Next up?

I am brainstorming my next Beth and Evie mystery book; trying to lay the groundwork for a really good mystery. What adventures next await my dauntless duo? According to James N. Frey, in his book, How to Write a Damn Good Mystery, a really good idea is the first step. So, “bubble, bubble, toil and trouble” the wheels are in motion. Actually, it is not toil and trouble, but fun imagining all sorts of scenarios.

On September 15, I sent book two of the Beth and Evie mystery series, tentatively entitled A Flood of Memories, off to be line edited. So, that’s off my desk for the time being. Meanwhile, I am reading for fun, as well as to improve my craft. In addition to my already formidable to-be-read stack, earlier this month, when I attended the Bouchercon, a mystery writers’ convention, I was given six free books. And, I bought a couple more while I was there.

This month, I also attended a couple of book launches of writing buddies. Peter Geye launched his latest book, The Ski Jumpers. Carla Hagen launched her latest book, Muskeg. So those books added to the stack.

Mysteries I recently finished reading include The Good Detective, by John McMahon; and The Man Who Died Twice, by Richard Osman.

I would call the McMahon book a cross between a southern noir and a traditional detective mystery. The author is a troubled detective who drinks too much and suspects that he might have killed the prime suspect while experiencing a drunken blackout. Of course, he has a good back story to evoke sympathy and explain his drinking problem. His wife and child were killed in an automobile accident and he feels guilty about not having been there to save them. It was an engaging read, but with more graphic violence than the books I normally read.

The Osman book is about a group of British retirees who solve mysteries, including a retired spy who has all kinds of useful contacts, and their two friends on the police force. You probably already knew that. According to recent reports, Richard Osman has sold over 3-million books! He has a humorous touch, which sometimes seems a bit over-much to me, especially after some pretty graphically violent scenes. But, it is clearly meant to be a romp–a spoof on the genre—and not to be taken too seriously. There are some very touching scenes, too, as the relationships between the characters are developed. Overall, it was very entertaining.

Meanwhile, progress continues on my first historical novel (this one is not a mystery). Caravans in the Dark is on its way to design.

With a June 6, 2023 publication date, it is already available for pre-sale:

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