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Crisis at the Cathedral book cover

Update time again. I never seem to find time between books to keep my readers up to date. (Actually there is no time "between books." I no sooner finish one than I'm off to research and plan the next one.)

There have been two since I last wrote here. Crisis at the Cathedral, the one dealing with issues of religious bigotry and the world climate of hatred and fear, came out early in 2018. Possible scenarios include kidnapping, terrorism, even murder—nothing good.

book cover of A Dagger Before Me.jpg

My latest book, A Dagger Before Me, is due out in England in February, and soon thereafter in the U.S. It's considerably lighter in tone than Cathedral, involving several colorful English traditions, the sort of thing that the English take very seriously indeed and Americans often find charmingly silly. You'll have heard of some of them, perhaps…Black Rod having the door slammed in his face at the State Opening of Parliament, and the Lord Mayor's show in London every November, featuring among other things Dick Whittington and his cat, who turn out to be more than a fairy tale. Then there's Swan Upping (no, I'm not making this up), and the washing of the monarch's hands, and so on. All great fun, until a tradition I've invented involves a ceremonial dagger and a death.

photo of Jeanne with raptor

As soon as I finished that one, I began research on the next, as yet untitled. The research entailed a delightful visit to British Columbia, a part of Canada I'd never seen. The idea sprang from an email friendship with a Canadian artist named Moira Carlson. She emailed me saying she liked my books, and included her website address. I emailed back saying I liked her paintings, and the correspondence continued, leading to an invitation to visit her and her husband in Victoria, BC. Moira and Barry are charming people who made sure I saw everything I possibly could in a week, including a raptor refuge whose inmates shaped an important part of the plot of the book. Here's a picture Moira took of one of them, a sweet little kestrel named Kessie. (The one without the hat.)

On a personal note, I'm down to one cat. My dear Susie died of old age (nearly 20), little Apfel succumbed to kidney failure, Toby became blind and deaf and terrified of life, so in mercy I had to relieve her of it. And Cody went back to his original mom, so now it's just Ginger and me. He's reveling in being an Only Cat.

Just before Easter, I'm off to England (first time in a while) with stops planned in York, Durham, and Bath. Stay tuned for books set in those delectable places!

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.  

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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