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The Missing Masterpiece book cover

Update time again. Last time I mentioned the book I was working on, set at Mont-Saint-Michel. Itís just out, titled The Missing Masterpiece. (See the Dorothy Martin Series page for a description.) Iím a little better with French now than before I wrote it, because I kept having to get help from a lovely friend who taught French all her working life and could set me straight. There are still huge gaps in my vocabulary, but at least I can say a few things properly.

The other book I talked about last time never came to fruition; I couldnít find a publisher for it. So I took many of the ideas I wanted to explore and incorporated them into a new Dorothy Martin. Itís finished now, tentatively entitled Crisis at the Cathedral.

Dorothy Martin and her husband meet, in Sherebury, a wealthy Muslim family traveling in England and visiting the Cathedral, and are charmed by their courtesy, their perfect English, the delightful children, and the parentsí ardent commitment to peace. They want to expose the children to other cultures (theyíre Iraqi) and other religions, so that they will grow up with the understanding that leads to tolerance.

photo of the Cotswolds

But just as the friendship is beginning to grow, the parents disappear without a word, leaving their children behind. Possible scenarios include kidnapping, terrorism, even murder - nothing good. Tensions escalate when the boy Rahim, age eleven, also disappears.

The book deals more with real-world events than is usual in my books. I found I simply couldnít ignore the climate of hatred and fear, terrorism and bigotry, that seems to be growing more and more ugly all over the world. I propose no magic solutions in the book, but I hope Iíve offered some food for thought. The book will be out in the spring of 2018.

The book Iím just starting will, by contrast, be a romp through some of the more colorful English traditions, the sort of thing that the English take very seriously indeed and Americans often find charmingly silly. It will be set in various English locations, real and imagined. Iím just working out a plot at present, and look forward to starting the actual writing.

I hope you keep reading, and do please keep on writing to me.

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