Nancy Mehl lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband, Norman, and her very active puggle, Watson. First published in 2001, she has now authored nine books, including an omnibus mystery collection, Cozy in Kansas, which contains three of her previously published Ivy Towers mysteries. Book three in the series, For Whom the Wedding Bell Tolls, won the American Christian Fiction Writers Mystery Book of the Year award. Nancys main writing interests lie in mystery although her new Harmony Series leans more toward the romantic suspense genre.
Q How did you get the idea for the story?
Nancy: There was a movie years ago called “Kiss the Girls.” It starred Naomi Judd and Morgan Freeman. At the time I thought the plot would be difficult to pull off. I started wondering how I would do it. The movie was mentioned in the book.
Q It also reminded me a little of “Phantom of the Opera.” Did that influence you?
Nancy: I had not thought about that. But after you mention it, I can see how there is the same basic idea, taking someone against their will. I love this story and it is one of my favorites. But, there is a difference since my antagonist looked for people who wronged him.
Q You used the song “Daisy, Daisy.” What can you tell me about that?
Nancy: That song just popped into my head. The perpetrator gave a stuffed dog with a daisy who sang that song to someone he had a crush one. Many writers use songs, childhood rhymes, or poems in their stories as I did in this story. Now I have readers who said they will never think of that song the same.
Q How would you describe Alex?
Nancy: Alex had a father leave when she was young, and her mother committed suicide. She found her mother’s body. She ended up living with an aunt. Because of this she tended to hide her feelings. Even though she works in the FBI she still carries her childhood trauma. In this book she is on a path to healing. Alex is strong, a risk taker, and has PTSD from a dramatic situation in the previous book. She is also vulnerable, fearless, kind, and has germaphobia. I gave her germaphobia because it comes from a desire to control her environment and makes her feel safe.
Q How would you describe Logan?
Nancy: Loyal, trustworthy, confidant, a great profiler. He is the opposite of Alex.
Q How about the relationship?
Nancy: Logan is drawn to her and eventually they become close friends. He is drawn to her but because she is damaged, he takes it slowly. He would do anything for Alex. After his devastating medical diagnosis, he decides to tell Alex how he feels.
Q What’s next?
Nancy: Since this was the last book in the series, I am starting on a new series titled “Cold Pursuit.” It has two FBI profilers who left the FBI. She has PTSD and he was injured. They start a detective agency that does consulting. In the new series I have people with this ability to profile but not bound by all the FBI requirements. All three books in the new series will take place in the winter.
Also, someone bought the rights to the book, Blessings in Disguise. It was the first book in the Amish mystery cozy series.
Free Fall by Nancy Mehl has plenty of action, mystery, and intrigue. This is the last in a three-book series and readers will not be disappointed. Not only is the plot suspenseful, but it also shows how the heroine and hero are striving to overcome their demons.
In this story FBI special Agents Logan Hart and Alex Donovan are asked to profile a woman kidnapped, Tracy Mendenhall. Through the investigation they find there are more women with the same characteristics, including Alex. Besides profiling the women, they are asked to profile the UNSUB after it is discovered four other women have gone missing in the county. They are in a race to beat the clock before more women go missing.
Readers take a thrilling ride with the heroine free falling down a slippery slope. The pace will keep people on the edge of their seats.
Nancy Mehl's Latest
FBI behavioral analyst Alex Donovan and her colleague Logan Hart have been called upon to write a profile for a missing woman, but a little digging quickly turns up more disappearances in Virginia with the same physical description.
Alex is in a race against the clock to rescue the missing victims, so when the UNSUB makes demands of her in exchange for information, Alex takes the bait. But when her life is put in jeopardy, Logan must do whatever it takes to track them down before time runs out.
Alex works to think one step ahead of the suspect, but the more Logan and the BAU learn about the serial kidnapper, the more they fear Alex may not make it out alive.