Monday, January 14, 2013

Welcome To The Monday Night Needlework and Murder Guild

Sometimes things happen in a person's life that make it downright impossible to sit back and do nothing. I'm not that far from seventy now and have been retired from teaching Biology at Pitts Crossing High School for a few years. I am unmarried, which has always been just fine with me, and am an accomplished needleworker. I own a lovely seventeenth-century house which I am proud of, have many friends, am an excellent cook, and consider myself an asset to my community. I think most people would agree with that. I'm a proud and happy member of Miss Serena Pitts' Monday Night Needlework and Murder Guild. I am also a murderer.
Truthfully, I thought being a murderer would be somewhat more thrilling than it has proven to be. Planning and executing the event was interesting enough but, once everything was tidied up, it was just a matter of sitting around and waiting to see what happened next. Nothing much has. Of course, there is a part of me that longs to say, “You know Larry Anderson didn't really move to California to write screenplays for television. He's buried under my cellar floor.” But that really wouldn't be prudent, would it?

Thus begins my newest novella, The Monday Night Needlework and MurderGuild. It is a novella of 30,000 words and is my very first foray into writing a “whydunnit.” It is a genre that I happen to like but had never attempted before. My friend Susan Oleksiw first told me about whydunnits, a variation on the popular whodunnit, in which we know right from the beginning who committed the crime, we just don't know how or why.

One of the earliest, and certainly the most distinguished whydunnit is Dostoyevsky's Crime & Punishment. The objective in a whydunnit is to build a case that the crime is justified and explore the personal and psychological reasoning of the perpetrator. In the case of my new story, I tried to enhance it with some dark humor and some small town charm.

Basically, the story is this: a group of older women are all members of a needlework and book group founded by Miss Serena Pitts in the town of Pitts Crossing, Massachusetts. Every Monday evening the ladies come with their needlework and cookies to spend the evening working together, exchanging gossip, discussing murder mysteries and generally having a lovely time. One of the most enthusiastic members of the group is Miss Cecelia McGill, a retired high school teacher. Cece, as she is known to her friends, is a spinster who loves needlework and loves her friends. So, when an unscrupulous and heartless seducer begins romancing members of the group, wooing them with sweet words then taking them for as much money as he can, Cece is quite upset. When it looks like there's no way to stop him, Cece takes matters into her own hands.

I love these ladies and I love this story form. It is now available for both Kindle and Nook and I look forward to hearing people's reactions.

Thanks for reading.


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