Please join me in welcoming Kate Parker to the blog today to chat about her new historical cozy mystery, Deadly Broadcast!
DEADLY BROADCAST by Kate Parker
SERIES: The Deadly Series #8
GENRE: Historical Cozy Mystery
PUBLISHER: JDP Press
RELEASE DATE: March 8, 2022
The phony war has dragged out past Christmas into a dark and dreary New Year, 1940.
In the blackout, someone murdered BBC engineer Frank Kennedy, making him more popular dead than alive. A blackmailer and bully, he sold out his friends, assaulted his Broadcasting House colleagues, and sabotaged his employer.
Kennedy was also a government informant against the IRA. Despite arrests of members, the IRA is still planning more attacks against British civilians. Attacks Frank Kennedy might have been involved in.
Britain’s counterintelligence spymaster orders newspaper reporter Olivia Redmond to find Kennedy’s killer and learn which of the many motives led to his murder. Olivia quickly learns how vicious Frank Kennedy was and halfway hopes his killer escapes hanging.
Until his killer strikes again…
Edward R. Murrow in London
by Kate Parker, author of Deadly Broadcast
The American broadcaster Edward R. Murrow appears in Kate Parker’s Deadly Broadcast at the beginning of his career. He would later become famous for his broadcasts during the London blitz and with the Allied forces fighting their way across Europe, bringing the war to life for the American public back home.
During this story, he is a young man building CBS network’s European presence with himself in London and others such as William Shirer and Eric Sevareid on the continent, using borrowed facilities from the BBC and others to send their words and voices back to America.
The America of that time saw Europe as distant and unimportant. This was before TV, the internet, high speed transatlantic cables and transatlantic flights, and the Beatles. The United States was deeply isolationist in the years before Pearl Harbor. They didn’t see how Germany invading Austria, Czechoslovakia, and Poland could be relevant to their lives in the Western Hemisphere. Americans were trying to work their way out of the Great Depression, as was Britain and Europe, each country protecting themselves against foreign workers and foreign-made goods. They believed the oceans would keep America safe as if they were a moat.
Murrow was born in North Carolina and grew up in Washington State on a farm. He worked as a young man in lumber camps and worked his way through college. After college, he worked for the National Student Federation of America and the Institute of International Education. This led to several trips to Europe, meeting and marrying his wife, Janet, and helping Jewish academics emigrate to America from Nazi controlled, anti-Semitic Germany.
When we meet Murrow in Deadly Broadcast, he is 31 years old, tall, slim, dark-haired and considered to be very handsome. He is the CBS reporter in London, and has been there for over two years. I tried to show his curiosity about everything around him which helped make his broadcasts so well liked. He was also reportedly very determined, which is why at the beginning of the story, Murrow fired the BBC engineer who messed up broadcasting his nightly report over BBC facilities.
The fictitious BBC engineer, Frank Kennedy, then left the building, walked out into the blackout that covered London every night, and was murdered, starting the string of violence in Deadly Broadcast.
My heroine, Olivia’s, introduction to Edward R Murrow is through his wife, Janet. Janet was the daughter of a prominent Connecticut family who attended Mount Holyoke College. As college alumni, Olivia and Janet have something in common, since college attendance was a rarity in those days, and even more so for women.
Olivia is assigned to interview Janet Murrow for a piece in the newspaper she writes for, the Daily Premier. When Janet invites her to go over to Broadcasting House to see the studio and hear the transmission, Olivia goes along. On the way there, Olivia trips over Kennedy’s body, beginning her involvement in the case.
My own interest in the broadcast pioneers goes back to learning as a child that my father was a radio announcer as a young man. He was also a print journalist and that is where he spent the majority of his career, particularly after World War II. He only managed to fund two years of college before the war and never went back, having obligations to support his mother and his wife, and later, me. His work in radio and print journalism meant that when he was drafted, two months after Pearl Harbor, the military immediately put him to work. He never went through basic training and spent most of his wartime career working in the states for the Army Air Corps in radio and print journalism.
Nothing as exciting as the career of Edward R Murrow, but it gave me an understanding of those days and that type of work.
Since she was unable to build a time machine in her backyard, Kate Parker immerses herself in research and then creates the world that lives inside each book that she writes. Her favorite place is London and her time travel destination is anywhere from the late Victorian era through World War II. Since she lives in the Carolinas with her daughter and a 95-pound puppy, the practical side of her is thankful for air conditioning and all the modern comforts of life. Comforts she will take with her if she ever figures out how to build her time machine.
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What about you? What makes you want to read Deadly Broadcast by Kate Parker?