Please join me in welcoming one of my very fave people back to the blog! The fabulous Erica Vetsch is here today to chat about the challenges involved in writing a mystery like The Debutante’s Code, the first book in her new Thorndike & Swann Regency Mysteries!
THE DEBUTANTE’S CODE by Erica Vetsch
SERIES: Thorndike & Swann Regency Mysteries #1
GENRE: Inspirational Historical/Regency Mystery
RELEASE DATE: December 7, 2021
Jane Austen meets Sherlock Holmes in this new Regency mystery series
Newly returned from finishing school, Lady Juliette Thorndike is ready to debut in London society. Due to her years away, she hasn’t spent much time with her parents, and sees them only as the flighty, dilettante couple the other nobles love. But when they disappear, she discovers she never really knew them at all. They’ve been living double lives as government spies–and they’re only the latest in a long history of espionage that is the family’s legacy.
Now Lady Juliette is determined to continue their work. Mentored by her uncle, she plunges into the dangerous world of spy craft. From the glittering ballrooms of London to the fox hunts, regattas, and soirees of country high society, she must chase down hidden clues, solve the mysterious code her parents left behind, and stay out of danger. All the while, she has to keep her endeavors a secret from her best friend and her suitors–not to mention nosy, irritatingly handsome Bow Street runner Daniel Swann, who suspects her of a daring theft.
Can Lady Juliette outwit her enemies and complete her parents’ last mission? Or will it lead her to a terrible end?
Best-selling author Erica Vetsch is back with a rollicking, exciting new series destined to be a hit with Regency readers who enjoy a touch of mystery in their love stories. Fans of Julie Klassen, Sarah Ladd, and Anne Perry will love the wit, action, and romance.
Writing a Mystery? YIKES!
by Erica Vetsch, author of The Debutante’s Code
I love reading mysteries. Cozies, police procedurals, spies, sleuths, I love them all. Yet, I never thought I would write one! You see, when I read a mystery, I rarely know whodunnit before the big reveal. My husband, on the other hand, usually knows within the first couple of chapters, which I find highly annoying! (Good thing he has other fantastic qualities! 🙂 ) And yet, this idea for a mystery…and a mystery series…would not leave my head! Thus, the Thorndike & Swann Regency Mysteries were born.
I have to tell you, writing a mystery is the MOST challenging fiction I’ve ever written. And then, to up the difficulty angle, I decided to write a mystery set in the Regency period. I very much enjoy writing stories set during the Regency period, but it does call for a tremendous amount of research!
By far the greatest challenge for me in writing a mystery is putting in all the clues the reader would need to solve the crime, but not in such an obvious way that they know from the outset and are just waiting for the mentally thick detective to sort it out.
In order to keep it all straight, I plotted heavily! Post it notes, white boards, an ever-changing outline, and talking it through with my daughter, who is a great sounding board for all things plot! I learned about the hallmarks of the genre in a new way. Reading is one thing, constructing is a whole other kettle of cats! The body, the detective, the motives, the red herrings, the secrets, the lies, the chase, the denouement, justice for the victim, the fallout. All things I recognized in mysteries I had read, but now had to create from scratch.
I also thought, once I got one mystery done, the rest would be easy. How wrong I was! The Debutante’s Code was hard. Millstone of Doubt was brutally hard. And my current WIP, Children of the Shadows…it might just kill me! 🙂
In the end, hopefully, I’ve woven a intricate plots with just enough information to solve the crime, but not so much that it feels like a giant red arrow saying, “MURDERER HERE.”
And also, in the end, it has been fun. I’ve learned new skills, which always keeps me sharper, and I’ve tried something different, which always keeps me interested in the process.
Question for you: Do you enjoy mysteries? Are you a fan of the classics, like Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, and the like?
Best-selling, award-winning author Erica Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks. You can connect with her at her website, www.ericavetsch.com where you can read about her books and sign up for her newsletter, and you can find her online at https://www.facebook.com/
Erica Vetsch is offering an ebook copy of The Debutante’s Code to one of my readers! (Void where prohibited by law or logistics.) This giveaway is subject to Reading Is My SuperPower’s giveaway policies which can be found here. Enter via the Rafflecopter form below.
What about you? What makes you want to read The Debutante’s Code by Erica Vetsch? Do you enjoy mysteries? Are you a fan of the classics or more modern mysteries?