I am so excited to host a special guest on the blog today. I discovered Nicole’s Ballpark Mystery series in December 2022. I have already shared my review of the first book in this series – Murder at First Pitch – so I am going to say this: Ballpark Mysteries is my new favorite cozy series and Nicole is my new favorite author. 🙂
Hi Nicole and welcome to my blog. Tell me and my readers about yourself.
Thanks so much for having me! I love finding new readers and especially fellow cozy readers! I’m Nicole Asselin and I’m the author of the Ballpark Mysteries cozy mysteries.
There are currently two in the series, and it has always been my dream to be a published author. I live in Massachusetts with my three adorable cat children (Julia, Jacques, and Madeline). I have a day job where I write technical manuals for a health care company, but I have the side hustle of murdering people at night. Fictionally, of course. I’ve lived all over, my dad was in the Navy, but New England has been my home for over 15 years (between college and adulthood). I’m a HUGE Red Sox fan (well, really any/all Boston sports). So if you can’t find me reading, I’m probably watching some event.
Tell us about the Ball Park Mystery series.
The Ballpark Mysteries are my love letter to baseball and cozy mysteries. It’s a bit wish fulfillment too. I’ve always wanted to be part of a major league team, and when that didn’t work out, I created my own! I like the idea of cozy mysteries in unexpected places. I didn’t know of many (if any) sports centered cozy mysteries, and as a huge sports fan I felt like I wanted to fill that void. I hope more come out!
In MURDER AT FIRST PITCH, Madeline Boucher returns to her family run baseball team after a corporate life in Boston. She jumps right into her role as a social media liaison/future general manager. The first week back at the park, she stumbles across a dead body in the visitors dugout. When her brother is accused of the crime, she decides to start looking into things on her own. With the help of her friend Eliza and HS crush Davis (now head of security), she tries to find out why the murder happened and how it affects her team.
The fun continues in CONCESSION STAND CRIMES. Madeline is settling into her new life when another tragic death happens at the ballpark. This time, local beer heiress Alaska Redmond is found dead in the back of one of the concession booths. The suspects quickly pile up, and Madeline looks to clear the name of the ballpark. Again.
You have based Ball Park Mystery series in Boston where you currently live. How important is ‘setting’ to your series?
Here in Massachusetts, baseball is almost like another religion up here. So many Red Sox fans who have grown up watching this team and raised in the fandom. I knew I had to set it in a place that loved the sport. Abington itself is my real hometown, and I love being able to populate it with real places and some real people (but with fictional lives of course). It wouldn’t be much of a Ballpark Mystery without the ballpark! I wanted to make it a community centered facility, where people in the community make an effort to keep afloat. My other most favorite part of the ballpark?
In the outfield, there is a restaurant that faces the outfield called “Centerfields”. For those that know, in the show CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND, there is a similar location in that show. It inspired me!
What’s the inspiration behind your main character Madeline Boucher – tell us all the deets – her love for Baseball, cats and her high-school crush. *wink wink*
My mom likes to say that Madeline is me, and I am Madeline. I dispute that because I don’t work for a baseball team or have a hot security guard boyfriend. But a lot of her characteristics mimic mine. I live in Abington, I have three cats, and I have a brother. So there is that. Her cats are Dewey, Pedey, and Papi (named after her three favorite Red Sox players). My gorgeous kitties are Julia, Jacques, and
Madeline (no relation to the main character of my book). As a cozy author, I do have an affinity for cats, so I knew I wanted to commemorate my favorite players in cat form. Also, I have a tendency to collect cats, so that needed to be in there. Book three I’m introducing a “bat dog” at the suggestion of my mom. So my books will always be filled with animals in one way or another.
My grandfather is the one who inducted my brother and I into the Red Sox nation. While he lived in Connecticut, he was from southern New Hampshire so he picked the good side. (Sorry not sorry Yankee fans ). This was the inspiration for Madeline’s love of baseball along with her grandfather being the one that initially purchases the team. As all Red Sox fans know, if you grew up with the team there were a lot of down years. Luckily that all turned around starting in 2004! If you read my books, you’ll see the connection between that magical year and the Abington Armadillos.
And just for fun. I wrote Davis to look like Chris Evans. Also from Massachusetts. So, again, there is a bit of wish fulfillment. But if you’re reading this Chris, call me.
What’s next for Madeline?
Madeline is still learning the ropes at the Abington ballpark, but needs a vacation. Or at least a trip out of town after all the drama. Her parents send her south to Pennsylvania, home of the Bell’s Island Miners. The team is run by old family friends, and Madeline’s looking forward to learning more about the running of an independent team. While no one has died (yet), she stumbles across acts of sabotage and is determined to figure out why everyone at the park is so sketchy. She just can’t get away from investigating!
What next for Nicole Asselin? What are you currently working on?
I’m currently working on the third book in the Ballpark Mystery series. Tentatively titled FOUL PLAY, Madeline travels to a family friend’s team and comes across more sketchy people and sketchy situations. I also have a half finished work about a woman who inherits her Grandfather’s house and also inherits the fairy tale library within. Once I get through book three I’m going to switch to that one for a while. I’m super excited about it. But I will always love Madeline and her cats. So, books 4 and 5 are being planned!