by Jennifer Young
For archaeologist Maxine ‘Max’ Falkland, life in early-50s London is difficult enough as she tries to move on from the death of her brother, an RAF pilot shot down over Korea. But, when she meets John Knox things get more complicated — before they get outright dangerous.
Mystery Sub-Genres: Historical, Suspense & Thriller
Other Characteristics: Female Protagonist, London, Mull, Scotland, 1950s
by Kristina Stanley
A year after her Uncle Bobby mysteriously disappears in the turquoise waters surrounding the Bahamas, Shannon Payne joins her grieving aunt to trace Bobby’s last voyage. Shannon hopes the serenity of the sea might help her recover from a devastating breakup with her fiancé.
Mystery Sub-Genres: Adventure & Explorer, Romance
Other Characteristics: Contemporary, Female Protagonist, Sailing, Bahamas
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by Jennifer Berg
Barking Rain Press
Inspector Riggs reluctantly agrees to re-examine a supposed suicide case, but when his investigation leads to murder, he will have to convince a clever librarian to go undercover to catch the murderer.
Mystery Sub-Genres: Detective, Historical, Traditional, Amateur Sleuth, Soft-Boiled
Other Characteristics: Seattle, 1950’s, female sleuth
(This is the format I’m considering for my Mystery Beacon series.)
And now for something different and new. This year, I’ve decided to start highlighting mysteries across the board, new and old, specifically focusing on the genres and sub-genres of those mysteries. This is a vast and objective subject to say the least! I haven’t done anything quite like this before and I hope to get the input of other mystery writers and fans with this project. More, coming soon…
For the second time this year, I’m editing galley proofs. My next book, The Charlatan Murders, will be released at the end of March. In the coming weeks, I’ll get to see cover sketches and blurbs, and I’ll watch the magic (from a distance) as Barking Rain Press pulls together all the logistics that goes into a final printed book. It’s an amazing process and I’m loving every minute of it. In fact, I might even be more excited than I was the first time around, because when I went through this process with The Hatbox Murders, a (fairly large) part of me still didn’t really believe it was actually happening, whereas this time I know it’s real!!!
Everyone is creative. Creativity isn’t an elusive muse, or a super power bestowed on a select few, it’s hard work, failures, and persistence. Just like we are all capable of logical thinking, we are all capable of creative thinking. And if we choose to cultivate those skills, it’s only a matter of practice. The more we play with ideas and allow our creativity (and failures) the easier it all becomes.
This summer, I took a refreshing but much-too-brief vacation in the Pacific Northwest. It’s always a delight to go home and visit so many memorable places and people I love. Even if I hadn’t grown up in the area, it’s just a awesome place to vacation. But I have to admit that there’s always a tiny nagging fear when I go home.
Since my mysteries take place in a Seattle of the past (or more specifically, in my imaginary 1950s Seattle) I’m always afraid that the real, modern city will somehow corrupt the historical one in my mind. Of course, this isn’t a logical fear. And fortunately, it never happens.
The two places exist, one as a actual location and the other one in my mind. The real Seattle is bigger and grander than ever, and now that I’m back home I’m antsy to “visit” the other Seattle again by jumping into my next Elliott Bay Mystery. 🙂
I spend a lot of time researching the past, usually random details. It’s hard to find specific research on exactly how folks were celebrating America’s national holiday back in the 1950s. But newspaper articles, old television shows, and those who remember, all confirm the same thing: not much has changed. (And why should it?) Back then, American families and friends celebrated this summer holiday the same way we do now, with parades, picnics, and backyard BBQs. Of course, they did it with more jello cake and we do it with bigger fireworks shows. Growing up in the northwest, our family tradition was to visit to Mt. Rainier for a 4th of July snowball fight. That’s a picnic of sorts. But whatever your celebration, I hope you enjoy the time with family and friends.
I’ve been think it over and I’ve realized that I’m seriously jealous of my future self. First of all, she’s crazy organized. She’s super accomplished, very well-read, and thoroughly adventurous. I’m mean, that woman really has it all together. I think she can probably salsa dance too. Wow.
Okay, enough of that. Back to editing.
week month, my life is a seemingly endless pile of editing work and right now I’d rather being doing… well almost anything, else. (Like actually writing). “Writing” isn’t always fun, but it is what I’ve work for.