Published: February 3rd, 2014
Synopsis: In 1881, the air in Chicago is rife with worker discontent, yet business titan Doyle Flanagan is hopeful for the future. He looks forward to a lifetime of peaceful bliss with Cady Delafield and leaving the wretched past behind. But his life is once again thrown into disarray when his office is vandalized and the night watchman viciously murdered. Clues lead to a powerful organized labor movement. Targeted in the press as anti-labor and with a big rally staged next door to his offices, Doyle must uncover the culprits before his wedding plans and his livelihood go up in smoke.
Plagued by memories of four brutal deaths, school director Cady Delafield is determined to drive the recent tragedies from her mind and enjoy being courted. Although his commanding personality threatens to overshadow her, Doyle Flanagan is the most dynamic man she’s ever met. When another tragedy unfolds placing him at the center, she takes action—action that could shatter her future dreams.
The Thrill of the Mystery
Ever since I was a kid, I loved a good mystery. Trixie Beldon, Nancy Drew, the Boxcar Kids, I devoured every one of their books. If the mystery included a ghost, it was all the better. To this day, I still like a good, scary story.
So what is it about a mystery that hooks a person? For me, it’s the Big Question. Who is committing the crime and why? A mystery is a puzzle. When I’m confronted with a puzzle, I want to solve it. I want to understand everything about it.
Mysteries are fraught with danger, the stakes high and the tension great. Yet unlike the suspense genre where the threat is known, be it physical disaster, manmade or known criminal, the mystery reader doesn’t know the culprit until the last clue is played out. We’re strung along, anxious to follow the thread that will take us to the end where all will be revealed.
It’s mentally engaging and fun to watch the sleuth, P.I. or cop piece together the clues that ultimately leads to the apprehension of the criminal. As it’s always a dangerous business, better them than me doing the hazardous work. After countless mysteries, I’m still pleased to read stories where the ending is a great surprise.
So when I crafted A Deadly Truth and A Burning Truth, I wanted to make sure the reader would be left guessing until the very end. I hope I’ve succeeded. In plotting the stories, I worked backwards. The first thing I needed to know was who was the criminal? What did he want so much that he was willing to kill to get it? Naturally, despite the best of plans, his goals are thwarted which resulted in more criminal behavior. I considered this character’s motivation and goals as important as those of the hero and heroine. Like the protagonists who are impacted by the decisions of the criminal, I understood this character, even felt a touch of sympathy for him. But in the end, I’m glad he got caught.
Thanks for inviting me to talk about mysteries.
About the author:
Joyce grew up in Minnesota and attended college and grad school in Chicago. After working in mental health as a clinical social worker, she retired to write full-time. Her first book, Eliza, was published in 2012. A Burning Truth is the second in the Cady Delafield series. When she isn’t writing historical suspense or romance, she loves to travel, winter in Florida, swim, read and walks almost every day. She loves chocolate almost as much as crossword puzzles. She and her husband make their home in rural Minnesota in her very own little house on the prairie.
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