Tag Archives: murder mystery

Secrets Never Told

Ironically, amidst all the holiday hustle and bustle, December is a month of reflection for me. Perhaps it’s because I’ve learned to be in the moment better than I used to. And, I’ve learned to appreciate the small things the holidays bring: kindness from strangers, excitement in the air, and beautiful decorations everywhere. Most importantly, I love sharing time with friends and family. I admit, I hate for the season to end.

However, this month is also filled with anticipation. Not about what Santa might bring–I’m over that, although I do hope I get those new workout shoes I need. What I’m looking forward to is my third book in the Enid Blackwell series, Secrets Never Told. It will be published late February. This novel, like the first one, was inspired by a personal experience. I think you’ll like it.

Somewhere about halfway through writing the third book, I realized I had grown as an author. What was notably missing this time was the panic and self-talk I experienced with the first book–”Can I really write a whole book?” Or the self-doubt I experienced writing the second one–”Murder in Madden won a national award and my readers loved it. Do I have more than one book in me?”

The plot for Secrets Never Told is complex, because . . . well, families with secrets are complex. I admit there were a few restless nights where I woke up thinking about the plot, but no panic or doubts that I could pull it off. As I told my editor, thank goodness for Scrivener, the writing software that allows me to move scenes around easily.

Want to know what the third book is about? Here’s a clue: “Seven for a secret, never to be told.”  You’ll know the secret soon.

Murder on My Mind

“I’ve had murder on my mind a long time.” That’s what I told a book club recently while discussing “Murder in Madden.” For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved mysteries. My first books were the Nancy Drew series—I still have most of them. In the late-1950s, when I was a child, my allowance was 50 cents a week, but to encourage my reading, my parents gave me the extra to buy a 59 cents book, plus tax. I’ve been reading ever since.

As I grew older, I began reading books by Daphne du Maurier, Mary Stewart, and later, by Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Now I read John Grisham, John Hart, Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, and many other authors I’ve discovered along the way.

Until recently, I’ve never asked myself “why mysteries?” Why don’t I read great literature or at least other genres as much as mysteries? All I can say in my own defense is that I’m not alone. In fiction, thrillers are the number one sellers. I’m pretty sure it’s because the stakes are higher in a murder mystery than, say, in a bank robbery. Sure, the latter is a mystery, but losing money just isn’t the same level of thrill and danger.

One thing I really love about mysteries is the way clues come together. I am, by nature, a problem solver, and finding the bad guy or gal is the ultimate question to be resolved. I also love closure, and finding the perps brings the story to its rightful end. There’s something satisfying about having all the loose ends tied up and all the questions answered. But I also love the characters in a mystery, and how they use their wits to solve crimes. Oddly, though, I’m not that interested in police procedurals. I’m far more interested in ordinary people who defy the odds and discover what eludes law enforcement, or how ordinary people get caught up in something way bigger than themselves and manage to think their way out of it.

And, of course, I just love a good story. I remember hearing ghost stories as a child and how I loved to be scared. I read once where the human mind can’t distinguish between sex and fear. So, when you’re scared, you think you’re having sex. Wow! Who knew?

Anyway, now that I’m a mystery author myself, I really do have murder on my mind almost all the time. Every conversation, every event, every weird thing that happens is fodder for the next book. And, just so you don’t worry about my psychological state, I abhor violence as much as the next person—that is in real life.

Do you have murder on your mind, too? If so, let me hear from you.