Monday, February 17, 2014
Why This One Is Special
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.