May 21 – For the rest of this month I’m giving away three copies of my 2014 release, Hell With the Lid Blown Off, which, if someone held a gun to my head, I’d have to say is my favorite Alafair Tucker Mystery. Hell takes place in the summer of 1916, when a big twister cuts a swath of destruction through Boynton OK and kills several people – one of whom is the universally despised Jubal Beldon. Nobody mourns poor Jubal, but when it turns out he was already dead when the twister hit and the prime suspect is someone dear to the widow MacKenzie, mentor of Alafair daughter Ruth. Alafair has her suspicions about how Jubal died. What if the truth hits close to home?
Read the first chapter of Hell here, and if you’d like to enter the drawing for a paperback copy, click on “Contact”, above, and leave your name. I’ll draw the winners’ names from a hat on May 31.
Valentino Will Die got a wonderful and very fun feature today (May 18) on the Dark And Stormy Night Bookclub, a podcast for Mystery lovers. If you are not familiar with Dark and Stormy Night, you’re missing something. The ladies, Ann Dark, Tracey Stormy, and Kathy Night offer the most entertaining reviews of new mysteries. The podcast featuring Valentino Will Die (at minute 7:50) also offers three other outstanding mysteries for your consideration, The Last Exit, by Michael Kaufmann, Two Truths and a Lie, by Ellen McGarrahan, and A Stranger at the Door, by Jason Pinter. My TBR pile just got a lot bigger! Check it out here. You’ll be vastly entertained!
Valentino Will Die and I are featured this month in The Big Thrill, the magazine of the International Thriller Association! It certainly is a Big Thrill! Great interview. Here’s a teaser:
Without spoilers, are there any genre conventions you wanted to upend or challenge with this book?
In this book, the villain is an elderly woman crime boss—evil, heartless, frightening. I’m always interested in challenging the stereotypes of what women were like in the past, how clever and often devious one had to be in order to prosper. To paraphrase Toni Morrison’s observation about race, “once you know a person’s gender, you know nothing about them at all.”
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
“Besides reading old newspapers and doing the usual historical research, I must have watched dozens of silent movies to get a sense of the look, feel, and zeitgeist of the era. Until…eureka! The magic happened, and I realized that the new book should be fashioned like a silent movie, with inter-title cards rather than chapter headings, full of peril and ending on a cliffhanger. And, lucky for me, early Hollywood was so full of sin, corruption, strange happenings and colorful characters that I never have to worry about plot ideas.”
And who is my murderous villain based on? You’ll have to click here and read the rest to find out…