It’s odd what can give birth to a series.
The Persephone Cole Vintage Mysteries happened after years of research for my stand-alone circus noir mystery, Death of a Clown. I didn’t want all of the knowledge I’d gleaned of the nineteen-forties to go to waste! In addition, I had been challenged to write a mystery with a protagonist who wasn’t an ideal beauty, i.e. young, svelte, and beautiful. So I came up with Persephone (Percy) Cole, who I believe fills the criteria. Thirty-five years old – considered middle-aged in the forties – Percy is a five-foot eleven, full-figured gal, with a wicked sense of humor, and a take no prisoners’ attitude. Her one soft spot is her eight-year old son, Oliver, a child that gives her life meaning.
Fortunately, when I created a character physically larger than most men of seventy plus years ago, I was offering up a woman who was quite comfortable with being a female Sam Spade. As one of the country’s first female private investigators, Percy fits into a man’s world at a time when few women did.
The first of the series, The Dagger Before Me, takes place over Halloween in a Broadway theater during a production of Macbeth. I chose a Broadway theater because I worked backstage in most of them for many years. I am very familiar with what is often considered an exotic job in an exotic world. Celebrating Halloween, The Dagger Before Me is on sale from October 3 through 10 for only 99¢.
Iced Diamonds takes place in the Diamond District of Manhattan, although sadly, I don’t know diamonds nearly as well as I know Broadway. However, I found the idea of a dead elf in the storefront window of a jeweler’s during the Christmas season mad fun to write about.
The Chocolate Kiss-Off revolves around chocolate and murder. What could be better? Valentine’s Day is upon us and the owner of a gourmet chocolate factory in Brooklyn is found drown in a huge vat of chocolate. As Percy notes, ‘Some would say there are worse ways to go.’
Taking place in New York’s Manhattan at the beginning of World War Two, the Persephone Cole Vintage series keeps me on my toes. Sometimes what I find out about the time period is surprising. I love that part. And the readers seem to be enjoying the Percy Cole series. I love that even more. Once again, if you’d like to try the series, The Dagger Before Me is on sale from October 3 through 10 for only 99¢.
Have a wonderful and fun-filled Halloween. Just check what’s under your bed before you go to sleep!