It’s release week for Murder Through the English Post, Jessie’s sixth Beryl and Edwina Mystery, and Hallowed Out, Barb’s re-released Maine Clambake novella. Congrats, ladies! Both books sound so fun. Here are the blurbs – then I have a question for you all!
Murder Through the English Post:
When a rash of poisoned pen letters envelops their sleepy English village, Beryl and Edwina, the delightfully mismatched friends and sleuths-of-a-certain-age, step up to stamp out the evil-minded epistles in Jessica Ellicott’s sixth historical mystery set in the wake of WWI.
What began for two dear if very different friends—an American adventuress and a prim and proper Brit—as a creative response to the lean times following the Great War has evolved into a respectable private enquiry business. So much so that Constable Gibbs calls upon Beryl and Edwina to solve a curious campaign of character assassination.
A series of anonymous accusations sent via post have set friend against friend and neighbor against neighbor. In her new position as magistrate, Edwina has already had to settle one dispute that led to fisticuffs. Even Beryl has received a poison pen letter, and while she finds its message preposterous and laughable, others are taking the missives to heart. Their headstrong housekeeper Beddoes is ready to resign and one villager has attempted to take her own life.
The disruption of the peace goes far beyond malicious mischief when another villager is murdered. Now it’s up to the intrepid sleuths to read between the lines and narrow down the suspects to identify the lethal letter writer and ensure that justice is delivered. . .
With its history of hauntings and ghost sightings, Busman’s Harbor is the perfect setting for Halloween festivities. Despite her busy schedule, Julia agrees to help out with a haunted house tour to protect her mother from overwhelming herself. But when a reenactment of a Prohibition-era gangster’s murder ends with a literal bang and a dead actor from New Jersey, Julia Snowden must identify a killer before she ends up sleeping with the fishes. (Note: Hallowed Out is a re-release, as a standalone ebook, of the novella that appears in the book Haunted House Murder, along with novellas by Leslie Meier and Lee Hollis in hardcover, mass market paperback, ebook, and audiobook formats. So if you already own Haunted House Murder, don’t buy Hallowed Out.)
To celebrate, I’d love to ask you all about poisoned pen letters – I’m fascinated! Any of you Wickeds ever get one (aside from social media, of course…)? The mean girl in the seventh grade? A nasty neighbor?
Edith/Maddie: So many congratulations to Jessie and Barb! I don’t think I’ve ever gotten a nasty anonymous note. There was a mean girl when I was an early teen who seemed to have a vendetta against me for reasons I still don’t know, but she would say her thinly veiled barbs to my face. Nothing hidden about it.
Julie: Congratulations Barb and Jessie! I don’t think I’ve even received a poisoned pen letter, though I have a tendency to block these things out. I’ll ask my sister if she remembers one. I did break a few chain letters, but that’s a different sort of energy.
Sherry: I’m so happy for both of you and more great books for us to read! Oh, Julie breaking chain letters — it seemed like such a horrible thing to do! But I did it. When I was in eighth grade I got a valentine (with postage due) that was supposedly from my boyfriend. It was from some mean boys who thought they were hilarious.
Jessie: Thanks, everyone! Edith, what a sad thing! And Sherry, that vinegar valentine sounds so spiteful! So far, I have been very fortunate in most of my communications, attributed or not. I hope my luck holds and the drama stays on the page!
Barb: Thanks, everyone. Jessie, I love the idea of poison pen letters. I recently re-read Agatha Christie’s The Moving Finger. (I can’t even remember why I re-read it.) The idea of these anonymous letters in a small community is so creepy. I can’t remember if I’ve ever received one. Somehow the question has started a niggling memory, but I can’t put my finger on it. Of course now everything is anonymous–and right out in the open.
Readers, how about you? Anyone ever get a poisoned pen? Tell us in the comments!