Why write a mystery? Those of you who have been reading my political columns may wonder why I am, instead, developing a mystery series. Two reasons: first, I wrote my column for twenty years and decided it was time to try something new. Second. I have been a fan of mystery novels since I first encountered Sherlock Holmes in “A Study in Scarlet” many years ago. Recently, I’ve been disappointed in the quality of new releases and decided that instead of complaining about the formulaic nature of contemporary mysteries, I should create a worthy series.
What’s the hook? The Kate Swift Mysteries are set in Northern California: Big Sur, Monterrey, Silicon Valley, Sonoma County, and Mendocino. They involve U.S. Marshall Kate Swift and her lover, Tom Scott. Mysteries with a romance component. While female mystery writers often involve romance in their stories (Elly Griffiths), this is not the case with male mystery writers (Michael Connelly). The first Kate Swift mystery, Death is Potential, is a combination of “The Guest List” (Lucy Foley) and “Nine Perfect Strangers” (Liane Moriarty) with a touch of “Squeeze Me” (Carl Hiaasen). Mystery and romance with a dash of humor. Amuse-toi bien en lisant.
Writers are told to write from their experience and Death is Potential derives from my experience both in the Big Sur area and from psychological workshops, such as the “transitions” workshop mentioned in the novel. (It helps that my partner is a licensed psychotherapist.)