Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Body in the Library, of Course!

Riddle:  Take away my first letter and I am unchanged.  Take away my second letter, and I am still unchanged.  Take away all my letters and I remain unchanged.  What am I?

Original Sin, one of the mysteries I wrote as Mary Monica Pulver, is free on Kindle today only:

One of my very favorite kinds of mystery is the kind where the characters are trapped somewhere, usually an old country house, by a flood or blizzard, and then suddenly there's a body.  All the characters are friends or at least know one another and are startled to discover one of them must be a murderer.  I read all of that kind I could find - they aren't writing them any more, it seems - so I set out to write one myself.  The result?  Original Sin.  Police detective Peter Brichter is married to Kori and they have an infant son.  They live on a horse farm where she breeds Arabian horses.  She brought money to the marriage and they have a nanny and a horse trainer.  It’s Christmas, and they have invited an old bachelor friend and a newly-remarried couple (Peter’s retired boss) for the holiday.  And Kori, exploring her past, has found a distant, elderly relative who can tell her the history of the old house they live in.  A blizzard cuts off power and the story takes place before cell phones.  And soon after her arrival, barely ahead of the storm, the elderly relative is found dead of a blow to the head in the library – of course the house has a library, it’s that kind of story!

For each of the Peter Brichter novels I would offer a verse from a Rudyard Kipling poem at the start.  For Original Sin, it was, "Only the Lord can understand / When first these pangs begin / How much is reflex action and / How much is really sin."  It absolutely fits the story.  Go download it and and see for yourself!

Well, last Tuesday I was kvetching that winter wasn’t ever going to end, there was snow on the ground and more predicted – then this past Sunday I was out in eighty-degree weather playing golf.   Something even more startling happened the day before, Saturday.  I went to an outdoor wedding in Prior Lake at a hunt and horse club – they were holding a shotgun competition just before the wedding started, and jokes were flying about that!  Anyway, driving to the location, I noted how brown everything was.  The weather had turned very suddenly warm, causing a massive melt-off of the snow, but there were still patches in protected spots.  We arrived a little after three and left around seven – and on the drive home the fields were showing green!  I could hardly believe my eyes.  I wouldn’t have except I remember noticing how brown everything was, kind of depressing, and so was surprised to see how, in a few hours, the grass was showing its fresh, green self above last year’s dead stuff.  Even more brilliant, I was out and about on Monday, and some trees (especially willows) are already showing traces of green.  Amazing Minnesota!

Even more amazing (and sad).  The first game of my golf league is to be played Thursday afternoon.  Forecast: Rain possibly mixed with snow.

Answer to Riddle:  A Mailbox


Linda O. Johnston said...

Original Sin sounds like a fun kind of mystery, Monica! Of course I also am attracted by the animal aspect... the horses.

Linda O. Johnston said...
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