Sunday, January 22, 2012

Mop Doll Mania

Special Post by Lois Winston

Being an author of crafting mysteries, I’m thrilled to be back guesting at Killer Hobbies. A year ago, I was invited to do a guest blog when Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in my Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries, was released. Today I’m back to tell you about Death By Killer Mop Doll, the second book in the series.



Like most crafting mysteries, I include craft projects in my books. Because my amateur sleuth is the crafts editor at a women’s magazine, she has to know how to work in a myriad of crafting techniques. In Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, I featured general crafts, quick and easy projects that could be mastered by anyone, no skills required. A frustrated crafter is a crafter who won’t be crafting long. But give someone a project she can accomplish in a short period of time, with little difficulty, and satisfying results, and you’ve got a crafter for life.


In Death By Killer Mop Doll, I decided to concentrate on one particular craft -- mop dolls. Now, unless you were crafting or frequenting craft shows in the late eighties and early nineties, you probably have never heard of mop dolls. They were a craft that took the crafts industry -- and the public -- by storm. Craft stores devoted entire aisles to stocking the string mops and accessories used to make these dolls.

Mop manufacturers even began selling dyed string mops in a variety of colors to keep up with the crafting demand of what used to be an item found only at hardware and cleaning supply stores and used primarily by janitors. Those same mop manufacturers began making money like they’d never seen before. Inventory flew out of warehouses the moment product came off assembly lines.

Sadly, like all trends, mop dolls went the way of the pet rock. I thought, why not bring back the mop doll in my current mystery? Trends are cyclical, after all, and mop dolls are very easy to make. Besides, Death By Killer Mop Doll is a title that might catch a reader’s attention. At least I’m hoping so!

In Death By Killer Mop Doll, Anastasia finds herself and her fellow American Woman editors roped into a weekly unpaid gig for a revamped morning TV show. No one is happy, and a disgruntled staffer takes action by trashing the studio set, leaving one of Anastasia’s mop dolls as a calling card. Vandalism soon escalates to blackmail and murder when a member of the production team is found with another mop doll sitting on his chest and one of Anastasia’s knitting needles plunged through his heart. When Anastasia begins snooping to prove her innocence, she lands smack in the killer's crosshairs.
Death By Killer Mop Doll includes directions for making a basic mop doll as well as several variations and Christmas string doll ornaments. Do you think you’ll try your hand at crafting a mop doll? How often do you make one of the crafts featured in a crafting mystery? Post a comment, and you could win one of five signed copies of Death By Killer Mop Doll I’m giving away as part of my January blog tour. The full tour schedule can be found at my website, http://www.loiswinston.com, and the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog, http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. In addition, I’m giving away 3 copies of Death By Killer Mop Doll on Goodreads, http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/15173-death-by-killer-mop-doll
Bio: Lois Winston is the author of the critically acclaimed Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mysteries published by Midnight Ink. Assault With a Deadly Glue Gun, the first book in the series, received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Booklist and was recently nominated for a Readers Choice Award by the Salt Lake City Library System. The new year brings with it the release of Death By Killer Mop Doll, the second book in the series. Read an excerpt at http://www.loiswinston.com/excerptap2.html. Visit Lois at her website: http://www.loiswinston.com and Anastasia at the Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog: http://www.anastasiapollack.blogspot.com. You can also follow Lois and Anastasia on Twitter @anasleuth.

17 comments:

Cynthia said...

I have never thought about making a mop doll before. I would need to see the directions first to see how easy it would be first. My time is very limited now that I have a new baby in the house. I'm happy that I can even read.

I'd love to try a knitting or crochet pattern from a mystery. Thanks for doing the blog tour.
cynthiakchow (at) earthlink(dot) net

Rachel said...

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who hadn't heard of mop dolls before! rachelkb at gmail.com

Linda O. Johnston said...

Welcome back to Killer Hobbies, Lois! I'd never heard of a mop doll before, but they're obviously cute. Looking forward to reading Death by Killer Mop Doll!

Lois Winston said...

Cynthia, I well understand the demands of a new baby. I remember being so tired that when I had a free moment, all I wanted to do was sit down and close my eyes! Maybe in a few months you'll have the time to try your hand at a mop doll. If so, you'll find very easy-to-follow directions in DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL.

Linda, thanks for the welcome! I hope you enjoy DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL.

Camille Minichino said...

You've convinced me, Lois! I'm starting now for the year's birthday presents.

Lois Winston said...

Cool, Camille! Let me know if you need any long distance help.

jeff7salter said...

I've never been a big crafter. Even, as a kid, when I put together model airplanes & cars, I usually skipped tedious steps and rushed through others.
I do still enjoy making or modifying things. Recent example: taking a Swiss bayonet with 9 in blade and modifying it into a 7 in blade knife with new fabricated guard and completely diff. handle.
If asked 'why?' I'd have to reply, "for the same reason you make a mop doll." LOL

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Great to have you here as our guest, Lois.

Jane R said...

You're right that crafts are cyclical. I saw a customer at a craft shop just the other day purchasing a ball of jute and a large brass ring. It looked to me like she was planning to make a macrame plant hanger. It sure was a blast from the past. Thanks to your book, I'm sure mop dolls aren't far behind!

Lois Winston said...

There are all kinds of crafts, Jeff. Bayonets for some, mop dolls for others.

Thanks for inviting me, Joanna!

Betty Hechtman said...

I must have missed the mop doll craze. Smart of you to bring it back.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Betty! I've missed a few crazes myself over the years. Some I'm glad to have missed! ;-)

Chris Bailey said...

I missed mop dolls. From about the same era, though, I remember "corner kids." I don't know what they were really called--maybe Anastasia does. They were dolls dressed up in various costumes and placed so that it appeared that they were crying against a wall or pouting in a corner. Often in girl/boy pairs. They probably belong in the horror genre.

Lois Winston said...

Oh, I do remember those, Chris! I'm not sure what they were called, but I always thought they were really odd.

Liz said...

Think my comment ended up on your site. But great blog.

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Liz!

Alberta N.Iverson said...

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