Monday, September 15, 2014

Beyond the Mystery in Murder the Tey Way

I write mysteries because I love plotting murders, gathering suspects, deciding on methods to kill off my victims. What fun to delve into secrets, create mishaps, and analyze means, motive and opportunity. How satisfying to blend all of these elements into a cohesive story and grand finale where the murderer is revealed. It’s one way of experiencing danger from a safe distance.

As a writer, I also love to explore the larger questions in life, my characters and their relationships with one another. Why do people behave the way they do? What are the consequences of one impulsive action? There are two pairs of sisters in Murder the Tey Way, the second book in my Golden Age of Mystery Book Club Mysteries. How the sisters relate to each other impact on the story. My sleuth, Lexie Driscoll, gets an unexpected visit from her sister, Gayle. The two sisters aren’t close. Gayle is six years younger than Lexie, and they’ve little in common. The morning after Gayle arrives, she discovers a dead man in Lexie’s backyard. Gayle admits she’s running for her life, and Lexie wonders if Gayle has murdered the man, thinking he’s been sent to kill her.

Lexie’s neighbors, Felicity and Corinne Roberts, are an odd pair by anyone’s reckoning. Sweet Felicity is simple-minded and dominated by her older sister, Corinne. Each time Lexie comes to Felicity’s aid, Corinne berates Lexie for interfering in their lives. Lexie and her pal Joy, a former FBI agent, uncover the Roberts’ sisters’ secret past.

The characters in Murder the Tey Way discuss some of Josephine Tey’s wonderful novels. False identities, gender bending, and the psychology of studying faces are some of the subjects that influence Tey’s works. My characters discuss these themes, often wondering if and how they apply to the murders taking place in their own neighborhood. Emotions erupt at meetings, giving Lexie and Joy insight into the book club members’ characters and personalities,
and helps them solve the murders.

What are some of the themes and subjects you write about in your novels?



6 comments:

Patricia Gligor said...

Marilyn,
First of all, I'm eager to read your new book!
Secondly, I'll answer your question. My Malone Mystery series deals with the subject of alcoholism. My main character's husband struggles with the disease as do so many people in real life. But, alcoholism doesn't just impact the alcoholic; it affects the whole family. The good news is there's help available. The message I want my books to deliver is that there's always hope.

Paty Jager said...

Your book sounds interesting! In the Shandra Higheagle Mysteries I'll soon be releasing, I like to find the connections between people that are overlooked and how they impact lives with out people realizing it until someone ends up dead.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Pat,
I know you deal with the subject of alcoholism and how it affects families and not just the person who drinks. I think this is a very important subject, and certainly requires more than one book.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Paty,
Excellent subject. People and characters in books affect and influence one another, sometimes without even realizing this is happening.

Good luck with the Shandra Higheagle Mysteries!

Patg said...

You seem to have all Pats today, Marilyn. :)
I write about professionals in the travel industry that are not the more familiar. First book is about a working travel agent, NOT a tour escort. My upcoming is about an airline res agent, NOT a stewardess.
A think Josephine Tey had an interesting and Agatha Christie led very interesting lives.
Patg

Marilyn Levinson said...

Pat,
You're right! All Pats today.

Before I wrote mysteries I noted that most mystery authors include information about professions, jobs, and settings, many of which they've experienced personally. Which is probably why one of my sleuths is a high school teacher, another a college professor.