Archive for the ‘mystery’ Category

If you don’t know by now that I’m more than half in love with Darcy, you haven’t been paying attention.

Today I watched the last two episodes of Death Comes to Pemberley, a Pride and Prejudice sequel/variation based on the mystery written by the brilliant P.D. James. It was great to step into Pemberley and see someone else’s “what-if” variation. Personally, when I first heard of the novel in 2011 I was hoping that Wickham was murdered and that Darcy was a suspect, but that’s not the plot. Instead, Wickham is on trial for killing his friend Captain Denny.

The lawyer in me loved the inquest and the trial with the different British legal system. And the food for the ball was beautiful.

I had read online that some viewers didn’t like the casting. They didn’t think the leads were good-looking enough. Hogwash. In my mind, they seemed like a more realistic married couple rather than some Hollywood version. Anna Maxwell Martin captured Elizabeth’s intelligence, and Matthew Rhys made an intriguing Darcy. He was a bit grumpy and distant at first, which made sense in this alternate Austen universe, and as the story progressed, I liked him more and more. By the end, he was another worthy Darcy.

I do agree that Mrs. Darcy’s clothes could have been better (some of maids wore more attractive dresses), but I have a good imagination and I assume there were some prettier gowns in her closet. And maybe when she’s not so stressed, she’ll take more time with her hair. However, we love Elizabeth Bennet for her sparkling wit, her fearless candor, and her strength of character, not for her hair.

Penelope Keith made a marvelous Lady Catherine, and I wish her screen time had been longer. It may be time to rewatch my favorite episodes of TO THE MANOR BORN.

All in all, it was a great way to spend a rainy afternoon. I know I will return.

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Here’s the amnesia romance I’ve been working on:


“How can I be pregnant when I’ve never had sex?”

Kelly isn’t worried about the three weeks she can’t remember after a minor car accident — until two months later when she discovers that she is pregnant.

Obviously she had sex, although she can’t remember it now.  But the important question is:  who is the father?

Forgotten Honeymoon is a sweet, quirky, contemporary romance.

Now available on Amazon and Smashwords (click on picture) for $2.99.  Enjoy.

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Dick Francis

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I discovered Dick Francis books in college.  I read so many of them — half falling in love with their tough yet tender heroes — that I joked that I was destined to be an old maid unless I could find myself a steeplechase jockey (which would have been interesting since I’m 6 feet tall).

One of my favorite Dick Francis novels is Smokescreen.  The hero is an actor who stars in action films (like James Bond) and becomes embroiled in a mystery in South Africa.   I admire the hero because he has a sense of humor about his “glamorous” career, and he is devoted to his wife and his children.  At the end of the story, when the hero is in physical danger, he is resourceful and brave, and yet he doesn’t minimize the pain he’s experiencing.  Dick Francis was a jockey and understands pain.  I wish Smokescreen would be made into a movie, with some tall, dark-haired British actor playing the hero.  But if he’s too busy filming The Hobbit,  I’d settle for an audiobook.

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In my quest for e-publication, I’ve been reading some of my older manuscripts to decide what is good to go, what needs major revision, and what needs to be buried.  Fortunately, I still like a lot of my work, which should be appearing at Smashwords and Amazon one of these days/weeks/months. (I have one book of short stories available right now Five Minute Romances:  12 Super Short Stories

What has surprised me, though, is how out-of-date the technology in my older manuscripts is — even in stories written only a few years ago.  A few years ago, texting was rare, computers screens weren’t flat, and no one had a Kindle.

Cover of "The Clock"

This has made me think about the nature of communication, technological and otherwise.  Whether it’s a priest not being able to tell Romeo that Juliet is not really dead, Judy Garland being unable to find Robert Walker in The Clock, or Adam not receiving a letter in Mary Stewart’s The Ivy Tree, communication is vitally important.

I have faith, though, that in spite of our advances, humans will still manage to deceive or misunderstand each other, which will lead to another generation of great stories.

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The cover of Gaudy Night, from the BBC series....

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Harriet Vane was a role model for me when I was in college.  She was a mystery novel writer, a career woman in the 1930’s, trying to make sense of her life and progressing through the labyrinth of love with Lord Peter Wimsey.  Someone had recommended that I read Gaudy Night first, rather than starting with the first of the four Wimsey/Vane pairings Strong Poison.  That was the right choice for me.  Gaudy Night was a fascinating peek into the intellectual life of women in the late 1930’s and the issues they faced were parallel to my own. I particularly enjoyed Wimsey as a brilliant, multi-layered man who waited more than five years to marry Harriet.  How could I not half-fall in love with a man who solved mysteries, wrote poetry, played classical music, drove a fast car, and had a biting sense of the ridiculous?

Since then, I have enjoyed the rest of the Wimsey/Vane books, particularly the more light-hearted Busman’s Honeymoon, which I wish would be made into a movie.  The BBC miniseries Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries made in 1988 managed to portray the Wimsey/Vane relationship well.  Harriet Walter is a favorite actress of mine, too.  Thematically, Wimsey often reminds me of the Scarlet Pimpernel with hints of Jeeves and Wooster.  Thank you, Dorothy L. Sayers.

Note:  As a promoter of sweet romance, I will mention when a book or movie has elements that IMHO deviate from that standard.  There is a scene in the Dorothy L. Sayers Mysteries with an artist’s topless model.  It startled me when I first watched it, and I’d forgotten the scene until I lent the dvds to someone else and it startled her, as well.

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