The latest novel from Heather Redmond’s acclaimed mystery series finds young Charles Dickens suspecting a miser of pushing his partner out a window, but his fiancée Kate Hogarth takes a more charitable view of the old man’s innocence . . .
London, December 1835: Charles and Kate are out with friends and family for a chilly night of caroling and good cheer. But their blood truly runs cold when their singing is interrupted by a body plummeting from an upper window of a house. They soon learn the dead man at their feet, his neck strangely wrapped in chains, is Jacob Harley, the business partner of the resident of the house, an unpleasant codger who owns a counting house, one Emmanuel Screws.
Ever the journalist, Charles dedicates himself to discovering who’s behind the diabolical defenestration. But before he can investigate further, Harley’s corpse is stolen. Following that, Charles is visited in his quarters by what appears to be Harley’s ghost—or is it merely Charles’s overwrought imagination? He continues to suspect Emmanuel, the same penurious penny pincher who denied his father a loan years ago, but Kate insists the old man is too weak to heave a body out a window. Their mutual affection and admiration can accommodate a difference of opinion, but matters are complicated by the unexpected arrival of an infant orphan. Charles must find the child a home while solving a murder, to ensure that the next one in chains is the guilty party . . .
Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Kensington Publishing
Publication Date: September 29th 2020
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 1496717171 (ISBN13: 9781496717177)
Series: A Dickens of a Crime #3 || A Stand Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Goodreads
Heather Redmond is an author of commercial fiction and also writes as Heather Hiestand. First published in mystery, she took a long detour through romance before returning. Though her last British-born ancestor departed London in the 1920s, she is a committed anglophile, Dickens devotee, and lover of all things nineteenth century.
She has lived in Illinois, California, and Texas, and now resides in a small town in Washington State with her husband and son. The author of many novels, novellas, and short stories, she has achieved best-seller status at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Her 2018 Heather Redmond debut, A Tale of Two Murders, was a multi-week Barnes & Noble Hardcover Mystery Bestseller.
Her two current mystery series are “A Dickens of a Crime” and “the Journaling mysteries.” She writes for Kensington and Severn House.
She is the 2020-21 President of the Columbia River Chapter of Sisters in Crime (SinC).
Q&A with Heather Redmond
What inspired you to write this book?
The inspiration for A Christmas Carol Murder is A Christmas Carol, a novella by Charles Dickens, who is also the amateur sleuth in my series. I take inspiration from his life overall, his nonfiction writing for the period of the book, and his later novels and stories.
What was the biggest challenge in writing this book?
I can’t reveal that because it would give away the plot! I’ll give you a hint – it was a certain sort of complex character that I’d never written before. I also wanted to remain true to the comedy, horror, and pathos that are a part of the original Dickens novella. It’s just an amazing piece of creative work.
Give us a glimpse of the research that went into this book.
As I became interested in my family genealogy, my heritage started to show up in the books. In A Christmas Carol Murder, my Mayflower/Jamestown ancient planter heritage is reflected in one of the characters and I bring a bit of America into England. I try to bring a couple of real historical figures to life. This time I picked a couple of American politician/diplomats to make a cameo. I do as much research I can at the street-level, trying to get London as accurate as I can. I’m also a future stalker of Charles Dickens, trying to find out where he was and what he was doing in real life on any given day.
How did you come up with the title?
This one was really obvious. In fact, the first three books had easy titles. Book four in the series, The Pickwick Murders (out next fall), was more of a negotiation as we tried to sort out the key imagery of the title.
Your routine in writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I prefer to write when the house is quiet, and I’m best in the mornings. If I am interrupted too much, I just sort of shut down. The pandemic has been brutal. My kid has been home 24 7 since March and my husband was home for four months. A familiar story for a lot of us right now.
Tell us why we should read your book?
Specifically, A Christmas Carol Murder is chock-full of the holiday feels. I want people to close the book with a smile as much as if they’d just watched “The Muppet’s Christmas Carol” (my favorite movie version of Dickens’s novella.) My series is an unusual historical/cozy hybrid. The stories are full of family, food, and that Scooby gang-type quality. If someone likes historical mystery but wants to avoid the full-on gore that is present in many (though certainly not all) of the genre, my books are a great choice. I think teens could safely read this series as well, especially since the main characters are in their early twenties and some key supporting characters are in their mid teens.
Are you working on your next novel? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I’ve come up with the plot for the fifth Dickens book and I’m refining it. It involves a treasure hunt (yay!), and it’s mostly set just outside London for the first time. Kate is playing a much larger role in books four and five, which I think will make readers happy.
Your novel will be a movie. You would you cast?
I would cast Daniel Radcliffe as Charles Dickens and Elle Fanning as Kate Hogarth. Julie Aga would be served well by one of those super-dramatic Disney Channel redhead actresses. William could be played by Robert Pattinson.
Favorite leisure activities/hobbies?
I’m a keen watercolorist at the moment. I’ve been painting since summer 2018. I tend to have one chief hobby at a time due to limited hours, but if I had time, I’d work on family genealogy more. I read a lot as well.
I’m a popcorn-addict. That’s my go to snack. I try to eat healthy, but often fail. I’m a vegetarian and I like to cook, though maybe not more than every other day. It’s a good thing I like leftovers! I just made a dauntingly large shepherd’s pie which is taking us a while to get through.
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This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Heather Redmond. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (U.S. ONLY). The giveaway begins on November 1, 2020 and runs through January 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.