Victoria Hamel is the winner of Absence of Alice — look for an email from me!
I’m thrilled to be celebrating the release of the ninth Sarah Winston Garage Sale mystery, Absence of Alice. As I was thinking about writing this post, I started wondering about the number nine. After all cats have nine lives, babies are born in nine months (give or take a few weeks) but surely the number nine must have other significance.
Here’s a little of what I found.
Number 9 is an amazing number; if the number 9 is multiplied by any number of single-digit, after adding together the two digits of the product always get 9. For example: 9×3 = 27 = 2 + 7 = 9; 9×9 = 81 = 8 + 1 = 9; 9×5 = 45 = 4 + 5 = 9 and so forth.
The number nine is important in Norse mythology. The god Freyr was made to hold off on marrying Gerd for, you guessed it, nine days. When Odin hung himself from a branch of Yggdrasil, peering down into the dark waters beneath him, he stared downward for nine long nights, at the end of which he was permitted to see the secrets beneath.
There are many myths about nine maidens. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_maidens_(mythology)
Many ancient cultures regarded number nine as a symbol of perfection, unity, and freedom.
I wish I would have looked all this up before I wrote Absence of Alice because it might have been fun to incorporate some of this in the book. I was particularly struck by the idea of perfection, unity, and freedom.
Sarah is far from perfect and in Absence of Alice she is tested in a way she never has been. Sarah has always valued unity or loyalty to her friends be they old or new. She also is consumed with the concept of freedom since Stella her landlady and friend, has been kidnapped and it’s up to Sarah to free her.
Readers: Do you have a favorite number? I’ll give away a copy of Absence of Alice to someone who leaves a comment.
Absence of Alice:
For bargain hunter extraordinaire Sarah Winston, starting life over in Ellington, Massachusetts, has been a true trash-to-treasure success story, except when there’s a run on dead bodies…
Sarah’s latest client, Alice Krandle, is sure she has a fortune in antiques on her hands. She’s already gotten a generous offer for the whole lot before her garage sale has even begun, but she thinks she can earn more with Sarah’s expert help. The problem is that while Sarah’s sorting through items from decades past, her landlady, Stella, faces a clear and present danger.
Stella’s kidnapper has contacted Sarah with a set of instructions, and “Don’t call the police” is at the top of the list. But they didn’t say anything about Sarah’s friend Harriet–who happens to be a former F.B.I. hostage negotiator…
Signed copies are available at One More Page Books.