M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Setting as Character

The lovely thing about mysteries is they take you to lovely places, and more important, they give you a feeling for what it's like to live there. That's one of the charms about cozy mysteries. Whatever, I know that it's true for this anthropology-trained writer. I went all warm and fuzzy when I discovered Morag Joss's Bath-located mystery, Funeral Music, in a used book store. It's set in one of my favorite places: Bath, England.

Sara Selkirk, a world class cellist, is lucky enough to live in Bath. She's also unlucky enough to have lost her creative spark after her husband dies. On the night the a friend convinces her to play at a reception at the Pump Room, the museum director of the Roman Baths is murdered. Selkirk soon finds herself in the middle of the investigation not only because the detective investigating the crime is one of her cello students but she knows many of the suspects.

As she travels through the tangle of personalities, the city of Bath lurks in the background. You even get the feel for what it's like to shop at a British supermarket as well as taking an armchair visit to some major tourist attractions. The story line's also a nice journey because so many of the characters become red herrings. Joss' characterization skills transfers well to the suspects because the most likely, unsympathetic character isn't the perp. At the same time, the stealth suspect has a better motivation for the crime. -- I'd say more, but that'd be a spoiler.

Now that I've written this, I'm hoping I can find the posting spot again on the new Google+.
The links below are old, but still useful.


Need some more excuses to social network? Cheryl Reif has posted a poll on "How Much Time Do You Spend Online".  The poll will make you think, but her summary of why you should spend time online plus her readers' comments are food for thought. 

Think social networking is just for your amusement? Don't have the confidence in your writing to think you don't need to social network yet. E. J. Wesley has some words for you on getting your game on.

And, then, there's your website.
You do have one, don't you? 
It's one of the keys to building your platform as an author.

As you might guess, I've been vaguely thinking about my website where the Far Isle Half-Elven roam. No revisions are going to happen to my website anytime soon. Too busy editing Dark Solstice for an agent. If you have your website up, you might check out Mark Lieberman's blog 10 Quick and Easy Upgrades You Should Make to Your Website Today.
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