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Q&A with Susan Cory, Author of Doppelgänger
By Kathryn Gandek-Tighe
Posted on 7/11/2019 12:00 AM
Susan Cory, architect and author of the Iris Reid mystery series, answers our questions about writing and her newest book, Doppelgänger. Have questions or thoughts to share? Comment below!

How would you describe the plot of your book?

Ever wonder what would happen if you didn’t wipe every bit of personal history off your old computer when you sent it to be recycled? Architect Iris Reid’s nightmare begins when a clever con artist uses Iris' information in order to take over her life. 

Who is your favorite character and why?

My favorite character (excluding Iris, my main character whom I champion through all the trials I put her through) is Iris' beautiful but treacherous doppelgänger, Rosica. It felt a little too easy for comfort to get inside her psycho head to write the chapters from her POV.

Which of your skill sets were useful constructing the plot?
The skill set I use is what makes my mysteries take so long to write. I use my forty years of experience as a residential architect to describe a new project in each book that Iris is working on. Of course that means I have to actually design the project first! Kirkus Reviews said: “and even her descriptions of architecture are exhilarating.” Hey, what did they mean by “even”?

What meal and drink do you think would pair well with your book?

Since Iris' boyfriend is the hottie neighborhood chef, the perfect meal and drink to go with reading Doppelgänger would be the one Iris orders at Luc's new restaurant: a Sheba special – named after Iris' Basset hound - (tequila, lime, blood orange and fennel), an appetizer of charred octopus with roasted Japanese cauliflower, spiced yogurt and pumpkin hummus, an entreé of scallops with squash, pistachio and saffron, followed by dessert of a Calvados caramel semifreddo. After what Iris has been through she deserves a good meal!

Were there indispensable people without whom you couldn't have written the book?

The people who have been indispensable to my writing for creating accurate details are the first responders who have generously shared information with me: The Cambridge Police Department, the Medford Fire Chief (for my fourth book, Collateral, which I am writing now), and the instructors at the Writer's Police Academy, a 4 day educational workshop where writers can gain an understanding of all aspects of law enforcement. 

Susan Cory is the author of the Iris Reid mystery series of Conundrum, Façade and Doppelgänger. She is a member of Sisters in Crime National, a local member of Sisters in Crime New England, and a regular attendee at Crime Bake. Like her sleuth, she is a residential architect practicing out of her turreted office in Cambridge. Also, like Iris Reid, she has a brown belt in karate. She lives in Cambridge with her architect husband and a bossy mutt.


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