Yoga Can Be Murder by Tracy Weber
I’m not a typical yoga teacher, even though I’ve owned a yoga studio for the past fourteen years. I can’t put my foot behind my head or sit in full lotus pose. I hate the smell of incense. I’d rather chug jalapeño margaritas than sip mugs of chai tea. But I completely believe in yoga. The practice has transformed my life and sharing it brings me great joy.
So most of my students just rolled their eyes when I decided to spend my spare time plotting murder, and my husband muttered “it figures” when he found a book about poisons “accidentally” hidden in the kitchen. It all makes sense if you know my warped sense of humor. Still, other yoga teachers are sometimes taken aback—even a little insulted—to learn about my series. What kind of demented yoga teacher combines yoga—a practice designed to promote inner peace—with murder? For those of you who are curious but too polite to ask, below are four reasons I write about yoga and murder.
My light-hearted mysteries help me share yoga with complete strangers.
Good fiction immerses readers in new worlds and broadens their horizons. I’ve been pleased—though not all that surprised—to learn that after reading my mysteries, many readers decide to try yoga for the first time. Yoga has a weird reputation in the United States. Most people think yoga is an exercise routine designed for Gumby-like women whose bodies look great, even when squeezed into black Spandex pants. In reality, yoga is so much more than that.
Kate Davidson, my novel’s protagonist, is a yoga teacher. Kate and I aren’t the same person, but we share similar quirks. We’ll never grace the cover of Yoga Journal. We both suffer from laughably tight hamstrings, moderate body image issues, and we occasionally drink significantly more wine than we probably should.
Likewise, neither Kate nor I are likely to become the next Dalai Lama. I have a warped sense of humor and tease people way more than they sometimes appreciate. Kate has, shall we say, anger management issues, and she often lashes out impulsively, only to regret it later. Yet yoga has transformed both of our lives. If Kate and I can love yoga, anyone can love yoga—even mystery fans who have never considered trying it.
People are murdered in my work, but death isn’t the only theme.
Solving crime definitely takes center stage in my work, but my books ultimately explore life, love, and human imperfections. Real life isn’t always simple, and it’s rarely easy. Humans—even yoga teachers—make mistakes. We suffer traumas. If we’re lucky, we recover and grow. Yoga teacher Kate makes plenty of mistakes and she suffers from more than her fair share of neuroses, but she learns, she grows, and she tries to do better in the future. There has to be a valuable life lesson in there somewhere.
If my books were movies, they’d be rated PG-13—at most.
In some ways my books skirt the cozy mystery lines a little. I’ve been known to use the occasional non-F-bomb swear word. In my first book, Kate gets, shall we say, friendly (off page, of course!) on a first date. Still, like most cozies, my work is light-hearted, often funny, and written to appeal to the faint of heart. If my either of my grandmothers were still alive, I’d let them read my books. (Though I might blush a little.)
Last but not least, I love it!
But if I’m honest, the real reason I write yoga mysteries is simple. I’m a huge mystery fan, my life-work is yoga, and I’m absolutely, embarrassingly, head-over-heels crazy about my German shepherd, Tasha. I write about a yoga teacher who solves murders with a wacky German shepherd sidekick. Writing about yoga, dogs, and murder. What could be more fun?
Tracy Weber is a professional yoga therapist and owner of Whole Life Yoga in Seattle. She is the author of the upcoming novel, A Killer Retreat, coming out on Jan. 8, 2015. The book is the second title in the Downward Dog Mystery series. Learn more and order your copy of A Killer Retreat here.
There's nothing we love more at Shelf Pleasure than a ..
Author and Shelf Pleasure contributor Karen A. Chase on how ..
One of author Mary Miley’s favorite things about being a ..
Author and police psychologist Ellen Kirschman, Ph.D., weighs the pitfalls ..
Little known fact about Shelf Pleasure's Kristen: she's obsessed with ..
Although Debbie De Louise has been a librarian and avid ..