Wednesday, April 8, 2009

MANNA FROM HADES

This week my guest blogger is Carola Dunn, author of the newly released Manna From Hades. Carola is a prolific writer who will take you on a journey you won't want to come home from. Enjoy...


My Life -- Backwards by Carola Dunn

My 50th book just came out, an exciting milestone. MANNA FROM HADES is also the first book in my new series of Cornish mysteries set in the 1960s/70s. My main character, Eleanor Trewynn, is a widow in her 60s. She and her husband travelled the world working for a big international charity. On his death Eleanor retired to a small fishing village in Cornwall, their home county, bought a cottage and turned the ground floor into a charity shop, while she and her West Highland terrier live in the flat above.

A second protagonist is Eleanor's niece, Megan Pencarrow, a detective sergeant with the local police at a time when few women were police officers and fewer still detectives. As well as prejudice, she has to cope with a grumpy, impatient superior, DI Scumble, and a suave ex-colleague from Scotland Yard. Other important characters who will reappear in future books in the series are the vicar's wife, kind and efficient but bossy, who runs the shop, and the artist who lives next door.

Eleanor's peaceful retirement is shattered when she finds the body of a scruffy youth in the shop's stockroom.

I've had a number of letters from readers of my previous books who are afraid my existing series is going to stop. Don't worry, Daisy Dalrymple's adventures continue. Set in England in the 1920s, the series now has 17 titles and the 18th, SHEER FOLLY, will be out in September.

If you're not familiar with Daisy, this is a good time to get to know her as the first 6 books have been reissued and are easily available from bookstores and online booksellers. Support the indies; go to your local mystery bookstore or the Independent Mystery Booksellers at http://www.mysterybooksellers.com/IMBA_Members.htm. (Several Daisy mysteries have been IMBA bestsellers. I hope this doesn't amount to conflict of interest?)

Daisy is a journalist, married to Detective Chief Inspector Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, whom she met in the first book, DEATH AT WENTWATER COURT, when she visited a stately home to write an article about it. A body in the skating lake is the first of many encounters with murder. Alec does his best to keep Daisy from interfering with his investigations, but somehow she always seems to acquire useful information about his suspects and then, of course, she can't help meddling.

The Daisy mysteries are basically nice, cheerful murder stories, but inevitably at that period the shadows of the first World War still fall across England. Daisy, in fact, lost her brother and her fiance in the war. In the course of her adventures, she meets people seriously affected by the war, whether physically or emotionally.

Perhaps this is why one reviewer says: "Dunn has a knack for writing meatier-than-usual cozies with strong female characters..." The most common adjective applied to my books by reviewers is, however, "charming"!

The rest of my 50 books are Regencies. They're all out of print now, but for ebook readers they're available at www.RegencyReads.com, in a wide variety of formats.

Since I seem to be moving backward in time, I might as well regress a little further. Before I started writing (ballpoint, longhand, at the kitchen table), I worked in market research, childcare, construction, building design, proofreading and writing definitions for a dictionary of science and technology. And before that, I met my then future, now ex-husband in Hawaii while on my way round the world. Having started in England, I got as far as Fiji, just past the International Date Line so half way around.

To finish off the reverse history, I was born and grew up in England, and to bring us back to the present, I now have two Californian grandchildren.

My website is www.geocities.com/CarolaDunn/
I blog Tuesdays on TheLadyKillers: http://tinyurl.com/66q19u

9 comments :

  1. 50 books. OML, Carola. I can't even imagine. I'm inspired though. You've shown it can be done. Bravo.

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  2. ....basically nice, cheerful murder stories....

    ... my then future now ex-husband...

    Y'all are scarin' me & 50 books, that's scarier still...

    Joylene's inspired - I'm intimidated.

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  3. Oh, England in the 20's! The Daisy series sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing Carola with us, Joylene!

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  4. You're very welcomed, Carol. I was pleased to. It's not often that I'm in the company of such a remarkable woman. I still can't get over the 50 books.

    --
    joylene

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  5. Thanks for following my blog, Dave. And don't be intimidated. You've got a few books in you, I bet.

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  6. I got my start with Agatha Christie. I love all things British. Particularly their writers. Yes, thanks for sharing Carola, Joylene.

    Such beautiful names.

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  8. They sound like great books. Just something I'd like to read.

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  9. I think you're right, AF. I'm off on holidays, so I'm taking a few with me, not to mention Pat's MORE DEATHS THAN ONE, too.

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