Is anyone else a sucker for the Golden Age of Mysteries? For anyone who isn’t familiar, that’s the period when Agatha Christie et al. were writing, namely the 1920s and 30s.
Is your curiosity piqued? Excellent! Let’s talk about a Dearly Departed series about this dearly departed era.
1. Tell us about the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series. What was the premise? Who were the characters?
What writer of mysteries doesn’t love the Golden Age of Mystery that took place roughly between the two World Wars? Some of our best mystery authors were writing then—Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey, Ngaio Marsh to name a few. I decided to write a series that pays homage to these wonderful authors. And so the Golden Age of Mysteries Book Club series was born. My sleuth, Lexie Driscoll, a college English professor, leads the book club. In each book, the book club members read books by one Golden Age of Mystery author. In Murder a la Christie, they read and discuss books by Dame Agatha as various members are murdered. There’s a parallel between the book discussions, which reveal information about the members and offer clues pointing to the murderer, and the murders taking place.
In Murder the Tey Way, the book club reads books by Josephine Tey.
2. Where did the series come from?
I think the series came from my having been a high school Spanish teacher many years ago. I like including book discussions in my novels. Discussions are fun and reveal characters’ traits and beliefs. I’ve included book discussions in other novels as well.
3. What, or who, was your favorite part of the series?
I love my sleuth, Lexie, a very smart and talented woman with her share of human weaknesses. Lexie agrees to lead the Golden Age of Mystery book club at the request of her best friend, Rosie, because she can use the money. Smart as she is, Lexie often chooses the wrong type of man. She did that in spades when she married her second husband who, when she divorces him, burns down her house. Temporarily living in another friend’s home in ritzy Old Cadfield where Rosie and many of the book club members live, Lexie feels like an outsider.
I also enjoy writing the book club’s discussions of the books they are reading.
4. Why did it end?
I wrote a proposal for another series, and signed a contract with a publishing house. Suddenly I had deadlines and no longer had the time to write more Golden Age of Mystery Book Club mysteries.
5. Would you ever resurrect the series?
I would love to write a few more—perhaps one centered around Ngaio Marsh’s books.
6. What are you working on now?
Right now I am writing the Haunted Library series. My sleuth, Carrie Singleton, is head of programs and events of the Clover Ridge Library in Clover Ridge, CT. Carrie solves murders with the help of the resident ghost, Evelyn Havers. CHECKED OUT FOR MURDER, the fourth book in the series, has just come out. I am currently going over book number five, DEATH ON THE SHELF, which will be coming out next fall.
Thank you so much for sharing! I hope we get that Ngaio Marsh book one day.
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and novels for kids. Her books have received many accolades. As Allison Brook she writes the Haunted Library series. DEATH OVERDUE, the first in the series, was an Agatha nominee for Best Contemporary Novel in 2018. Other mysteries include the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club series and the Twin Lakes series. Marilyn lives on Long Island, where many of her books take place. Keep in touch with her on Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter.
Do you have a favorite Golden Era author? Are we in a Golden Era of cozies? Let me know what you think!