1 November 2023

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This newsletter introduces some older detectives, Paperback Alley in Escondido, and the recent edits of my beach cozy. A big welcome to all new subscribers!

Hurrah for older protagonists

I’ve been enjoying the very lively characters in Richard Osman’s Thursday Murder Club series – I’m almost done with The Bullet That Missed. If you haven’t read these, do yourself a favor. The mysteries are solved by four friends who live in a retirement community and have very different backgrounds, creating a solid team. They meet in the Jigsaw room and have to get out on time to make way for the Conversational French classes. 

Osman’s writing is a master class in witty sentences and smooth cultural references. 

In some ways, the series reminds me of others where older sleuths are featured, in particular New Tricks, a British television show that ran from 2005-2013. 

A police superintendant, recently shamed for a botched job, is given charge of a division that solves cold cases. With few resources, she hires three former police officers all in their later years. Each has particular talents.

Stories with older people are fun because although modern times may challenged old-fashioned ideas. there is usually a theme of wisdom triumphing over youthful enthusiasm. Not always, of course!

Fun in Escondido, more coming November 19

I promised a photo so here it is:

I have no idea why I am leaning so much! Perhaps getting up at 6 am had something to do with it.

These indie authors are, left to right, Jolie Tunnell (author of the Idyllwild Mysteries), Pat Spencer, me, Nancy Mae Johnson, and Celeste Barclay. Next stop will be a Grousable Bookshop booth at the Encinitas Holiday Street Fair on November 19!

Edits on the beach cozy

The beach cozy has gone to my editor. I’m still waffling on the title, but at the moment I’m leaning toward Bummer at Luna Beach because it’s just different, and dead bodies are certainly a bummer. Like all my work, the book contains some serious themes in an amusing story. There are jabs at gentrification and beach towns sacrificing character to money-making, for example.

Sending a book in to an editor is always a bit scary, kind of like submitting a term paper. Will it come back all covered with red ink? The difference is, if it does, I can fix it before a grade is assigned. The moment it was sent, of course, I thought of an explanation I needed to add to Chapter 1.

Photo: Nic McPhee at Flickr

After editing, I will revise again and give it to a couple of beta readers. Will I be looking for Advanced Review Copy readers? You bet I will! I’d love an ARC team of folks willing to read and publicize on social media. Stay tuned in the next newsletter if you’re interested.

The Hours

I am currently reading The Hours, by Michael Cunningham. It turns out I somehow bought two copies, with two different covers. One has a dark illustration, and the other is this:

Obviously it’s been made into a movie (2002 — good heavens, that’s over 20 years ago!). I wanted to read the book (1998) first. The prose is extraordinary, literary fiction with some close shadowing of Virginia Woolf’s style (and using her character name/situation from Mrs. Dalloway). When I picked it up, with the other cover, I didn’t know when it was published, that there was a movie, or that I already had a copy. All I knew when I read the first few pages was that I was going to like it. 

But it does make me want to read Mrs. Dalloway again.

And more

No room for a garden report this time, sorry. Next time, I hope! 

  • Want to read previous newsletters? They’re located here at my website, where you can also find information and buy links to all my books. You can post comments there too.
  • Want to read my blog posts on historical research and writing? They’re here.

Until next time, keep grousing!