For the second time this year, my mystery Murder a la Christie is under contract. The first time the book had been edited and ready for a cover when the publishing house closed its doors because one of the publishers had died. Changes happen often in the publishing world. Years ago, when the only game in town was traditional publishing, my head would spin with all of the changes taking place. Editors moved from one house to another. Editors became agents. Agents became editors. Agents and editors left publishing to work in other fields. There were many orphaned books, books bought and championed by one editor suddenly in the hands of an editor nowhere as enthusiastic about it.
Murder A La Christie, which was a Malice Domestic finalist, is my tribute to Agatha Christie. Dame Agatha and her books are a major reason why I became a mystery writer. My sleuth, Lexie Driscoll, is an English professor whose estranged second husband has burned down her house with himself inside. Needing funds, she agrees to lead a Golden Age of Mystery book club in wealthy Old Cadfield where her best friend Rosie resides. At the first meeting, Lexie is just getting into The Mysterious Affair at Styles, when she notices her old friend Sylvia is looking ill. Before the evening is over, Sylvia is dead and Lexie is certain she’s been murdered.
Lexie spends the summer house sitting Sylvia’s Old Cadfield home. Though she’s out of her element in this wealthy community, she welcomes the opportunity to get to know the book club members better. Every one of them has a secret that may or may not be the reason Sylvia was murdered. Lexie starts dating the world-renown architect who designed Sylvia’s home. Amid more book club meetings and discussions of more Christie novels, more members are killed. Lexie finds herself attracted to the sexy homicide detective in charge of the case. In the final scene when all the suspects are present, she employs Poirot’s cunning and Miss Marple’s means of deduction to reveal the murderer
The next book in the series is Murder the Tey Way. But that’s for another day.