Monday, January 4, 2010

Carola Dunn Mystery Writer Feature, A Rewind from Acme Authors Link - Brought to you by Morgan Mandel

Many of you have not seen this delightful post, since it was done quite some time ago at Acme Authors Link.
From time to time, I'll be featuring rewinds of posts that I consider worth repeating. I hope you enjoy this one and don't be afraid to leave a comment. - Morgan Mandel

Carola Dunn, author of the Daisy Dalrymple mystery series, was born in London and grew up in the Buckinghamshire village where William Penn is buried. With a degree in Russian and French, and no desire to take up a career, she set off around the world. She made it half way, to Fiji, before turning back to marry an American.

Bringing up her son kept her busy for several years. When the dreadful moment could no longer be postponed, she went to work in market research. Thereafter, among others, she had jobs in child care, construction, building design, and writing definitions for a dictionary of science and technology.
In 1979, she sat down at the kitchen table and wrote her first book, a Regency romance, longhand in an exercise book.

When, much to her surprise, it sold, she quickly wrote another. Since then she has produced thirty-two Regency romances and, since moving to Oregon, 17 mysteries, the Daisy Dalrymple series, set in England in the 1920s. She is just embarking on a new series of Cornish mysteries in addition to continuing Daisy's adventures.

Carola lives in Eugene, Oregon, with her large black dog, Willow, who exercises her by the Willamette daily. Visit her website:

Here's what Carola has to say:


When I started writing mysteries, I'd been writing Regencies for a good many years. One aspect I always dreaded was trying to think up good titles. So I thought I'd call my mysteries Death in January, Death in February, Death in March... and never have to invent a title again. When St Martin's bought the first book and the series idea, they had just brought out an anthology based on month by month murders, so they made me think again--fortunately as it turned out, or I'd have had to quit after 12.

As it is, this is the seventeenth in the Daisy Dalrymple mystery. The series is set in England in the 1920s (hence the pic of me dressed up a la '20s, sort of). They're trad/cosy mysteries, take your pick. Much tea is drunk and little blood is spilled, at least visibly.

Black Ship has Daisy and her husband, DCI Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard (of course!), moving to a new house. An old acquaintance from the US turns up (The Case of the Murdered Muckraker is my only US set book), claiming he's now a Prohibition agent sent to England to track down the villains who are shipping the Demon Rum (actually wine, whisky and gin) to the States. Guess who the new next-door neighbours turn out to be? Got it in one: they're high-class wine-merchants. When the Fletchers' dog finds a body in the garden, Daisy gets mixed up with rum-runners, bootleggers, and assorted mobsters. Not to mention Alec's superintendent, who can't believe she's meddling again!

Researching rum-running in the North Atlantic was fascinating. A library book, The Black Ships (that's what the US Coast Guard called the rum-runners), helped a lot but made me turn to the USCG themselves for more details. They sent me their history, Rum War at Sea. I just had to use all that info, so I set four scenes on board rum-running vessels. I bet I know more about the subject than most Americans--I should have mentioned that though living in the US, I was born and grew up in England.

Carola Dunn
Daisy Dalrymple mysteries-England 1920s-hc,pb,audio,LP
BLACK SHIP--Daisy tangles with bootleggers (#17)
IMBA BESTSELLERTHE BLOODY TOWER-More death at the Tower of London!(#16)

Please leave a comment for Carola.


Morgan Mandel said...

Welcome again, Carola. I know I've mentioned it before, but I just love your book cover!

Morgan Mandel

Helen Ginger said...

Ahh, research is such fun! This sounds like a fun series. Thanks for re-running the post, Morgan.

Straight From Hel

Morgan Mandel said...

Carola sent an email because Blogger wouldn't accept her comment today. Here it is:

Yes, it's a good one--though I was a bit disappointed that they didn't fit a ship in somewhere. Sheer Folly, the next (18th) in the series, which came out last Sept., has an even better cover. The series is being published in the UK now with new covers for the earlier books. You can see them on my website (
I'd also like to mention a blog I did about the Trials of Rum-runners, some of them very funny, at
Sorry, this comment is turning out as long as the original blog!!


Debra St. John said...

Wow, that's quite a resume, Carola. Keep up the good work!

Kim Smith said...

Carola's books look awesome! another one to add to the to be read list!

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