Thursday, August 28, 2014

The doorbell rang: she should never have answered!

By Victoria Abbott (aka Mary Jane Maffini)

Only five more sleeps until The Wolfe Widow comes out.  This is the third in the book collector mystery series that I write with my daughter as Victoria Abbott.  

It’s my sixteenth book, but I am just as excited as I was with the first.  The release of a new book is an important moment for an author: all that imagining, planning, writing, rewriting, editing, proofreading and finger-crossing comes together ready for the reader.  I’m as nervous as a new mom!
The book collector mysteries combine contemporary cozy books with the classics of the Golden Age of Detection.  Our young sleuth, Jordan Bingham, works for the curmudgeonly book collector, Vera Van Alst, the most hated woman in Harrison Falls, New York. Jordan’s the first person in her family to go straight and she loves this job: the books, the house, the food. Everything!

We wanted to write a series with mysteries, romance, adventure, vintage clothing,  antiques and humor.  Dogs too course, meaning Walter the Pug and Cobain the whatever he is.  We're not sure how those crooked uncles got in there!

This time it’s the Nero Wolfe collection that’s at risk.  You see, the doorbell rang, as it so often does in a Nero Wolfe mystery.  Jordan should never have answered it. Next thing you know, Muriel Delgado, a dangerous and malicious woman from Vera’s past has wormed her way in and seems to have some hold over Vera.
Without warning or explanation, Jordan is fired. Dumped. Out the door!
She knows that is so Vera will be vulnerable to Muriel who seems to have designs on her collection and her life.  There are some worrying deaths in Muriel's background.
Jordan needs to intervene but she’s now persona non grata at Van Alst House. Worse, every one of her friends seems to be temporarily unavailable and her adorable crooked uncles are busy with a ‘project’.  What’s that about?

Did we mention she gets hit by a truck? Thank heavens for bags of leaves by the side of the road.
All Jordan has is  fictional advice from Archie Goodwin of the Nero Wolfe mysteries.  She may have a bit of a crush on him, as we do. But she thinks that Archie’s a great role model: stylish, witty, good in a skirmish.  Aside from Archie there’s Walter the Pug, so you see we haven’t totally abandoned our girl.

Will that be enough for Jordan to save Vera?  Well, she still has those lockpicks she got for her Sweet Sixteen …

Victoria and I had a lot of fun writing this series and we loved combining Jordan’s predicament with bits from the Nero Wolfe books that we love so much.  As part of the background, we had to reread many of these great books by Rex Stout.  What a tough job we have!  

We're celebrating The Wolfe Widow!!!        

What about you?  Do you love the classic books from the Golden Age of Detection? What about Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe books?  Let's talk about that.  Over to you ...

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