Mystery author to appear this weekend at Har Mar

Pat Dennis

Throughout her long career, Pat Dennis has worn many hats, including that of a stand up comedienne, a keynote speaker and author. But it was her gig as a tour bus entertainer that gave her the inspiration to write her newest book, “Murder by Chance.”

In “Murder by Chance,” the chubby, middle-aged heroine Betty Chance finds herself involved in murder and mayhem when, as a tour company owner, she escorts a tour bus full of seniors to a casino. This whodunit, which serves up plenty of laughs along with its plot twists, hit bookstores last month.

Pat Dennis, who hails from Bloomington, will be signing copies of “Murder by Chance” at the Barnes and Noble in Roseville’s Har Mar Mall, 2100 N. Snelling Avenue, on April 14 at 2 p.m.

In an interview with the Roseville Review, Pat recalled her time as a casino tour bus entertainer in 1998. 

“These were the some of the best shows I ever did,” she said. “Comedy shows are supposed to be intimate, and standing on a tour bus was definitely intimate. They would bring me up about 25 minutes before we got to the casino, and by the time we got there everyone was laughing and excited and in a good mood.”

The trip home from the casino had a different feel, unfortunately.

“On the way home, I’d sit in the back of the bus, hiding behind a newspaper,” Pat said. “Because not everybody would be in such a good mood anymore.”

Although Pat has enjoyed a successful and long career in stand-up and as a public speaker, she decided recently to focus on her writing. “Doing comedy kept me too busy to write, and I kind of regret that,” she said. “I could never write while I was performing. Now I’m pretty much turning to writing.”

Her numerous short stories and humor have appeared in many publications, including Minnesota Monthly, Woman’s World, and several crime anthologies.

Her other full-length book, “Hotdish to Die For” was published in 1999 and recently updated for the Kindle. “The book was bad,” she said. “Get the Kindle version. It’s very good.”

Always funny and always honest, Pat said she may have a new project soon, dedicated to her recently retired husband who worked as an air traffic controller.

“I’m thinking about writing a one-woman play called ‘Kill Me, My Husband’s Retired,’” she quipped. “He was telling planes where to go. And now…he’s home.”

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