudflat

Before we discover more about my guest, here is the official word about Noelle Granger.

Noelle A. Granger grew up in Plymouth, MA, in a rambling, 125 year old house with a view of the sea. Summers were spent sailing and swimming and she was one of the first tour guides at Plimoth Plantation.

She graduated from Mount Holyoke college with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and from Case Western Reserve University with a Ph.D. in anatomy. Following a career of research in developmental biology and teaching human anatomy to medical students and residents,the last 28 years of which were spent in the medical school of the University of North Carolina, she decided to try her hand at writing fiction.

Apart from the three Rhe Brewster Mysteries, Noelle has also had short stories, both fiction and non-fiction,published in Deep South Magazine, Sea Level Magazine, the Bella Online Literary Review, and Coastal Style Magazine.

Now time to discover some of the lesser known facts about Noelle…

Describe one most embarrassing moment of your life. (This is a story from my blog.)

My mother, in addition to being just plain smart about lots of things, including how to handle my Dad’s whims, was also very handy. She had painted all the rooms in the house, replaced panes of glass, and could do a rewiring job if necessary. She could hook rugs and was also a darned good cook. The one thing she had never mastered was sewing. My grandmother, whom we called Memmere, was a whiz with the needle and had made her grandchildren’s clothes for years, but this was something Mom had avoided.

One summer, she decided to make me a bathing suit. A bathing suit seemed like an easy place to start. It was a cotton knit affair, which she made because I’d grown up and out so quickly in the past year that my old suits had become dangerously revealing. What Mom didn’t recognize is that with the development of breasts, I’d become hideously self-conscious.

One of the things I did very well at the pool where I swam was swim fast, really fast. Technique was not my forte yet, but I was taller and stronger than my teammates, and I could power my way to the end of the pool quicker than anyone in my age group. The bathing suit was a lovely color blue, and I decided to wear it at a swim meeting, the day after it was completed. A lot of the girls were wearing two piece suits and I wanted to be fashionable as well as fast.

I lined up as always at the deep end of the pool for the start of the freestyle race, proudly sporting the newly constructed bathing suit. It occurred to me, rather belatedly, that unlike my old suits, this one had not been tested for its swim-worthiness, let alone its ability to stay in place during a racing dive.

At the sound of the gun, I hit the water in a flat, extended position and began to swim mightily, pulling out to an easy lead by half the length of the pool. Unfortunately, I discovered at that half the length, I had nothing around my chest. The ties to the bra of the suit had pulled out, and the top of the suit was now wrapped around my waist. I continued swimming for a few strokes, then stopped and pulled up my top, while spectators looked on. Instant, grinding mortification. I don’t remember how I managed to get to out of the pool, but it was certainly without even a modicum of dignity.

I never wore that bathing suit again, and my mother never asked why. As I grew older and swam more seriously, the focus of what I wore became just as serious and I never, ever wore a new suit for a race, not once.

Sally here: I found this advertisement for knitted bathing costumes and whilst very fetching, I would not trust one in the water either….They are well before Noelle’s time, they do illustrate the many styles available and were clearly very expensive for the time. The Lamb Knit Goods Company also were known for the Lamb Knitting Machine.


How would you describe your fashion sense?

Fashion SENSE? I’m pretty sure I don’t have any. I wear whatever is comfortable and hopefully ironed, usually pants with an elastic waist (well, I am of any age) and a blouse, long sleeve in the winter and short in the summer. No shorts – have you seen my legs? They’d make grown men groan. Better hidden. I think I wore a skirt once last year, but I’m not sure…

Sally here: Noelle and her husband recently circumnavigated Iceland and she shared some amazing posts on the trip.. I lifted one of the photographs from the series to illustrate that there are times when Noelle does embrace a different mode of dress in a good cause.

No prize, but can anyone pick Noelle out from the crowd?


What is your favorite holiday and why?

Ah, no question there: Christmas. After all, I was named Noelle because my Dad had a twinkle in his eye at Christmas! Christmas was always a big deal for my family, since we loaded up the car with presents and drove three hours to my grandparents’ home in Connecticut. We usually sang Christmas carols all the way there, and generally got into the feeling of the season. My favorite memory is the trip where we returned home from celebrating Christmas in the middle of a snowstorm, and our car got stuck on a street about a mile from our house at 9 PM. It was a truly awesome storm, and my brother was so little that we didn’t dare try to walk home in the dark. We knocked on the door of a nearby house and were welcomed to spend the night. Small towns, good neighbors.

My Dad walked home in the morning to get the heat on in the house, but the roads were blocked with several feet of snow, so we had to walk home. The neighbor who took us in, a woman, was a physicist who worked on the Manhatten Project!

Sally here: It may be a little early, but in honour of Noelle’s love of the festive season.. here is the iconic White Christmas courtesy of andrew67ist

Do you prefer the beach or the mountains and why?

That’s a difficult one to answer, since here in North Carolina we have a choice between the Smokey Mountains or the Crystal Coast. The mountains are spectacular in the fall, but all around, I think I prefer the beach. I grew up on the ocean, both in it and on it. The windows of my house faced out to the Atlantic and I often fell asleep to the mournful sound of the fog horn at Gurnet Lighthouse.

Gurnet point, a twenty-seven-acre peninsula forming the northern boundary of Plymouth Bay, was discovered by Samuel de Champlain in 1606 and it became part of Plymouth in 1638. The lighthouse was home to America’s first set of twin lights and first female lighthouse keeper, and is now the country’s oldest freestanding wooden lighthouse.

Sally here: I found this video showing the magnificent views from the lighthouse which give you an idea why Noelle loves this area so much courtesy of DeepSixDave

Fog horn aside, the beach has always been a place of peace and tranquility for me, even when the weather is turbulent. The waves in all their forms – wildly spewing mist or gently lapping – give me a feeling of eternal nature, and I love falling asleep to their sound. A friend of mine took a video for me of the waves at the beach at Rodanthe and I often play it to relax and unwind.

The first time I ever travelled to a landlocked part of the country (other than my grandparents’) was a visit to my college roommate’s home in Pennsylvania. She recently told me she remembers when I got up on the first day there, I asked her to point me in the direction of the ocean!

What is one thing (moral or practical) your grandparent taught you how to do that you still do today?

My grandmother, Memmere, lived to be 103. We talked on the phone every week, especially after she went to a nursing home. When my own children were driving me crazy, she would always tell me, “The only thing you need to do is love them. No matter what. Everything else will work out.” Wise woman.

Now something about Noelle’s books and her latest release is a Rhe Brewster Mystery, Death in a Mudflat.

About the book

Fearless detective, ER nurse, devoted mother, and Pequod, Maine’s, answer to Kinsey Milhone, Rhe Brewster is back on the case. When an idyllic seaside wedding is suddenly interrupted by the grotesque sight of a decaying human arm poking out of the tidal mud, Rhe is thrown head first into a treacherous world of duplicity, drugs, and murder.

With her best friend Paulette and her main man Sam, the Chief of Police, Rhe seeks to solve the puzzle of the body found in the muck while also working with the FBI to identify the source of shipments of tainted heroin flooding the local campus and community. Maine’s opioid crisis has hit the town hard, with an escalating number of overdoses. More murders are uncovered, testing Rhe’s detective skills and steely resolve. While she follows the clues, Rhe encounters some sinister inhabitants of Pequod’s underbelly, including a practitioner of the Dark Arts, a hydra-headed crime gang, and an embittered, unhinged lobsterman with an axe to grind and nothing to lose. In her relentless drive to solve the crimes, Rhe narrowly escapes a watery grave, trades blows with Russian goons, and unknowingly prompts Paulette to put her life on the line in an attempt to catch a murderer in the act.

One of the recent reviews for the book on Goodreads.

Jul 28, 2018 Breakaway Reviewers rated it it was amazing  · 

A good crime novel interspersed with lots of everyday life asides.

Rhe Brewster, her partner, Sam Brewster, the Chief of Police of Pequod, and Jack, Rhe’s son with Will Brewster (deceased), are attending the wedding of Dr Marsh Adams (pathologist) and Bella Zdundic (a Maine Major Crimes agent). Their enjoyment of the reception is interrupted while watching a Jeep Wrangler drive onto the mud flats and immediately get sucked in. They are commenting on whether the driver is illiterate, having not read the signs warning people not to enter the area with a vehicle when suddenly they see the man react in shock as the churning of his wheels has exposed a body of a young woman.

As most of the guests attending the wedding are members of either the police or forensics, they leave their hosts, don their protective clothing and gather on the beach to inspect the body.

This is not the only murder that the team will have to solve, Paulette McGillivray, Rhe’s best friend, is a member of a club called The Cold Case Club, studying cold cases and they think that this latest murder is linked to two similar deaths that occurred years previously.

They not only have this murder to solve, but they also need to find where drugs are coming from that are causing so many deaths on the campus of the college in Pequod. The FBI has put an agent undercover, but this may not be enough to identify who the drug suppliers are.

A fast-moving storyline with lots of twists before the murderer of the young girl is uncovered. Far more cunning is required from everyone involved to crack the drugs epidemic. However, with Rhe Brewster and her best friend Paulette involved, you just know that there will be fireworks before the crime can be solved.

I so enjoyed reading this book. It’s not the first in the series, and while I regret not having read the previous books, N A Granger has made it easy for readers to pick this up as a stand-alone because she’s added a list of the main protagonists and a bit of their history.

The author writes in an easy-to-read style, with lots of humour. I’ll certainly be looking out for any further books featuring this very close-knit group of crime fighters.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And Amazon UK:

Also by N.A. Granger

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Read all the reviews and buy the books:

And read more reviews and follow Noelle on Goodreads:

Connect to Noelle


Thank you for joining us today and I know Noelle would love to hear from you and answer any questions you might have. Thanks Sally.

I will be keeping the Getting to Know you theme until the end of the year and I am now booking slots for Sunday 23rd September onwards. This is an opportunity to showcase your work and particularly if you have a new release coming out this year or wish to promote your blog. Take a look at the following post which gives you all the details of how to participate and the previous guests. Look forward to hearing from you.

Getting to Know You Sunday Interview:

74 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Sunday Interview – Getting to Know You with Author N. A. Granger

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Update – Music, Cookery, Travel, Health and Books | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Great answers Noelle! Your swimming suit disaster made me laugh. But why would your mother decide to make a bathing suit when she didn’t even sew? They are the hardest things to make!! Poor you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sally, what a lovely piece! I can’t thank you enough! Clever you to find that video! It’s lovely on a sunny day and my house would have been on the coast you can see in the distance.
    Enormous hugs and thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a terrific area of the country in which you live. While I have yet to visit, my mother used to head down there every year to visit one of sisters who owned a wee Christmas tree farm upon retirement. They are all gone now, but your interview brought back those memories, for which I am grateful. Enjoy your beautiful world!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: I’m Honored: An interview by Sally Cronin – SaylingAway

  6. I love that expression, Noelle, a twinkle in his eye. My mom says that too. Lovely to learn more about your here and I did laugh at your story about the bathing suit.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great interview! I enjoyed the videos and I want to put a plug in for our Oak Island Lighthouse. Ask for my friend Kathleen if you go to visit. She will give you a special tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fantastic interview with Noelle here. I loved the Christmas and lighthouse story and sorry but had a chuckle over the swimsuit story as humiliating as it was then, hindsight always finds humor. 🙂 xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fun interview. I enjoy these so much, Sally, and what a fun way to return to blogging after a break. Oh, Noelle, I felt for you with the homemade bathing suit. The moment you mentioned it, I groaned (from experience!). And lovely memory of your grandmother… a wise woman indeed. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great interview, Sally. I really enjoyed getting to know a little more about Noelle. I love the advice her grandmother gave her for her children, to just love them. I agree, it’s the best advice ever.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the knitted swimsuit story, Noelle. I do wonder if those things were only meant to be worn if one was only puddling in the sea rather than swimming? As a non-swimmer, probably something meant for me (especially as I am fair-skinned and burn easily in the sun).
    Christmas is also my favourite holiday of the year. I have an app that counts down the days. Love the clip of White Christmas that Sally shared. I love the movie but Holiday Inn pips it as my favourite festive movie.
    Hugs to you both.


  12. Yet another successful interview in the bag, Sally! Thank you. What a fascinating character Noelle sounds. Loved the bathing suit story. I’m old enough to recall the dreaded knitted swimming costumes – I dread to think how many poor little kids nearly drowned from the weight of them alone.. Such a crazy fashion. Cheers! Hugs x..

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am struggling to get caught up on blogs, Sally, but I found this one very entertaining. How mortifying for Noelle to have her swimsuit top come off during a race. Oh my!


  14. Pingback: Smorgasbord End of Summer Party – Dinner – Taster Menu with Robbie Cheadle, Patricia Salamone, Leslie Tate, Carol Taylor, Debby Gies, Noelle Granger, Marjorie Mallon and Mary Smith | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  15. Pingback: Sally Cronin talks to Noelle Granger | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

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