Tag Archives: Mystery

The Author Roost – The Rebirth of Lindsay Downs

In conjunction with The Historical Fiction Book Club, I am welcoming Lindsay Downs for his featured spotlight along with his AUTHOR TAKEOVER on November 6, 2020! Please visit the club to participate in the takeover and sign up to win one of his books.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/historicalfictionbookclub/

Author’s bio- I’ve been an avid reader ever since I was old enough to hold a red leather bound first edition copy of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake in my lap.

So it only seemed natural at some point in my life I take up pen and paper to start writing. Over time my skills slightly improved which I attribute to my English teachers. 

My breakthrough came about in the mid 1970’s when I read a historical romance written by Sergeanne Golon, Angelique. This French husband and wife team opened my eyes to the real world of fiction. Stories about romance, beautiful damsels, handsome heroes and plots which kept me hooked. Of course, being a man, I had to keep my reading hidden from others as that wasn’t appropriate reading for men.

With this new found appreciation of the written word I took up other books and devoured them as a starving person would a plate of food. I them attempted to write again. I still wasn’t satisfied so I put it aside for years as other events entered my life.

Finally, in the early years of the new millennium I tried again to write and once again met with limited success. At least now I was able to get past the first page or two. Then, in 2006 a life changing event brought me back to my love, I took a job as a security officer. This allowed me plenty of time to read different genres. 

My favorites are regency and murder mystery. As I poured through everyone I could get my hands on I knew this could be something I wanted to do and have been successful.

I’ve been published since 2008.

Since 2012 I’ve lived in central Texas.

The Monster Within, The Monster Without. The Rebirth of Miss Francene Stedman

Blurb– When bodies start turning up in Whitechapel, Miss Steen returns to London with Lord Cartwright and the Countess of Harlow as her chaperone to solve the murders. Little does she realize she will be introduced to the last person she wants to meet — and hunting down the murderers proves a lot more difficult than they had anticipated.

This book is part of the Tragic Characters in Classic Lit series.

Excerpt  Offered another cup of tea told me this interview, which was more of an inquisition, was not finished. Not that I was complaining since I greatly enjoyed improving on my story. It was false but excellent practice for the future, if needed. From behind me I heard the French doors open.

I sensed a man was approaching because the breeze carried his masculine scent to me, which I did not recognize. The walking stopped. My hostess lifted her head slightly giving the newcomer a smile of pleasure.

“I was wondering if or when you would make your presence known to us. Miss Steen, may I introduce you to my son, Lord Cartwright.”

When the countess said “Lord” at first the word did not register in my mind. In London I was acquainted with a Mr. Cartwright, but he was far from being a peer.

“You must have met him as he is employed by Sir William Morse as a Runner from Bow Street.”

I set the bone china teacup and saucer on the glass tabletop, then clinched my fists in anger as I turned in my chair to see if this man was who I knew. He is. Except now he wore a dark brown jacket with matching vest. Covering his legs were buckskin riding britches tucked into well-worn riding boots. A perfectly tied cravat in a coachman’s knot circled his neck, which I was sorely tempted to wrap my fingers around and strangle him. Even more annoying was the wisp of raven black hair hanging down over his forehead. He stood in front of me with a slight smirk on his lips. 

That behavior caused me to almost lose what little politeness I had left in me. When he gave me a slight bow then reached for my hand, I lost my temper completely.

“Miss Steen, this is indeed a pleasure,” he spoke.

His words were pleasant but behind them I was sure he was laughing at me for having fooled him all these years.

I could no longer be in his presence. Standing, I gave him my hand across his smirking face. Dashing for the open doors, I escaped him 

I barely could make out what he was yelling, not that I cared for he had just made a fool out of me. Rushing out the front door I told the coachman to take me home.

“Now,” I screamed at him, climbing into the carriage.

We had barely arrived at the main road when tears started filling my eyes then rolled down my cheeks. I withdrew a hanky from my reticule and tried to pat my face dry but could not because the waterworks continued to flow unabated. Through hazy eyes I saw the coach was approaching my parent’s house. The carriage barely halted when I thrust open the door, climbed out then raced inside and up to my room, throwing myself on the bed.

Buy links-

US- https://tinyurl.com/yxpmmwte

UK- https://tinyurl.com/yyskcuj2

CA- https://tinyurl.com/y5u797sq

AU- https://tinyurl.com/y3qoj7q7

“The Paris Affair” by Susanne Dunlap – A HistFicChic Review

“The Paris Affair” by Susanne Dunlap is the third installation of the Theresa Schurman Mystery Books, and an exciting tale of intrigue during the reign of Marie Antoinette. Amid the sensational rumours surrounding the Queen, Theresa, an accomplished violinist and god-daughter to Haydn, is sent to France by Antoinette’s brother, Emperor Joseph II of Austria, to uncover the source of the circulating pamphlets blasting his sister.

Theresa is swept into a world of mystery while escaping the pressing decision of marriage to a Hungarian Baron, and she finds herself in the position as bookkeeper to the Queen of France’s milliner, Rose Bertin. Along the path of unravelling the puzzle, she encounters the Chevalier de Saint-George, a black man of extraordinary skill with both the violin and the sword; as well as someone from her past – Captain von Bauer, a man who annoys her, yet entices her. Music is her passion, solving mysteries is her skill, in this novel set in the turbulent city of eighteenth-century Paris, a time when rumours and scandal kill.

Being the third installation in the series, as a stand-alone book I must admit I was a bit confused at the beginning, so I do recommend reading the first two in the series before beginning this one. The outset assumed a person already knew the relationship between Theresa and the Emperor, as well as the love/hate relationship betwixt her and Captain von Bauer. That aside, the external conflict thrust upon her by the Emperor, as well as the internal conflict she has of whether to marry or not, sweeps you right into the story, continuing on into the thick of palace intrigue and murder.

This novel is perfect for a mid-teen to young adult wishing to delve into the world of historical fiction with a mix of mystery as the sentence structure is simple and the grammar is attuned to that age level with incredible skill. In other words, expect more of a Phyllis Whitney-style rather than Tolstoy, which is well in introducing young readers to the world of historical fiction.

What I liked: First, the cover is amazing!! Kudos to the designer!! Second, I loved the way the book handled the matters of prejudice during the time period, and the injustice; as well as the passion for the incredible music of the era. The book was easy to read, and I finished in one sitting.

What I did not like: I must admit, I am more of a Victor Hugo-girl when it comes to French Historical novels, so my preference for a thick, voluminous, and wordy story was not fulfilled with The Paris Affair; which, is not a bad thing, just not for me. I wanted more conflict, more internal dialogue, more tension, and more roller-coasters of passion. I loved the characters and the storyline, I just felt a craving for more.

A “Just Hatched” Book – The Monster Within, The Monster Without by Lindsay Downs

The Monster Within, The Monster Without. The Rebirth of Miss Francene Stedman

Blurb– When bodies start turning up in Whitechapel, Miss Steen returns to London with Lord Cartwright and the Countess of Harlow as her chaperone to solve the murders. Little does she realize she will be introduced to the last person she wants to meet — and hunting down the murderers proves a lot more difficult than they had anticipated.

This book is part of the Tragic Characters in Classic Lit series.

Excerpt  Offered another cup of tea told me this interview, which was more of an inquisition, was not finished. Not that I was complaining since I greatly enjoyed improving on my story. It was false but excellent practice for the future, if needed. From behind me I heard the French doors open.

I sensed a man was approaching because the breeze carried his masculine scent to me, which I did not recognize. The walking stopped. My hostess lifted her head slightly giving the newcomer a smile of pleasure.

“I was wondering if or when you would make your presence known to us. Miss Steen, may I introduce you to my son, Lord Cartwright.”

When the countess said “Lord” at first the word did not register in my mind. In London I was acquainted with a Mr. Cartwright, but he was far from being a peer.

“You must have met him as he is employed by Sir William Morse as a Runner from Bow Street.”

I set the bone china teacup and saucer on the glass tabletop, then clinched my fists in anger as I turned in my chair to see if this man was who I knew. He is. Except now he wore a dark brown jacket with matching vest. Covering his legs were buckskin riding britches tucked into well-worn riding boots. A perfectly tied cravat in a coachman’s knot circled his neck, which I was sorely tempted to wrap my fingers around and strangle him. Even more annoying was the wisp of raven black hair hanging down over his forehead. He stood in front of me with a slight smirk on his lips. 

That behavior caused me to almost lose what little politeness I had left in me. When he gave me a slight bow then reached for my hand, I lost my temper completely.

“Miss Steen, this is indeed a pleasure,” he spoke.

His words were pleasant but behind them I was sure he was laughing at me for having fooled him all these years.

I could no longer be in his presence. Standing, I gave him my hand across his smirking face. Dashing for the open doors, I escaped him 

I barely could make out what he was yelling, not that I cared for he had just made a fool out of me. Rushing out the front door I told the coachman to take me home.

“Now,” I screamed at him, climbing into the carriage.

We had barely arrived at the main road when tears started filling my eyes then rolled down my cheeks. I withdrew a hanky from my reticule and tried to pat my face dry but could not because the waterworks continued to flow unabated. Through hazy eyes I saw the coach was approaching my parent’s house. The carriage barely halted when I thrust open the door, climbed out then raced inside and up to my room, throwing myself on the bed.

Buy links-

US- https://tinyurl.com/yxpmmwte

UK- https://tinyurl.com/yyskcuj2

CA- https://tinyurl.com/y5u797sq

AU- https://tinyurl.com/y3qoj7q7

Author’s bio- I’ve been an avid reader ever since I was old enough to hold a red leather bound first edition copy of Sir Walter Scott’s The Lady of the Lake in my lap.

So it only seemed natural at some point in my life I take up pen and paper to start writing. Over time my skills slightly improved which I attribute to my English teachers. 

My breakthrough came about in the mid 1970’s when I read a historical romance written by Sergeanne Golon, Angelique. This French husband and wife team opened my eyes to the real world of fiction. Stories about romance, beautiful damsels, handsome heroes and plots which kept me hooked. Of course, being a man, I had to keep my reading hidden from others as that wasn’t appropriate reading for men.

With this new found appreciation of the written word I took up other books and devoured them as a starving person would a plate of food. I them attempted to write again. I still wasn’t satisfied so I put it aside for years as other events entered my life.

Finally, in the early years of the new millennium I tried again to write and once again met with limited success. At least now I was able to get past the first page or two. Then, in 2006 a life changing event brought me back to my love, I took a job as a security officer. This allowed me plenty of time to read different genres. 

My favorites are regency and murder mystery. As I poured through everyone I could get my hands on I knew this could be something I wanted to do and have been successful.

I’ve been published since 2008.

Since 2012 I’ve lived in central Texas.

Author links

Facebook- http://tinyurl.com/pgq8vzz

Twitter- @ldowns2966

LinkedIn- http://tinyurl.com/e8t56

Goodreads-http://tinyurl.com/prcdmml

Lindsay Downs-Romance Author- http://tinyurl.com/kvfz468

Amazon- http://tinyurl.com/ktem76c

A “Just Hatched” Book – Death of a Clergyman by Riana Everly

For lovers of all things Jane Austen, Ms. Everly’s books do not disappoint!! Check out her latest Austenesque adventure!!

Death of a Clergyman: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery

Released on September 14, 2020

The series is Miss Mary Investigates. The novel is Death of a Clergyman: A Pride and Prejudice Mystery by Riana Everly.

Blurb:  Mary Bennet has always been the quiet sister, the studious and contemplative middle child in a busy family of five. She is not interested in balls and parties, and is only slightly bothered by the arrival of the distant cousin who will one day inherit her father’s estate. But then Mr. Collins is found dead, and Mary’s beloved sister Elizabeth is accused of his murder. Mary knows she must learn whatever she can to prove Elizabeth innocent of this most horrible crime, or her sister might be hanged as a murderess!

Alexander Lyons has made a pleasant life for himself in London, far from his home village in Scotland. He investigates missing documents and unfaithful wives, and earns an honest living. Then one day Mr. Darcy walks into his office, begging him to investigate the murder of Mr. Collins and to prove Elizabeth innocent of the crime. It seems like a straightforward enough case, but Alexander did not count on meeting a rather annoying young woman who seems to be in his way at every turn: Mary Bennet.

As the case grows more and more complicated, Mary and Alexander cannot stop arguing, and discover that each brings new insight into the case. But as they get close to some answers, will they survive the plans of an evildoer in the midst of quiet Meryton? 

Bio:

Riana Everly is the pen name of a South African-born Canadian author. Her first poem was published in the local newspaper when she was six years old, and she has been entranced with the written word ever since. In grade school, she began dabbling with short stories, and later on produced a sizable volume of academic writing, but she never imagined she would be able to write a novel. Then, one day, she decided to give it a try, and to her own surprise, succeeded! She has since melded her love of history and her love of writing to create a series of carefully researched romances.

Riana is influenced by the beautiful writing of Jane Austen and the rich historical tapestry of the early nineteenth-century, as well as by the fascinating history of early Canada, where British, American and colonial cultures met.

Riana grew up near the Canadian Rockies and misses those mountains each day. She now lives with her family in Toronto, and to the amazement of herself more than anyone, finds she rather likes it. When she is not writing, she can often be found playing string quartets with friends, biking around this beautiful province with her husband, trying to improve her photography, thinking about what to make for dinner, and, of course, reading! She can also often be found sneaking chocolate when she thinks no one is looking.

Riana’s alter ego has a blog, mostly about food, but sometimes not. Check out Musings from the Yellow Kitchen for recipes and more.

Universal Link: www.books2read.com/deathofaclergyman

Website: www.rianaeverly.com