Monday, February 17, 2014

Why This One Is Special

I love all the books I’ve written. I really do. My characters and their stories live forever in my heart. But I felt a unique surge of joy when Billie Johnson, my publisher at Oak Tree Press, sent me my finished cover and told me that Murder a la Christie was ready for the printers.

I write my mysteries, well aware of the history of the genre and of the Golden Age of Mystery, which took place here and in England, loosely between the two World Wars. My sleuth, Lexie Driscoll, is an English professor. But more importantly for my series, she leads a Golden Age of Mystery book club where murder and mayhem abound.

I decided that the first book in my series would be a tribute to Agatha Christie. By far the most
popular author of her time, Dame Agatha’s books are as enjoyable today as when they were written almost one hundred years ago. My characters discuss some of Dame Agatha’s novels. In ways, the arc of the novel follows an Agatha Christie novel. The setting is an insular village whose residents know each other almost took well. And Lexie exposes the murderer at the end of a book club meeting when all the suspects are present. There are also many differences. Murder a la Christie is a mystery novel of the twenty-first century, with its own twists and turns, secrets and romance.

Murder a la Christie was a Malice Domestic finalist the year no winner was declared. An agent sent it around to the big houses. No takers. Eventually I signed on with a small press, and the book was scheduled to come out this past summer. It was edited and ready for a cover, when one of the two publishers died and the other decided to close shop.

I was delighted with Oak Tree Press offered to publish the book. By then I was beginning to sense a buzz. I’d already received some wonderful reviews. When I put out a call for more, I was astonished by the number of people who offered to read and review Murder a la Christie. More wonderful comments and reviews made me start to think that this book was special! And when I saw the finished cover, my spirits soared. Maybe this was the one. The book that people noticed and wanted to read for the mere fun of it.

For the first time I’ll be having a real launch party. And I’ll be doing web radio interviews, guest blogs, and a blog tour. I’m hoping many people will read Murder a la Christie. And when they finish it, tell me that they can’t read its sequel, Murder the Tey Way, my tribute to Josephine Tey.

15 comments:

Susan said...

Love the cover! So glad the book is finally coming out - hope it gets the audience it deserves. Yours is an object lesson in one of the requirements of being a writer - never give up!

Susan, aka Janis Patterson

Sandy Cody said...

Love the cover and it sounds like the book will live up to its promise. Have to say, though, that what I love most is your obvious enthusiasm for your work. All too often writers talk about the difficulties of writing and neglect to mention the joy.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I am positively intrigued by this book!

Marilyn Levinson said...

Susan, Sandy, and Marilyn,
Thanks so much for your comments. Writing and marketing our books are no easy tasks. I couldn't do either if I didn't love creating my characters and their stories.

Patricia Gligor said...

Marilyn,
"Murder a la Christie" is definitely a novel that all Agatha Christie fans should read - and all mystery lovers, for that matter. I loved the book!

marja said...

The book sounds like fun and I also love the cover!
Marja McGraw

Grace Topping said...

Hi, Marilyn,

It sounds like a book I would love. Are you bringing copies to Sleuthfest so I can get an autographed copy?

Baronoff said...

I absolutely cannot WAIT to read it!! I enjoy that kind of convolution (The Jane Austen Book Club, etc.) and you're so strong with story, I know you'll bring it all together -- just can't wait!!

Marilyn Levinson said...

Patricia,
Thank you for your wonderful words! I'm so happy you loved Murder a la Christie. It's why we write books, isn't it?

Marilyn Levinson said...

Patricia,
Thank you for your wonderful words! I'm so happy you loved Murder a la Christie. It's why we write books, isn't it?

Marilyn Levinson said...

Grace,
I'm hoping the copies will arrive in time for SleuthFest.
I'm doing my best to make sure they get there in time.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Thanks, Marja. I love the cover, too!

Marilyn Levinson said...

Susie,
Thanks for your kind words. I'll let you know when the book's out.

Eileen Obser said...

So glad to read this blog, Marilyn. I love your enthusiasm and will be delighted when I have my own copy in hand. The cover is perfect, as I told both Billie and you. Good luck getting the copies in hand very soon!

Marilyn Levinson said...

Eileen,
Thanks for your good wishes. Very soon your book will be ready to send out to the world.