I'm pleased to welcome Heather Redmond to Cozy Up With Kathy today. Heather pens the Dickens of a Crime Mystery series. A CHRISTMAS CAROL MURDER is the third book in the series.
Kathy: In A CHRISTMAS CAROL MURDER the young Charles Dickens becomes embroiled in a murder that brings to mind the classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL Is reading or watching this classic a favorite Christmas tradition?
HR: I’m a reader so I definitely like reading this novella the most. But The Muppet’s Christmas Carol is really good and as I recall (I haven’t seen it in two years) it’s quite faithful to the text.
Kathy: How did you decide upon making Charles Dickens the protagonist of your mystery series?
HR: I was asked to offer up some Victorian mystery ideas to an editor I had been working with. I came up with a Dickens idea because I’d already written a romance (THE PRINCESS DILEMMA) with a Dickens-loving hero, and I had read a biography about him not that long before I was asked for the pitches. The rest is history.
Kathy: Ghosts and ghost stories were once a traditional part of Christmas festivities. Are they a part of yours?
HR: I think it is impossible to skip the ghost stories because culture is still inundated with various retellings of A Christmas Carol. I do enjoy them! Plus, my kid loves Halloween and spooky is a permanent part of our lives.
Kathy: What first drew you to mysteries?
HR: Cozy mysteries have been my ultimate self-care reads for many years. I was thrilled to get a chance to pitch one and I still pinch myself that I have two series now. My primary fiction before the Dickens series was historical, so marrying historical research with mysteries made sense as a next step.
Kathy: Do you write in any other genres?
HR: I still write romance when I have time. THE COUNTRY STAR'S VALENTINE by Heather Hiestand came out in February. I have a middle grade novel that is completely done that I’m hoping to put out some time soon, but it is endlessly delayed.
Kathy: Tell us about your series.
HR: A Dickens of a Crime features young Charles Dickens before he was a literary celebrity. Together with his fiancée, he solves crimes that he runs across during his real daily life.
In the Journaling mysteries, Journaling vlogger Mandy Meadows strives to preserve her hyper-organised life while solving mysteries around the hospital she works for in Seattle.
Kathy: Do you have a favorite character? If so, who and why?
HR: I love Mandy Meadows, the amateur sleuth from my Journaling mystery series. She’s not me, but I would totally watch her art videos and look up to her for being such a can-do person.
Kathy: Did you have a specific inspiration for your series?
HR: With the A Dickens of a Crime series, my inspiration is the work of Dickens. I take a novel of his under consideration with each of my books, and glean some of the setting, themes, characters, and tiny bits of plot. I also hugely rely on his life story and his nonfiction writing from the actual timeline of each book.
Kathy: What made you decide to publish your work?
HR: I have wanted to be a published writer since the age of seven. It was a formative dream and one that eventually came true after a lot of long years and hard work.
Kathy: If you could have a dinner party and invite 4 authors, living or dead, in any genre, who would you invite?
HR: Just four? Oh dear. Well, Dickens would be the life of the party. Connie Willis because she’s my favorite contemporary writer. Dickens would want to invite Daniel Defoe, I expect. I’d be torn over Lord Byron vs. Geoffrey Chaucer, but Lord Byron would have to win, since at least we’d be able to understand his English.
Kathy: What are you currently reading?
HR: THE IMMORTALS by Jordanna Max Brodsky. I’ve just started it but it appears to be a mystery where the sleuth is the goddess Artemis, after she’s had police experience. The first few chapters are excellent and I wish I had written it.
Kathy: Will you share any of your hobbies or interests with us?
HR: I’m a keen watercolorist at the moment. I’ve been painting since summer 2018. I tend to have one chief hobby at a time due to limited hours, but if I had time, I’d work on family genealogy more.
Kathy: Name 4 items you always have in your fridge or pantry.
HR: Onions, popcorn, Neat vegetarian meat mix, Ritz Bits.
Kathy: Do you have plans for future books either in your current series or a new series?
HR: Yes. Book 4 of the A Dickens of a Crime series, THE PICKWICK MURDERS, is with my editor now. The second Journaling mystery book, TATTOOED TO DEATH, is out January 5th.
Kathy: What's your favorite thing about being an author?
HR: I don’t have to leave my kid to go to work.
Be sure to stop back to the blog this Friday, December 4, 2020 to read my review of A CHRISTMAS CAROL MURDER!
The latest novel from Heather Redmond’s acclaimed mystery series finds young Charles Dickens suspecting a miser of pushing his partner out a window, but his fiancée Kate Hogarth takes a more charitable view of the old man's innocence . . .
London, December 1835: Charles and Kate are out with friends and family for a chilly night of caroling and good cheer. But their blood truly runs cold when their singing is interrupted by a body plummeting from an upper window of a house. They soon learn the dead man at their feet, his neck strangely wrapped in chains, is Jacob Harley, the business partner of the resident of the house, an unpleasant codger who owns a counting house, one Emmanuel Screws.
Ever the journalist, Charles dedicates himself to discovering who's behind the diabolical defenestration. But before he can investigate further, Harley's corpse is stolen. Following that, Charles is visited in his quarters by what appears to be Harley's ghost—or is it merely Charles’s overwrought imagination? He continues to suspect Emmanuel, the same penurious penny pincher who denied his father a loan years ago, but Kate insists the old man is too weak to heave a body out a window. Their mutual affection and admiration can accommodate a difference of opinion, but matters are complicated by the unexpected arrival of an infant orphan. Charles must find the child a home while solving a murder, to ensure that the next one in chains is the guilty party . . .
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Kensington Publishing
Publication Date: September 29th 2020
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 1496717171 (ISBN13: 9781496717177)
Series: A Dickens of a Crime #3 || A Stand Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Heather Redmond is an author of commercial fiction and also writes as Heather Hiestand. First published in mystery, she took a long detour through romance before returning. Though her last British-born ancestor departed London in the 1920s, she is a committed anglophile, Dickens devotee, and lover of all things nineteenth century.
She has lived in Illinois, California, and Texas, and now resides in a small town in Washington State with her husband and son. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Her 2018 Heather Redmond debut, A Tale of Two Murders, was a multi-week Barnes & Noble Hardcover Mystery Bestseller.
Her two current mystery series are “A Dickens of a Crime” and “the Journaling mysteries.” She writes for Kensington and Severn House.
She is the 2020-21 President of the Columbia River Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC).
Catch Up With Heather Redmond:
HeatherRedmond.com, Goodreads, BookBub, Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook!
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Enter To Win!:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Heather Redmond. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway begins on November 1, 2020 and runs through January 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.