Spotlight on Stay of Execution by Kellie Larsen Murphy – plus author interview! 

Spotlight on Stay of Execution by Kellie Larsen Murphy – plus author interview! 


Today I’m casting my spotlight on a new thriller by Kellie Larsen Murphy. I’m excited to get my hands on a copy of this book so watch this space for a review in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I’ve been had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions. This is how I got on ….

When/why did you decide to become a writer?

I’ve always loved writing. Even when I worked in finance, I took creative writing for fun! I decided to pursue it in earnest when my kids were young. I would write at night while they were sleeping. Seems like a long time ago!

What authors inspired you when you were younger? 

When I was young, I read all the Nancy Drew books (of course!) and Laura Ingalls Wilder. When I got a little older, I started reading suspense and Stephen King.

What books do you enjoy reading today?

I read almost everything. In the last month, I’ve read Me Before You and I am Pilgrim. Next up is Wild and Girl on a Train. All very different from each other.

What’s your latest book about?

My latest book is about a detective forced to face the fact that he put an innocent man in jail – or did he?

What was the inspiration behind your novel?

This is the second in my Detective Cancini series. I wanted this novel to show something of his past as well as who he is in the present.

Tell us about your previous work?

The first in the series is A Guilty Mind and features a man struggling with overwhelming guilt. That man is also the suspect in his psychiatrist’s murder.

How do you develop characters?

To be honest – a little at a time. I can visualize them and hear them, but I will add nuances in each draft.

What’s your “go to” genre?

For writing and reading, it tends to be suspense – everything from psychological and procedural to action thrillers.

What other genres would you like to try your hand at?

Hmmmm. Good question. I think I’d be game for most anything but romance. I just don’t think I’d be any good at it.

 Where do you see yourself and your career in the next ten years?

I see several more books and series on the bookshelves. I actually have the next series featuring a female PI already planned.

What would you be doing if you weren’t writing?

Getting better organized. The hours spent writing are hours where papers pile up and I don’t get to the grocery store!

Can you tell us what you are working on next?

Currently, I’m working on the third Cancini book. This one takes place back in DC with his partner Smitty.

What authors, dead or alive, would you like to collaborate with?

Michael Connelly, Stieg Larsson, Pat Conroy, Stephen King, Laura Lippman, Gillian Flynn. There are many more, but the list is just too long.

If the book was made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading role?

A reader actually made this suggestion and I agree. Andy Garcia would be a wonderful Cancini.

What are your greatest challenges as a writer?

Not letting life distract me from staying in my chair and getting the words written.

Do you have a Writing routine?

It’s fluid but these days, I get most of my work done mid-morning to early afternoon.

What advice would you give to a new writer?

Love what you’re writing. I feel I’ve done my job if I can read my own work over and over (especially during revisions) and still want to turn the page. Of course, to do that, I would also advise every writer (new and old) to have an editor they trust.

What’s been the biggest lesson you have learned on your writing journey?

There is a great deal of information out there about writing and publishing. Do your research and be flexible. And while it’s important to trust your instincts, it’s equally important to listen to your beta readers and your editor. Every good writer needs a team!


About the Book 

Title: Stay of Execution

Author: Kellie Larsen Murphy

Genre: Mystery / Suspense

Little Springs was just a small college town, the kind of town where everyone knew everyone and violent crime was nonexistent—until a series of rapes and murders at the college.  After an outbreak of fear and hysteria, only the arrest and conviction of Leo Spradlin, the “Co-Ed Killer,” could end the terror.


Years later, Spradlin is suddenly cleared based on unshakable DNA evidence, and no one is more surprised than Detective Mike Cancini. As new questions surround the identity of the true “Co-Ed Killer,” Cancini struggles to accept his role in the conviction of an innocent man. Suspicions mount when Spradlin’s release coincides with a fresh wave of rapes and murders at the college, eerily reminiscent of the original crimes. Cancini is drawn back to Little Springs, caught in a race against time to uncover the identity of the latest “Co-Ed Killer” before the next girl dies…


A tension-filled psychological mystery, Stay of Execution is also a novel about loyalty, deceit, and the darker side of truth.


Author Bio


Kellie Larsen Murphy is the author of A Guilty Mind and Stay of Execution, the first two books in the Detective Cancini Mystery series. She has written for several mid-Atlantic magazines and resides in Richmond, Virginia, with her husband, four children, and two very large, very hairy dogs.


Kindle Version:


Twitter:  @aguiltymind


Coming soon!!! My Review of Stay of Execution


Helen Treharne

I’m Helen Treharne, fiction author an creator of The Sophie Morgan Vampire Series. I live in South Wales with my husband, young son and rescue cat.
My books are available at all major digital retailers with soft back copies also available from Amazon, Createspace and other stores.
When I’m not writing fiction, I blog at, sharing my experiences of being a busy parent jugging working, writing, and more. Follow me there for my personal insights.


  1. March 21, 2015 / 12:39 pm

    It was a pleasure. I’m looking forward to reading it!

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