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 ...

12 comments:

Gram said...

Love Rex Stout's books. My favorite was The Doorbell Rang (and rang and rang). Although The Black Mountain is a close second.

mary kennedy said...


Very excited about the release of The Wolfe Widow--so many wonderful elements. Here's to a great launch! I know it will be a wild success.

Grandma Cootie said...

Sometimes 5 more sleeps seems like a lot . . . Pep and I are waiting not too patiently. My mom introduced me to the classic detectives like Nero Wolfe, Perry Mason, and Bertha Cool and Donald Lam and she had a subscription to the Reader's Digest Suspense and Mystery books. No Christie or Sayers though - now that I think of it maybe SHE had a crush on Archie. When I take my afternoon walk I sometimes listen to Nero Wolfe on Old Time Radio.

Leann Sweeney said...

I have read and reread every Rex Stout book. My tuxedo cat was named Archie Goodwin. As with Agatha Christie, I never wanted his characters to stop bringing me stories. Such wonderful books and I know you must have a fantastic time writing this book! Cannot wait! :-)

Fred said...

You can say I cut my mystery teeth on Nero Wolfe back in the mid 80's. I needed something to hold in my hands other than a glass of refreshment. Being from Indiana, Rex Stout was a natural for me. Also started out with many of Dame Agatha's books, too. Must say I didn't remember Nero having a Cadillac, but do remember the Heron.

Lisa Ks Book Reviews said...

Best wishes on your release, Victoria! And yours Mary!

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks, Gram - I love The Doorbell Rang too.

XO

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks, Mary! I am so happy we have releases at the same time. I think Nightmares Can Be Murder will be a big hit.

XO


MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

What a great way to grow up! Hugs to you and Pep too.

XO

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thank you, my friend! A tuxedo cat is a perfect fit for Archie.

XO

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Ah Cadillac, Shmadillac. Thanks for coming by, Fred. I am glad you like Nero too.

Hugs,

MJ

Mary Jane Maffini said...

Thanks so much, Lisa! We love you!!!!

XO

MJ