Carter Fielding

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Author Profile

Carter  Fielding

New author Carter Fielding is a millennial with an old soul. She likes old maps, old photographs, vintage records, and vintage champagnes. A Southerner, with roots in Anderson, S.C., she likes a good bourbon, a day that calls for wearing a barn jacket and wellies, and the smell of wet earth after a good rain. After graduating from Williams College and Georgetown Law School, Fielding worked in banking in New York City before returning to the DC area as a management consultant. She lives in Northern Virginia with her Boykin spaniel, Trucker, and uses her passion for books and travel to create characters she hopes readers will come to love

Books

Murder with a Twist

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

“There’s a reason we keep fighting the War Between the States…. The North keeps watering down the bourbon. Sacrilege!” Mama

While preparing for her sister’s wedding, Finley Blake, still settling into her relationship with her long-time love, Max, uncovers dead bodies, dry bones and deep secrets that threaten to upend her family and turn the wedding chapel into a funeral parlor. Finley and Whitt are meeting up in Charleston for Whit’s wedding and have booked one of the stately mansions off Colonial Lake as their Airbnb home away from home. As if managing Mama’s need to feed and tamping down Whitt’s pre- wedding jitters aren’t enough, Finley has to help her sister remember where she has seen the man that turns up dead in the master bedroom of the house they are renting. Just when things start calming down and Whitt can return to her wedding preparations, bones—and lots of money—start falling from the ceiling and the sleuths are back at it, trying to piece together the clues before the killer finds them out. The bride and her matron of honor must connect the dots in a hurry or one of the bridal party may end up taking a ride down the aisle in a casket. Catch up with these two Southern sisters in the next in the Blake Sisters Travel Mystery series as they return home and get sucked into yet another puzzling case of Airb‘n bourbon!

Book Bubbles from Murder with a Twist

Ain't Love Grand!

Throughout the series thus far, Finley and Max have had an unusual, albeit intense, relationship. The introduction of Logan in this book brings the tensions to a head. Part of the reason lies in the complexity of Max’s character and his lived experience, part of it in the graciously generous heart of Logan, and part of it in the genuine naivety of Finley. Ain’t love grand!

The Stroke of the Brush, the Beat of the Dru

One of the things I like about writing these books is the opportunity to learn more about different cultures—their practices, rituals and art forms. In the case of the wall paintings described here, I had the good fortune to meet with Bulu Imam during a trip to the region and view with him some of the murals painted on the houses in Jharkhand. An enlightening experience that somehow had to be incorporated into the book.

Murder in the Marshes

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

“There’s a reason we keep fighting the War Between the States…. The North keeps watering down the bourbon. Sacrilege!” Mama

While preparing for her sister’s wedding, Finley Blake, still settling into her relationship with her long-time love, Max, uncovers dead bodies, dry bones and deep secrets that threaten to upend her family and turn the wedding chapel into a funeral parlor. Finley and Whitt are meeting up in Charleston for Whit’s wedding and have booked one of the stately mansions off Colonial Lake as their Airbnb home away from home. As if managing Mama’s need to feed and tamping down Whitt’s pre- wedding jitters aren’t enough, Finley has to help her sister remember where she has seen the man that turns up dead in the master bedroom of the house they are renting. Just when things start calming down and Whitt can return to her wedding preparations, bones—and lots of money—start falling from the ceiling and the sleuths are back at it, trying to piece together the clues before the killer finds them out. The bride and her matron of honor must connect the dots in a hurry or one of the bridal party may end up taking a ride down the aisle in a casket. Catch up with these two Southern sisters in the next in the Blake Sisters Travel Mystery series as they return home and get sucked into yet another puzzling case of Airb‘n bourbon!

Book Bubbles from Murder in the Marshes

Murder in the Tea Leaves

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Whitt and Finley Blake are heading to Sri Lanka, a place they have been before and couldn’t wait to return to. But this trip, someone is killing off people wherever the sisters go. Is it a coincidence? Is someone after them like they were in Morocco? Or are they after someone the sisters know? Whitt and Finley need to find out, and quickly, before the body count gets any higher. When Finley Blake, a young travel writer, gets a choice assignment to do a story in Sri Lanka, she snaps it up. Not only does it get her closer to Delhi, where Max, her former lover and ‘new’ boyfriend is working, but it also gives her some girl time with her sister, Whitt. She and Whitt had holidayed in Sri Lanka some years before and were enchanted by the picturesque countryside, the delectable food, and gracious people. But their idyllic vacation is interrupted by some strange monkey business and bodies that are hidden in the most unusual places. Follow the Blake sisters as they trek from the elephant sanctuaries of central Sri Lanka to the tea plantations of the highlands to the game preserves of Yala, finding bodies wherever they go, in the second book of their Travel Mystery series, a tale of suspense and murder in the tea leaves.

Book Bubbles from Murder in the Tea Leaves

Can Lysander Mix a Drink?

Okay, I’ve a got thing about sunsets—probably because I am never up in time for sunrises. I think Finley has a thing for them, too. She is forever trying to capture the perfect sunset and freeze it in time with her camera lens. Of the ones she has captured thus far, this is my favorite.

Don't Feed the Monkeys!

I do a fair amount of travel in tropical areas where there are a lot of monkeys. The cute little buggers can be the source of hours of amusement. But they can also become bothersome if indulged too much. I never quite know the right balance. Seems like Finley and Whitt have the same challenge. But in this case, interfering with the monkeys can have deadly consequences.

Timing is Everything!

Just like catching a sunset at the perfect moment, connection between people can be a matter of timing. The relationship between Whitt and David—and Max and Finley—was a matter of timing. Even the closeness of the sisterhood between Finley and Whitt depends on timing. As we will see in the next scene, there are always tells. You just have to wait for them. Timing is everything!

Surprise! Surprise!

I like surprises. I’ve probably said that before. Unexpected gifts, unexpected compliments, unexpected guests. Especially when they are special people in your life. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than opening the door and finding friends or family who “just happened to be in the area” and pop on by. In the case of Finley and Whitt, it takes some planning to fly half way around the world to make a surprise visit to their doorstep, but Max and David seem to have this down to a fine science.

You've Got a Friend

When I introduced Logan to the story back in the prequel, he was to be a momentary diversion for Finley while her heart mended. I think Mooney, her best friend, saw other potential in the relationship, and yet neither Finley nor Mooney saw that the real beauty of the relationship was in the deep trust and caring Finley and Logan develop for each other over the course of the series. Having had friendships like that, I have found that the surprise discovery of how deeply you can care about someone without romantic love can be transformative.

Contrasts

I’ll tell you what I love about writing these books more than anything – getting to know the characters. You’d think I would know them pretty well since I am making them up in my head and I, and only I, know them before anybody else. Still, they take twists and turns in their development that surprise me. It wasn’t until I was writing this section, which wasn’t supposed to be a big deal in either the plot line or the character development, that I realized the contrasts in personality, style and looks between Finley and Mooney, her BFF. And yet, at heart, they are one. They say opposites attract. If you are looking for proof, here you go!

Oh bother!

Sometimes changes in the best laid plans work out for the best. Such is the case here with Finley. Her carefully constructed itinerary gave way to a new adventure. Serendipity has a way of rearranging plans to make other stars align. As I was writing this, I thought of all the times when I threw up my hands in exasperation over another plan gone awry or another wrong turn that delays me only to run into an old friend in the new venue or stumble upon the most magical sunset as I try to let GPS recalibrate. Being open to new possibilities can have its rewards as Finley and Whitt soon discover in this new addition to the series.

Discovery in Fes

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Having rediscovered each other after years apart, Finley and Max tread carefully around each other for fear of another rupture in their relationship. But a chance trip to Fes to research an article allows Finley to discover more than just the sights, sounds and tastes of this mesmerizing Moroccan city. Max joins Finley on the final leg of her assignment in Morocco, sharing with her the hidden treasures of a city that he has explored in the time since she left Morocco the first time. As she uncovers the myriad delights of the city, she also learns about herself and the man she may decide to let back into her life. Follow Finley and Max through the streets of Fes in this Bonus Chapter to Book 1 of the Blake Sisters Travel Mystery Series.

Book Bubbles from Discovery in Fes

Tried and Failed

I love the interaction between Max and Finley in Fes. They are both old friends and new lovers. There is something fresh and exciting about that and the future adventures that might come. But there is an element of the past that hangs over them. Unspoken. Unfinished

The Ultimate Connection

: I am a big foodie. There can be no conversation that is complete without the mention of food. And not just the mention but the experience of food. Finley and Whitt are the same. In this bonus chapter and in all the books in the series, you will see them smell, touch, savor and immerse themselves in food so that all their senses are engaged. Max understands. He knew just the place to take Finley. To Layla.

Anicca

I wish I could have as mature a conversation about relationships as Finley and Max did. The beauty of letting go of the past is that it clears space for the future. There is a concept in Vipassana meditation, anicca—impermanence—that lets you accept that what you think is now has indeed, in just a second, already passed and will never be again. Finley and Max might find that freeing.

Murder in Montauk

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

The Blake sisters, Whitt and Finley, their mother, and Finley’s best friend, Mooney, head out to the beaches of Montauk, Long Island for a girls’ weekend to celebrate Mama’s birthday. Their plans for lots of spa, sun and sand are interrupted when a body is found on a massage table at the spa and a masseuse is implicated. Still reeling from a relationship gone wrong, Finley has returned from Morocco and is preparing to pick up the pieces of her life in Manhattan with the support of her friend, Mooney, and that of her family. Daddy spares no expense in planning a blow-out weekend to celebrate Mama’s 60th in style and enlists the help of the sisters to ensure that all of Mama’s wishes come true. But when a day at the spa turns deadly, Whitt and Finley must put themselves in danger to prove that the person accused of the crime is innocent. Join these wander-lusting sisters as they put the pieces of the puzzle together to get justice for the innocent in this tale of patchouli and a patch.

Book Bubbles from Murder in Montauk

Back in the Saddle

Sometimes your best buds know you better than you do. In this case, Mooney knows both Finley’s type as well as her reluctance to get back in the dating game after the loss of Max, even if she says otherwise. Will having a new guy in her life distract her from getting involved in another murder investigation? Mama can only hope!

Almost Gone

How long does it take to get someone completely out of your system? So that certain songs lose their meaning, certain scents their significance, certain words their poignancy. It has been several months since Finley left Morocco—and Max. By now, she thought she would be over him, would have moved on. But no.

There’s a Reason I don’t like Massages

I don’t know why but I have never been particularly fond of massages. Most of the time, if they are given as gifts, they end up being regifted. Finley is a little like me, but because her sister and Mama are such spa babies, she plays the good sport. And wouldn’t you know what happens!

Wolf in Sheepskin

It doesn’t matter where you are or what you say, there are some guys that never get the memo that they aren’t God’s gift to women. When they don’t, repeating the same message does little good. Diversionary tactics may be the best tact. Finley catches the eye of one of her best friend’s clients and does her best evasive waltz.

The Little Things Redux

When a heart is on the mend, even the slightest jolt can cause a rupture that sets you back on your heels. Words most ordinary when chosen by another can unleash an avalanche of emotion, unwittingly. And the speaker may never know, can never know, the impact.

The Shields We Use

Whether we want to admit it or not, we all put up shields to keep others at arm’s length, at least until we feel comfortable enough with the other person—or in our own skin—to lower the shield. This is especially true when we are in public, outside our safe haven. For some, the shield is the way they dress or the briefcase they carry that puts a distance between them and others. For me it’s a book, even if just carried and not read. For Finley after the break-up, it’s a camera.

People Watching on Lazy Days

Maybe it’s my introverted personality but people-watching is one of my favorite pastimes, especially when I travel. Looking around the room at the mix of faces and accents and mannerisms is an education onto itself. Finley and Whitt are pretty good observers of humanity. That’s what makes them very good at finding out who done it!

Family

The Blake Sister Travel Mysteries are stories of family and relationships as much as they are about the murders and intrigue that they stumble upon. The eccentricities of family members are the stuff of legend, especially in southern families. In the Blake family, Mama is the keeper of propriety and some semblance of decorum. While Daddy and the sisters love to find the greasiest spoon or diner for brunch or late-night dinner, Mama not so much, but if she does go, you’d better mind your manners.

Sisters again! What can I say!

The right set of sisters – in this case, the Blake sisters—can take any situation and turn it upside down. Even Mama, the matriarch of the Blake household, is powerless in their wake. Irreverent, wise-cracking and thoroughly southern girls, these women are the kind of gals I want to have—and do have-- as best friends.

The Little Things

If you have ever loved and lost, it doesn’t take much for the rising tide of loss and heartbreak to overwhelm you. In this prequel, we find Finley trying to regain her balance after leaving Morocco and what she thought was the love of her life-- and having a hard time of it. As the song says, “it’s just the little things” that remind her of him.

The Gift of Sisters

Sisters have a secret language whether they are close or estranged. That language is a special gift that they, and they alone, share. Others may understand it but only those who are sisters can comfortably use the language without sounding like imposters. Finley and Whitt Blake, the sisters of the Blake Sister Travel Mystery series, share a language, sometimes unspoken, and use that sisters’ language to unravel the murders and intrigue that seem to follow them to the most unusual places. Come take a look!

Murder in the Medina

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

Finley Blake thought a plum assignment in Tangier would be the perfect chance to grab some girl time with her sister, Whitt. But when a crew member from an action movie being filmed locally falls to his death, Whitt and Finley must put their heads together to figure out whether it was an accident – or murder. During an assignment in Morocco, Finley Blake, a young travel writer still reeling from a painful breakup, and her sister, Whitt, are caught in a web of human trafficking and murder. They must decide whether to play it safe or help a handsome Interpol agent uncover the pieces of the puzzling mystery that will put the murderer behind bars. Travel through the streets of Rabat, the alleyways of Tangier and the medina of Casablanca with these intrepid sleuths. This next in the series of Blake Sisters Travel Mysteries follows Whitt and Finley into the Kasbah for their meeting with death and a Tangier take-out.

Book Bubbles from Murder in the Medina

Unspoken Signals

It’s strange the subtle ways we adjust our sensory perception when we are travelling to pick up what is ‘normal’ or what signals danger in unfamiliar surroundings. Like Finley, I listen for the sound of children when I am in a place I have never been before. This is especially so in crowded environments like the souk or the medina. Thus far it hasn’t steered me wrong.

Breathe!

In our rush to ‘modernize’ we sometimes forget the basic comforts that still exist in other parts of the world—a soothing cup of tea or bracing cup of coffee, the company of good friends, the sigh that comes with sitting, finally, at the end of a long day. I find when I travel away from home I take the time to observe these daily rituals that slow me down, give me time for thought, contemplation, catching my breath. I think Whitt and Finley also use their travel time to reset, slow down, and catch their breath—except when they are being pursued by the bad guys!

Real--Compared to What!

Ever have those times when you think you are understanding what’s going on. but the pieces don’t fit? It’s not just one piece that is out of place, but several that seemed like they might fit but don’t. Strangely it’s as if your brain starts operating at multiple levels of cognition to see what plane reality is on. I could well imagine as I was writing this that both Whitt and Finley, in different ways, were not sure what was real and what wasn’t. And yet, their safety depended on finding ‘real’—and fast.

The Charm of Southern Women

Having been raised in the South and worked for many years in the Northern South, as many refer to Maryland and Washington, DC, I understand the sensibilities of both Northerners and Southerners. What I have come to appreciate is that I am more a Southerner with Northern sensibilities than the other way around. A case in point, I think very few Northern women would have checked their hair as the first thing they did after an abduction. And yet writing this scene, it seemed the most logical thing in the world to me. I am surprised Whitt didn’t have her lipstick secured in her bra! Mama will talk to her about that, I’m sure

Busted!

I hate when that happens. You think you are so close to figuring something out and then something puts a fly in the ointment. Finley and Whitt have gotten so caught up in the process of unraveling exactly how Ross died that have conveniently overlooked the fact that he most likely was killed. And killed by someone in that hotel. A bit unsettling-- if those two ever stopped to think about it. Thanks goodness, Evans (sigh!) is there to remind them

History Awaits

Quite often when you are traveling, history seeks you out instead of the other way around. If you are mindful and curious, that which seems ordinary and uninteresting can turn out to have a backstory that stops you in your tracks. Finley and Whitt are always stumbling on bits of history—whether it’s Whitt because her nose is always stuck in a guidebook or Finley because she loves eavesdropping on the conversations of locals. The best use yet for all those language classes these sisters have taken over the years. I feel compelled to put these historical tidbits to use in the stories. I hope you enjoy them!

Gut Reaction

I am intuitive by nature. The niggling sense in the back of my mind, the thought that won’t do away, the gut reaction that makes me turn left instead of right is always there. Some say intuition is nothing but the auto-filing of untold number of experiences and impressions that get retrieved when presented with an unrecognized but related fact situation. “Inner insight into unconscious pattern recognition” is the dictionary definition. Whatever it is, Finley and Whitt seem to have it in spades. In this situation—and others—their gut seems to lead them more than any analysis. Fun to see it at work, especially when it helps them crack the case.

First Impressions

Some characters start out as minor and then grow in importance as the story evolves. Evans wasn’t meant to take up significant mind space when he was created, but he grew as the writing progressed. In this and the other books, he appears periodically, frequently when least expected, but always when most needed to fill in the gaps, probe the recesses and help Finley and Whitt to stay out of trouble. Consider Finley’s first impression of him.

Ross is dead!

Coming upon dead things – whether plant or animal—is unsettling to me. I can only imaging how disconcerting it would be to come upon a body—what once was a vibrant living being is no more. Finley and Whitt seem to take it all in stride. If the scene is particularly gruesome, they may turn away for a moment before getting back to using that curious mind that both sisters have to figure out whether it was murder or natural causes. And if murder, who did it?

Nothing to Learn Here! Oh Really?

The strange thing about information is that when you receive, at first, it doesn’t seem to be of much use. Names, dates, places that mean little. Random bits of data that only take on significance later, when the pieces are connected. That is the fun thing about the way that Finley and Whitt work together. They take bits that seem of little relevance at the outset and rearrange them so that they reveal not just who did it—but why. See if you can find anything in this conversation that gives you a hint of things to come!

The Newness of Time and Place

There is nothing I love more than the ‘newness’ of a place. Whether it’s a new city that I am visiting for the first time or a new hotel in a city that I know like the back of my hand, the excitement is the same. Whitt and Finley feel that same sensation. Finley knows Tangier well and yet the coolness of the riad lobby, the sounds of the water in the fountain, the tart taste of the refreshing juice concoction are all new. And that newness opens the door to endless possibilities. Who knows what might happen!

The Art of Travel

While a lot of folks approach travel as eagerly as a trip to the dentist, I rather like it. I actually start to relax and settle into my trip as soon as I get on the plane. I suspect Finley and Whitt are the same way. Given that they spend more time in planes that they do in their respective houses, they had better like it. There is something about arriving in your destination that always is the signal to exhale for me. Normally, the sigh comes when I get to my room and kick off my shoes but in this case, the architectural features of the riad, a cool oasis in a hot, crowded bustling city, prompted Finley to relax sooner. I’ll bet that juice cocktail tasted good.

Friends

-- Someone once said that “A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.” That was Mooney. She had been around Finley’s circle for awhile but hadn’t taken center stage until Finley came back from Morocco the first time broken and doubting that there could ever be a silver lining in all those dark clouds. Mooney was her Tinkerbell sprinkling lovely fairy dust. I love writing Mooney into the stories because she adds such a practical, yet hopeful, angle to whatever fluff is clouding the Blake sisters’ perspective. Look to the light.

Sisters

This is something I will never know for sure, being an only child, but from what I have seen the bonds between sisters run soul deep. I can only imagine how hard it must be to be away from each other for long periods at a time. From what I have seen of the Guilted Sisters, my cousins who actually live this crazy globe-trotting life, you make time where you can find it and put the petty stuff aside to savor the best of your relationship. I suspect that is what I wanted for Finley and Whitt in describing how they cope with being apart. Which is probably why, even in the diciest of situations, the Blake sisters know how to pull together to keep each other safe. A pretty powerful antidote to evil, if you ask me!

So Glad You're Here

Sometimes the people in your life just walk through the door, take a seat and make themselves comfortable. Dan, Finley’s law school buddy in this next in the Blake Sisters Travel Mysteries, is like that. In fact, Finley and Whitt both have friends that have become so much a part of their lives that they can’t remember when they weren’t in the picture. It’s what makes these travel mysteries so comfortable to me. The places, the people all feel like ’home’, an important factor when your life is as peripatetic as the Blake sisters’ is. Even the murders they happen upon are starting to claim their place.

Murder on the Stairway to Heaven

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense

While on vacation in St. Lucia with their parents, Finley Blake and her sister, Whitt, unaware of their powers of detection, witness a bizarre murder and no one believes them—except the suspected killer. They must piece together the clues to convince the authorities—and their parents—that a murder has been committed before they become the killer’s next victims. Having just turned twenty-one, Finley Blake is ready for a break from the intense studying of law school and jumps at the chance to accompany her family for Thanksgiving holidays in St. Lucia. Daddy has been invited to join in a bid for the design and development of a condo complex in Castries. Mama and the sisters are included in the invitation to vacation at a luxury property while Daddy and his new partners structure the bid. When Finley and Whitt see a midnight boating jaunt end with only one of the two passengers returning, their story is dismissed until a body washes onto a nearby beach. The sisters must stay two steps ahead of the suspected killer or end up tumbling down the stairway to heaven. Join Finley and Whitt in St. Lucia where their mystery mucking all began in this flashback addition to the Blake Sisters Travel Mystery series.

Book Bubbles from Murder on the Stairway to Heaven

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