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Catch-up time again. There are three new books out or in the works since I last updated.
Book 14 in the Dorothy Martin series, entitled Shadows of Death, came out in late 2013. It’s the one set in Orkney, and is really one of my favorites, probably because I enjoyed the research so much. Neolithic Orkney is utterly magical and fascinating. I hope I can go back one day; there’s so much I didn’t see. And I hope some of you visit and fall in love with the place, as I did.
I finished book 15 in November, and my editor just let me know I’ll get the copy-edited manuscript back very soon; the book will be out in America this fall sometime. It’s called Day of Vengeance, and is about church politics. It centers around the contentious business of choosing a new bishop for the Diocese of Sherebury, Dorothy’s adopted English home. Her husband Alan finds himself on the committee to help make the selection and has to learn how the convoluted business works. As I did, myself. I was startled to learn that both the Prime Minister and the Queen get into the act. The Church of England is, after all, the Established Church; no separation of church and state here! The title is from a Psalm used in the consecration service of a new bishop, and pretty well fits the subject matter of the book. My editor found it “very emotionally compelling as well as a real page-turner!”, and of course I’m pleased.
I’ve just started book 16 and have already chosen the title: The Fine Art of Murder. It takes place at the College of Art at Sherebury University, where Dorothy and Alan get stuck in an elevator and discover that the reason they can’t go down any farther is because of the body at the bottom of the shaft. I’m having great fun with it! It’s set for an early spring launch in 2015.
As you will gather, I haven’t been able to get to Britain lately for research, so these two books are set in my imagination. This summer, though, I hope to get to the Channel Islands. I have a soft spot for islands, and these are especially interesting, as they are not actually English. They’re Crown colonies—sort of—but have independent governments—sort of. And as they’re closer to Normandy than England, they’re bi-lingual. I’m going to have to brush up my French. A dear English friend has spent a good many holidays on one or another of the islands, and is going to give me advice for the best place to send Dorothy next. And then if I have time and money left, I may just bop across to Strasbourg for a little while. (Another place to use my rusty French.) I have longed for years to visit friends there, and again, Dorothy might just find some trouble to get into there.
Don’t forget that all the Dorothy books are now available in electronic versions for both Kindle and Nook, and my agent and I are trying to figure out a way to issue the newer ones in audio. If I can find a reasonably-priced studio, I may record them myself. I think it would be fun.
There are a few events on my schedule; check it out. Writing a book every eight months doesn’t leave me a lot of time for anything else, but I try to get to a couple of conventions and a few libraries.
Do keep in touch. I love to hear from you. .
I like to call my books “cheerful mysteries.” For despite all signs to the contrary, I continue to believe the world is a good place and most of her people are trying to do their best. So my books reflect that philosophy and I hope this site does, too.
Winner of the Agatha Award for Best First Novel (1995)
Fans of the English cozy will put the kettle on, snuggle under a lap rug, and sigh contentedly...” - Kirkus Reviews