Murder Most Persuasive Blog Tour with Author Tracy Kiely

Murder Most Persuasive: A Mystery, by Tracy Kiely (2011)Please join us today in welcoming author Tracy Kiely on her blog tour in celebration of the release of Murder Most Persuasive: A Mystery, a new Persuasion-inspired mystery novel published today by Minotaur Books.

Murder, Jane Austen, and Me  

I’ve wanted to be a writer ever since I was little. That’s not to say that I was one of those child prodigies who effortlessly create witty/insightful/touching tomes at a tender age, and land on the couch with Ophra. Far from it. In fact, here’s a little sample of one of my earliest works that proves my point quite nicely. It was my first (and, thankfully, only) attempt at poetry. Ready? Here goes:

The rain comes down

Upon the ground

Will it ever stop?

I’ll get the mop.

See, what I mean? But, despite my rather shaky start, I still loved the idea of being a writer. As the years went by, I narrowed that down to being a mystery writer. Growing up, I spent a great deal of time reading Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, and watching Alfred Hitchcock movies. I loved the twisty, deviously clever plots of Christie, the sublime wit of Austen, and the “average man caught in extraordinary circumstances” themes of Hitchcock.

Anyway, when I began to think of writing my own mystery, I realized it would have to include those elements. As I struggled to come up with something in the way of a viable storyline, the characters of Pride and Prejudice kept swirling around in my head. It dawned on me that while there is no murder in Pride and Prejudice, there are plenty of characters who certainly inspire murderous thoughts. I began to wonder, what, if after years of living with unbearably rude and condescending behavior, old Mrs. Jenkins up and strangled Lady Catherine? Or, if one day Charlotte snapped and poisoned Mr. Collins’ toast and jam? I realized that most likely no one would be surprised had Jane written these plot twists into follow-up versions of her books as these characters were exactly the sort of odious creatures that would be bumped of in a mystery novel.

But, I didn’t want to write a period piece, and I definitely didn’t want to take over existing characters and try and make them my own. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading other authors who do exactly that. It’s just as Dirty Harry once said in one of his movies, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”  I know mine, and recreating Elizabeth and Darcy is not one of then.  So, I instead I tried to figure out a way to work in the themes and personality clashes of Pride and Prejudice into a modern-day mystery.

Then one day I was watching the news and – lo and behold – there was a story about a woman on the eastern shore who killed her husband at a B&B after they attended a Host-A-Murder Dinner.  I had my murder plot!

Next, I created my main character, Elizabeth Parker. She’s a young single woman in her late twenties. She’s in a dead-end job, has an older (married) sister who routinely reminds her that her chances of ever getting married are fading with each passing year, and (in the first book, Murder at Longbourn) is beginning to think that Mr. Darcy is just a fictional character.

The second book in the series, Murder on the Bride’s Side, parallels aspects of Sense and Sensibility, just as the first one did with Pride and Prejudice. My latest, Murder Most Persuasive, however, picks up on the themes of my second favorite Austen book, Persuasion.

In Murder Most Persuasive, Elizabeth’s great-uncle has just died and the family’s house in the picturesque Maryland town of St. Michaels is sold. When the new owners dig up the pool, they find the body of the man thought to have run off eight years earlier after embezzling over a million dollars from the family business. This grisly discovery not only unearths old questions about what really happened to the stolen money, but it brings Detective Joe Muldoon back into the family’s lives. Eight years earlier, Elizabeth’s cousin Ann reluctantly broke off her relationship with Joe due to family pressure. Ann always regretted that decision and now fears that it is too late for her and Joe–especially after she becomes the main suspect.

As with all the books, I had a lot of fun writing this one. I really get a kick putting in the little winks for the Janeite readers – I suppose it’s a kind of literary Easter egg hunt. And say what you like, it’s waaaaaay better than my poetry!

Author Tracy Kiely (2011)Author Bio:

Tracy Kiely graduated from Trinity College in 1990 with a degree in English. This accomplishment, however, merely seemed to prompt most job interviewers to ask “how fast can you type?” Her standard answer of “not so fast” usually put an end to further questions.

She was eventually hired by the American Urological Association (AUA), who were kind enough to overlook the whole typing thing, mainly because they knew just what kind of stuff she’d be typing. Beggars can’t be choosers, you know. After several years, Tracy left the AUA taking with her a trove of anecdotal stories that would eventually result in her banishment from polite society.

That’s when she thought writing a novel might be a good idea.

Tracy’s novels combine her love of the classic English country house murder and all things Jane Austen.

Most will be pleased to note that it contains no anecdotal stories of urological conditions.

Visit Tracy at her website Tracy Kiely Mysteries, on Twitter as @Tracy_Kiely, and on Facebook as Tracy Kiely Mysteries.

Grand Giveaway

Enter a chance to win one of three copies of Murder Most Persuasive: A Mystery, by Tracy Kiely by leaving a comment stating what intrigues you most about reading a Jane Austen-inspired mystery, or which character in the original novel Persuasion is your favorite, by midnight PT, Wednesday, September 7th, 2011. Winners to be announced on Thursday, September 8th, 2010. Shipment to US and Canadian addresses only. Good luck!

Murder Most Persuasive: A Mystery, by Tracy Kiely
Minotaur Books, NY (2011)
Hardcover (304) pages
ISBN: 978-0312699413

© 2007 – 2011 Tracy Kiely, Austenprose

31 thoughts on “Murder Most Persuasive Blog Tour with Author Tracy Kiely

  1. I aways like to see what an author does with Jane’s characters in these Austen-inspired novels – the ones we love and the ones we loathe and. I love a good mystery, involving Jane’s character’s or basic plots – well, that’s wonderful. Anne is my favorite of Jane’s characters of any of the novels, Persuasion is my favorite novel.

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  2. I always like to see what an author does with Jane’s characters in these Austen-inspired novels – the ones we love and the ones we loathe. I love a good mystery; involving Jane’s character’s or basic plots – well, that’s wonderful. Anne is my favorite of Jane’s characters of any of the novels, Persuasion is my favorite novel.

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  3. I remember my own days with “only” a Bachelor’s degree trying to get a career going in Washington, D.C. I wish I had been as creative as Tracy! I also love Persuasion and am leading a discussion of it in December with my book group, so perhaps I’ll recommend this book as a follow-up! I also remember the first time I went to St. Michael’s in the early 1980s and fell in love with the place. Clearly, Tracy has found a winning combinatino for her non-urological skills!

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  4. I love this type of mystery. Obviously I have missed some of these. So now I am on the hunt to find the first one to start on this new adventure. I am so happy when I find a “new” author and I love the search for the books. Maybe that should be part of a mystery novel?

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  5. Thanks for the guest post and giveaway! I always think it’s interesting to see what modern authors do with classic stories. I’ve enjoyed Stephanie Barron’s Jane Austen mysteries, and this series looks good, too.

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  6. I love Captain Wentworth and the letter he writes towards the end of the story. I even have a tote bag with the letter in it.

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  7. oh Tracy, so excited about this newest – it’s already on my library request list as it’s on order! “) yesterday i picked up ‘Murder on the Bride’s Side’ and b/c it parallels aspects of Sense and Sensibility, it’s part of the S&S reading challenge here at Austenprose – yay!
    i’m a mystery fan so combining that with JA characters – seeing them in new and challenging situations – is what intrigues me . and LOVING Persuasion, with your new book’s base, it will be spot on for a perfect read!
    from an ANNE & FW fan…

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  8. Sounds marvelous — being a huge Persuasion fangirl this totally tickles me! I’m going to have to get this one! Also, Tracy’s author bio cracks me up — I love her sense of humor.

    Thank you for the giveaway! Wentworth is my favorite character from Persuasion (yum!) and I can most definitely see a modern-day incarnation of him being a detective.

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  9. I love reading Jane Austenesque mysteries because it is always interesting see how others delve into Austen and sprinkle her into a new story.
    My favorite character in Persuasion is Anne Elliot. She has such an overbearing family and is surrounded by those who give them too much leeway, but she finally breaks away from them.

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  10. Ooooh – I love this kind of thing. I’m the only nerd in my group who thinks that a Murder Mystery Weekend would be fun (OR a perfect place to murder that certain someone, hahahaha). Can’t wait to read this book!

    Julie

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  11. I am about halfway through Murder on the Bride’s Side as of today and am very much looking forward to this latest entry in the series! Since Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel, it will be a lot of fun to find the parallels to it in Murder Most Persuasive. I hope it’s a big success for you, Tracy!

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  12. My favorite character in Persuasion is not a main character but rather Sophia Croft. She is honest and strong-willed and serves as an example of someone who married for love and not money. Can’t wait to read the giveaway!

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  13. I read the 1st book she wrote and then got distracted and missed the next one. Now I’ll have to get both books. I love the connections to Austen in the books.

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  14. I don’t think I can choose a favorite character in Persuasion; there are just too many. Anne, for being who she is despite her surroundings; Captain Benwick, for the poetry of his soul; Captain Harville, for staunch steadfastness; Wentworth, for the letter, and Mary, who makes me laugh though she doesn’t mean to. It’s such a wonderful collection of characters.

    I enjoy the “literary Easter egg hunt” in Tracy’s books. ;-)

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  15. Tracy, your books sound so delightful! I swear books are going to be the death of my pocketbook! ;) I am adding them to my Amazon wish list and my TBR list. Lucky for Faith Hope and Cherrytea her library is carrying them. I think I might suggest to my library to pick them up! Anyway, I love JA and I love mysteries, so what could be better?!

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  16. I have to admit I have never read one of Tracy’s books but her bio makes me want to read it. I get the feeling that the books will be a good mystery from the description but her bio makes me think that there is going to be some good humor as well. I will have to pick up the first two and read them as well.

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  17. I love to read mysteries and I love Jane Austen…seems like a perfect combination to me! I have really enjoyed Tracy’s other two Jane Austen inspired mysteries! I am really excited to read this one!=)

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  18. I received an email this morning from Barnes & Noble saying: “We want to give you an update about the pre-ordered item(s) listed below. Unfortunately, we just got word that the release date for this item(s) has been changed.” Interesting. If the release date has changed, why is it available for downloading? I called BN and spoke to someone with such poor English he didn’t know the difference between “release date” and “not available at warehouse.”

    The item they listed was Tracy’s latest book “Murder Most Persuasive.”

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  19. Hi Missy, I am sorry that the release date has been moved back. I was unaware of this. The author may be unaware of it also, so please be patient with your pre-order. I will try to get an answer on an updated release date for you.

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    • Oops. Laurel Ann, I forgot you work for BN! My apologies! I certainly don’t expect you to do anything!

      I was simply posting as an FYI (but since I have a sinus headache I probably shouldn’t have) and don’t mean to be snippy. Since it is available as a download from both BN and Amazon, I don’t think the release date has changed, I think something else happened and I’ll just have to wait and see.

      Thanks for the kind offer, but again, I don’t expect you to do anything. ;-)

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      • BN.com just sent me another email. No reference to that “changed release date,” but they are shipping my order. I feel a little EMMA: “I always deserve the best treatment because I never put up with any other.”

        Laurel Ann, you can delete all this if you want. I wonder if other people got the same emails from BN.com.

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      • Absolutely no problem Missy. I am sorry that the phone staff was not up to snuff, but I am glad that all seems to be in order and you will receive your copy of Murder Most Persuasion. I hope you enjoy it!

        Cheers, Laurel Ann

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  20. What I love most about Tracy’s mysteries (and other “inspired by Jane” books) is that they are not simply retellings. You can see Austen’s influence in many of the characters but they are fresh rather than predictable.
    I’m especially looking forward to the next one, because Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen novel. I love Anne’s quiet strength, and Captain Wentworth’s letter is one of the most romantic moments in literature.

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  21. Anne’s my favorite character in Persuasion. I find her pretty admirable, with how she’s observed and learned so much to get to the point where she feels secure in her beliefs and in who she is, and not too vulnerable to the, well, persuasion of others. :)

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  22. Pingback: Giveaway Winners Announced for Murder Most Persuasive « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog

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