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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

Writing a Series of Tudor Mysteries

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ October 9, 2011

 

The first drawing I ever entered to win an advanced reader copy of a book on the mystery loop DorothyL was for Peg Herring's Her Highness's First Murder and I won! It was a delightful read, rich in period detail bringing to life the Princess Elizabeth and life in Tudor times. I'm happy to welcome Peg to "Deeds of Darkness; Deeds of Light" to share more about her wonderful series. Peg and i are doing a blog exchange today, so when you finish reading this, please go on over to Peg's blog and read my article about writing a Victorian true crime series. http://itsamysterytomepegherring.blogspot.com/2011/10/guest-post-donna-fletcher-crow-those.html#comments

I'm so pleased you have a new book coming out in this series, Peg. Tell us about it.

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Donna! The second of my Simon & Elizabeth mysteries, POISON, YOUR GRACE, releases late next month (November) from Five Star. I’d like to give your readers some background, a glimpse at the new book, and a hint of the series’ future.

Background: I have no idea where the idea came from, but I can tell you when it hit me. I was driving to see my sister in Wisconsin, a seven-hour trip. As I traveled, my mind wove the story of a young Elizabeth Tudor becoming involved in solving a murder. She is a perfect sleuth: intelligent, curious (okay, nosy), and unlikely to give up, ever. Royal princesses cannot, however, sneak around London interviewing suspects, so she had to have a partner. The idea of Simon evolved. He’s educated, so they get along well together. He’s a commoner, so he has more freedom to move through the levels of society than she does. And he’s a perfect person to provide my view of Elizabeth. Simon admires the princess but cannot understand her. He has no desire to live as she does. In fact, he often feels sorry for her.

Books: In the first book, HER HIGHNESS’ FIRST MURDER, the two meet, form a friendship, and solve a series of murders without Elizabeth‘s father, Henry VIII, being aware of her involvement. In POISON, YOUR GRACE, Elizabeth is desperate to protect the life of the new king, her half-brother Edward, and at the same time aware that she might be accused of murder in order to get rid of her. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY calls the series "fresh and compelling" and LIBRARY JOURNAL concludes:" Featuring detailed settings, ample wit, and a fast pace, this historical shines."

Future of the series: I am currently at work on the third book of the series, THE LADY FLIRTS WITH DEATH. In this one, Elizabeth’s half-sister Mary holds the throne, and the new queen’s wisest move might be to execute her troublesome Protestant sister. Simon wants to help Elizabeth, but he also receives a request from his old friend from Book #1, Peto the Pope. Two people he admires are in danger of losing their lives, so Simon is kept busy—too busy to notice what’s going on at home with his beloved Hannah.

If you noticed the theme in the titles, I’m thrilled. If not, I’ll explain. Elizabeth’s title changed over her lifetime, depending on her official status. Under Henry, she was Her Highness, a royal princess. Members of Edward’s council were at a loss as to what to do with two females who were mutually exclusive of royalty (if Mary was legitimate, Elizabeth was not, and vice versa). Elizabeth was called Her Grace during Edward’s reign. Mary considered Elizabeth illegitimate and allowed her only the title Lady Elizabeth in consideration of her mother’s status.

The series will continue into Elizabeth’s reign for two more books. I find this strong woman fascinating, and Simon is a great character to write: wise and naïve, strong and uncertain, compelled to find the truth and loyal to a fault. He and I are having a great time helping Elizabeth solve the crimes of her time.

P eg Herring loves mystery in all its forms. Author of the critically acclaimed Simon & Elizabeth (Tudor) series as well as the contemporary Dead Detective series, Peg believes readers deserve well-crafted plots with memorable characters. She lives with her husband in northern Michigan and writes "Strong Women, Great Stories."

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Reader Comments:

Welcome, Peg. I can't wait to read POISON, YOUR GRACE. BTW I did notice the theme in the titles. smile
-Donna, October 10, 2011

Congratulations on the upcoming release, Peg, and best of luck with your third!
-jennymilch, October 10, 2011

I was lucky enough to acquire a copy of one of Peg's Dead Detective stories, and though I haven't read any of her Tudor mysteries, I'm certainly intrigued.
-c.k.crigger, October 11, 2011

Have have written about the Tudor period as well, so I am intrigued at the idea of mysteries set there. What a unique idea. I hope they do well and we see many more.
-LeAnne Hardy, October 11, 2011

c.k. we're just the opposite. I love the Tudor mysteries and have been wanting to read Dead Detective. They got excellent reviews, so I'm sure they're good.
-Donna, October 11, 2011

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