Death Rang The Bell
by Carol Pouliot
October 1-31, 2021 Book Tour
21st-century journalist Olivia Watson thinks traveling back in time to 1934 to attend a Halloween party with her friend Detective Steven Blackwell will be a lot of fun. And it is…until she witnesses the head of the Shipley Five-and-Dime empire murdered, and fears the killer saw her face.
The smart move is to return to the safety of the present, but Olivia possesses a secret and is about to defy the unwritten rules of time-travel. She convinces Steven to let her stay in his time and help unravel the motives behind the murder, even if it means risking her own life to save another.
When Steven delves into the investigation, he discovers how a bitter relationship, a chance encounter, and a fateful decision converged to set the stage for murder. In a maze full of unreliable clues and misdirection, dark secrets refuse to stay buried and forgotten ghosts won’t fade away. Steven is reminded that old sins cast long shadows.
Can Steven catch the killer before time runs out for Olivia?
Praise for Death Rang the Bell:
“This highly inventive series serves up a real treat–a perfect combination of mystery, time travel, and romance.”
~~ Deborah Crombie, New York Times Bestselling author of the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James novels
“Pouliot has the period details mastered, adding realism and depth to this wholly satisfying read.”
~~ Marni Graff, author of The Nora Tierney English Mysteries
“With engaging characters, a murder mystery, and a trip back in time, Carol Pouliot’s Death Rang the Bell will keep you turning the pages all night!”
~~ Nancy Allen, New York Times Bestselling Author
“A Halloween setting, a house where time folds back on itself, and a crime with deep roots in the past make Carol Pouliot’s Death Rang the Bell a joy for fans of crisp writing and twisty, character-driven plots.”
~~ Connie Berry, Agatha-nominated author of the Kate Hamilton Mysteries
“A delightfully immersive story, filled with surprising twists and turns, a touch of romance — plus a heroine you will happily follow as she jumps between decades, Death Rang the Bell is a truly great escape.”
~~ Alison Gaylin, USA Today and international bestselling author
“This intriguing and beautifully written series will draw you in and make you feel right at home in a time period you’ll wish you could visit.”
~~ Grace Topping, USA Today bestselling author of the Laura Bishop Mystery Series.
Genre: Mystery (Traditional Police Procedural with a Time-Travel Twist)
Published by: Level Best Books
Publication Date: September 21, 2021
Number of Pages: 311
Series: The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries, #3 || Each is a Stand-Alone Mystery
Purchase Links: Amazon | Goodreads
Read an excerpt:
Carol Pouliot holds a BA in French and Spanish and an MA in French. She has taught French, Spanish, German, and English. She owned and operated a translating agency for 20 years. Her work has been published in Victoria magazine.
Carol is the author of The Blackwell and Watson Time-Travel Mysteries, which includes Doorway to Murder (book 1), Threshold of Deceit (book 2), and Death Rang the Bell (book 3).
Carol is passionate about the world and other cultures. She has visited 5 continents thus far and always has her passport and suitcase at the ready.
Q&A with Carol Pouliot
What was the inspiration for this book?
I went to London with one of my friends to celebrate our 65th birthdays. After a fantastic visit in the Churchill War Rooms, I bought a book in the gift shop. As I was paging through, a photograph of someone stopped me cold. That face absolutely spoke to me−I couldn’t look away. In a flash, I knew the person’s background, personality, and motive for murder. I built Death Rang the Bell around that picture.
What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?
I didn’t start writing until after I had retired from teaching. I wish I’d started decades earlier. Because of some orthopedic problems, I can only sit at the computer for an hour at a time. When the ideas are flowing, this can be hard because I want to keep going.
What do you absolutely need while writing?
I wish I were like Agatha Christie who could write anywhere under any conditions. But I’m not. I need my desk to be organized, with all my special inspirational stuff around me. I bought a new L-shaped set-up during the pandemic. It looks like something Dashiell Hammett would have written at and that thrills me. I love it! I also need total quiet.
Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?
I work my writing in and around my exercise routines. Monday, Wednesday, Friday I do an hour of exercises at home then write for my first hour of the day. Tuesday and Thursday, I write an hour then go to the gym, work out in the pool, and swim laps. I try to get at least 3 hours of writing in every day and take the weekends off. If I have a lot of appointments during the week and don’t get enough writing in, I’ll work on the weekend.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
My protagonists Steven, a Depression-era cop, and Olivia, a 21st-century researcher and writer, are equally my favorites. Steven, a dedicated policeman, is open-minded, non-judgmental, and curious about the world. He inherited those qualities from his Bohemian artist mother. He got an appreciation and love of routine and organization from his military father. The combination of these characteristics makes him an excellent detective. Olivia is a free spirit with a thirst for knowledge and intense curiosity about the world. She wants to travel everywhere, see everything, and try everything, While Steven is calculated in his actions and what he says, Olivia often speaks and acts without thinking. They balance each other and have built an amazing friendship. I admire both of them−they’re good people.
Tell us why we should read your book.
Each book in my series is packed with multiple plot lines and twists and turns to keep the reader
interested−and guessing−from the first page to the last. There’s always at least one murder and ensuing investigation, the developing−and challenging−relationship between Steven and Olivia, the time-travel storyline, and histories of all the new characters. Since the crimes happen in 1934, the reader gets a glimpse of what police work was like before DNA testing, GPS, cell phones, and advanced forensics. Like Hercule Poirot, Steven relies on his analytical skills, knowledge of people, and powers of observation to solve the case. Olivia is his partner in crime, although he refuses to let her Google anything on her laptop! The books in my series transport the reader into a magical world where anything seems possible.
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?
Chapter 1 of Doorway to Murder actually happened to me. When I was in my late 20s and living alone in an apartment, I woke up from of a deep sleep in the middle of the night. Before I even opened my eyes, I knew someone was in the apartment. A strange man was standing at my bedroom door. He peered in at me then stood up, shook his head as if confused, and walked through the wall. This happened 4 nights in a row. I was absolutely paralyzed with fear. Years later, I learned that Einstein believed there is no past, present or future, all time happens simultaneously, and time can fold over. When I decided to write mysteries, I took this personal and terrifying experience, reinterpreted it, and used it as the basis of my series. This is how my protagonists Steven and Olivia meet each other: they come face to face when time folds over in house where they live−he in 1934, she in 2014.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
If you haven’t read my books yet, I hope you’ll give them a go. They’re engaging stories that will take you out of your life and away from your troubles for a few hours. I think you’ll fall in love with Steven and Olivia like so many of my readers have. If you’re not a fan of science fiction, neither am I. My books are traditional police procedurals with a time-travel twist and a seemingly impossible relationship. If you’ve read and enjoyed the books, thank you! I’m so glad you did. I hope you’ll tell your friends.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My first teaching job was in the South of France. After returning home, I taught French and Spanish for 34 years, ran an agency that provided translations in over 24 languages, and volunteered with USAID. I’ve traveled to 5 continents but still have a long list of places I want to visit. I’ve always felt at home everywhere in the world. I love experiencing new sights, tastes, and cultures. I always try to learn a few words of the language where I’m going because it enriches the experience so much. Having said that, if I were to time-travel into the past like Olivia, I’d stay in New York and go back to the 1930s to talk with my grandfather when he was a young man.
What’s next that we can look forward to?
I set myself a big challenge for RSVP to Murder, book 4 in the series. I love 1930s English country house murder mysteries. I’m going to write one set in the Adirondack Mountains, which are near my fictional town of Knightsbridge. I plan to use one of the Great Camps as my country estate. You’ll find all the usual 1930s suspects in my cast of intriguing characters. I plan to write it this winter after I finish developing the characters and plotting.
The 5th book, working title Murder at the Stage Door, is a Toulouse-Lautrec mystery. Steven’s mother, a French artist and friend of Toulouse-Lautrec, asks him to travel to Paris to solve the murder of one of Toulouse-Lautrec’s models, a prostitute in whom the Paris police have no interest. Steven and Olivia travel back in time to the Moulin Rouge and Paris of la Belle Epoque.
I have a lot of research in my future!!!
Catch Up With Carol Pouliot:
BookBub – @cpouliot13
Instagram – @carolpouliotmysterywriter
Facebook – @WriterCarolPouliot
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
Don’t Miss Out on This Giveaway:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Carol Pouliot. There will be Four (4) winners for this tour. Two (2) winners will each receive a $15 Amazon.com gift card; Two (2) winners will each receive 1 print edition of Death Rang The Bell by Carol Pouliot (US Only). The giveaway begins on October 1 and ends November 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.