Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Novel Reflections

She likes it! My editor at Berkley thinks Threadbare is "terrific!" What a relief! Now I am impatient to get her notated manuscript to see what her suggestions are to make it even shinier. (I already have some ideas of my own for changes I want to make.)

Meanwhile, I have finished going over the four Peter Brichter mysteries that followed Murder at the War, and to my surprise I am thinking that perhaps Murder at the War is not my favorite of that series after all. Original Sin is giving it a run for its money, and if it’s not the new favorite, it’s running a very close second. It’s about an old house out in the country isolated by a blizzard, with the owners, their infant son, the son’s nanny, the horse trainer, an old woman who used to live in the house, a college professor, and a freshly re-married retired cop and his new-old bride gathered there to celebrate Christmas. A murder occurs – in the library, of course – and it appears no one could have gone into the library and out again without being seen. It’s my favorite kind of mystery, very cozy and traditional, with a twisty solution. It will be brought out later this year as an e-book. Along with the other three.

I had a lot of fun writing those mysteries and was pleased as could be when they were published.

Now I am turning my focus onto the next Betsy Devonshire mystery, And Then You Dye. I was intrigued to learn that the mordants – fixatives used to treat fibers before dipping them into a pot of dye – are poisonous. But there are two problems with using a mordant as a murder weapon. The first is that mordants are generally powdered metals, such as copper, tin, iron, or chrome, which are poisonous all right, but metal poisons kill slowly and painfully, which gives my victim time to tell the investigators who hated her and who had access to her dyeing setup. And secondly, how do I get her to ingest the stuff in the first place? Experienced dyers are very careful around mordants, that’s how they live long enough to become experienced. So I’m thinking, the heck with it, I’ll just shoot her.

A reminder: I am offering a free copy of a novel to the person who can give me a title for it. The title should be fewer than five words, and contain a stitching term that contains an element of threat. Visit my web site for titles I’ve already used and for contact information: Monica-Ferris.com.


Linda O. Johnston said...

Isn't mystery plotting fun, Monica? You can think of all kinds of nasty things and then figure out which is best to use. Glad your editor likes Threadbare, but I'm not surprised. I'll let someone else come up with a great title for you...

Betty Hechtman said...

Monica, when I got to your line that you'd just shoot the victim, Ilaughed out loud.

I'm glad your editor liked Threadbare and am not surprised. I like your positive attitude about editorial comments.

Shel said...

Betty, I had the same reaction. Unfortunately, I also had a mouthful of mashed potato...yeah. *wince*. Now that I've cleaned my monitor off and can type, Monica, that is the best line EVER. I'm also thrilled beyond words to hear the Peter Brichter series will be in ebook later on in the year. Can't wait! Most of those I never got to read, as I discovered them after they were out of print, and my library didn't have them either.

Monica Ferris said...

Thanks, Betty, because I'm thinking I'm going to try for more humor in Dye, and maybe I've reached the right wry level.

Carol S said...

For a novel title, how about "Dying to Assist"? That would combine the mordant, an 'assistant', with the color dye.
Thank you so much for sharing Betsy and the gang with us.