Mary Hanley followed her detective’s instincts writing her first book.
Her original idea was to craft a Harlequin romance novel but her perceived love affair in Italy became a thriller.
“I like blood and guts,” Hanley said. “I’ve always liked mystery. Shows like ‘Criminal Minds,’ for example I’m intrigued to know why (the bad guys) do the evil things they do.”
She recently released “Romance and Murder in the Cinque Terre,” which is the first in the series of III Hawk Investigations.
The series follows three retired military men, Drake, Bill and Tom, who form a private investigation firm. In the first book, they help Gina who is haunted by her ex-fiance James. Through their investigations, the team learns James has no recorded background and has similar characteristics to a known serial killer.
The book leads to fatal consequences, Hanley said.
“Romance and Murder” is the first in a series of three, so far. Hanley plans to release her next book, “Snow Flowers in Blood” in October or November. It alternates between team members breaking up a sex trafficking ring in Africa and solving a murder in Nevada. One important character Hanley
emphasizes is the Ambassador, who funds the missions and plays an important role in the second book.
She describes the vibe as much less romance and more machoism and action-oriented.
For the second book, she worked with Erik Slater, a retired Army Pathfinder, to make sure the information about the weaponry, action scenes and general information on the special forces was accurate.
Hanley has been living a travel-minded life since retiring as a radiation therapist.
She traveled Europe and the Cinque Terre, the northwest coastline of Italy, for two months and started work on her novels there. Prior, she moonlighted as a travel writer in Sacramento for two newspapers.
For six years, she’s been a full-time RVer and travels in separate trailers with an 89-year-old friend. They plan to leave Diamond Point area in October for warmer weather. They plan to come back next summer.
She has six children, 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
“Romance and Murder in the Cinque Terre” is available at Pacific Mist Books, Port Book & News and Odyssey Books in Port Angeles, and retailers in Port Gamble, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island and at major book distributors online and in E-reader form.