MBA&M PROUDLY WELCOMES….
LORD DANVERS VICTORIAN TRUE-CRIME AUTHOR,DONNA FLETCHER CROW…
MBA&M: Donna, please give our readers some insight into the mind and life of Donna Fletcher Crow?
Donna: Wow, that’s a hard one. How to describe oneself? First, I’d say I’m a very happy person. I’m very aware of my blessings: a wonderful husband of almost 49 years, 4 children and 11 grandchildren and a job I love. Also, I think I’m well organized. I love having a structured day that allows me to go to my computer after breakfast and stay there until 3:00 when we stop for Afternoon Tea— a major tradition in our family— then a cozy evening by the fire watching old black and white movies with my husband. That’s a perfect day. Sometimes it happens.
MBA&M: What was your inspiration behind writing “A Tincture of Murder”?
DONNA: Because Lord Danvers is a Victorian True-Crime series each book has to begin with a true crime so I start by searching history and law books. I was thrilled when I found the case of the William Dove poisonings. It happened at just the right time to carry on from “To Dust You Shall Return” where we left Charles and Antonia the year before and it was set in York— one of my all-time favorite cities.
As to the fictional story I build around the true crime, I knew York was an important center for the work of Oxford Movement priests who chose (rather scandalously) to live and work among the poorest of the poor including fallen women (women who have hurt their knees, in the Monty Python phrase).
And then, just for good measure I found another horrific true crime that’s far more bizarre than anything in Dickens. So I had plenty to work with in this rather short novel.
MBA&M: How much research is involved in writing a Victorian True-Crime mystery? And where do you go to find your information?
DONNA: A lot. Fortunately, I love research. I have several books on Victorian crime, and then, of course there’s always the internet. Once I’ve identified the case I want to work with I start requesting interlibrary loans. Our Boise Public Library is wonderful and very happily borrows dusty tomes and microfilm from all over the country for me.
As to the Victorian period detail I keep files on Victorian life based on years of reading.
MBA&M: Who was your favorite character in “A Tincture of Murder”? Why?
DONNA: That’s interesting because when I began this series Charles, Lord Danvers, was my entire focus. Antonia features very little in the first book “A Most Inconvenient Death.” As the series has progressed, however, I find myself being more and more drawn to Antonia and find it easier to write from her viewpoint. Perhaps her becoming a wife and mother rather than a “toast of the town” society leader has led to that.
MBA&M: What were the hardest/and the easiest scenes to write, why?
DONNA: The courtroom scenes were both the hardest and the easiest. They were easiest because I was using actual transcripts of the trial so I didn’t have to make anything up. They were hardest because I had to pare down hours and hours of courtroom drama to a few pages hoping to give enough information for my readers to understand it all and not so much they would become bored. Also, I had to keep the fictional story going, largely through what was happening in my viewpoint character’s mind.
MBA&M: If you could pick any character in one of the “Lord Danvers” series to be, who would it be and why?
DONNA: Oh, I would love to be the Dowager Duchess of Aethelbert— Charles’ Aunt Aelfrida. She is always so absolutely sure she is right about everything, she won’t put up with anything she considers nonsense, she rules all around her by terrorizing everyone and yet her family secretly adores her. She is the handiest character a writer could possibly have because when I want to move the plot ahead all I have to do is have Aunt Aelfrida march in and pronounce on a subject. A perfect deus ex machina.
MBA&M: I understand the “Lord Danvers” series has 3 other stories, do you feel the reader should read the others to better understand the series, in what order or can each be read as a stand alone?
DONNA: Each story is a stand alone as to the settings and murders. The thing that progresses is Charles and Antonia’s relationship. In the first book “A Most Inconvenient Death,” set in a country house in Norfolk, Charles is grieving the death of his fiancé and only realizes at the end that he cares deeply for Antonia. “Grave Matters” is the story of their honeymoon in Scotland. In “To Dust You Shall Return,” set in Canterbury, they are finding their footing as a married couple. I think I give enough, although brief, backstory information that the reader will understand the situation wherever they pick up the series.
MBA&M: Describe 3 words that give the reader a better understanding of this series?
DONNA: Victorian True-Crime Novels.
MBA&M: What is the first book you remember reading?
DONNA: I remember my mother reading “Heidi” and “Bambi” to me. I read The Bobbsey Twins on my own. Since I was an only child living on a farm books were my friends and I dreamed of living in a family like the Bobbseys. That probably influenced the fact that we had 4 children— none of them twins, but now we have twin granddaughters.
MBA&M: Last but not least, please tell readers how and where to contact you and where they can purchase “A Tincture of Murder”?
DONNA: Please visit my website at www.DonnaFletcherCrow.com to see all of my books, pictures of my research trips and a tour of my garden. My blog and contact information are there, too.
“A Tincture of Murder” is available in all ebook formats.
Thank you, Donna for this most fascinating story of Lord Danvers,the Victorian era and a true-crime story!
A TINCTURE OF MURDER
DONNA FLETCHER CROW
A Tincture of Murder
Charles and Antonia are off to York leaving the smoking ruins of Danvers’ ancestral home behind them. They need peace and quiet to recuperate from the near-tragedy. Instead they are thrown into nursing destitute fallen women in one of York’s worst slums. Women who keep dying inexplicably. Is a mad poisoner stalking the streets of York?
A Victorian true-crime mystery with two historical crimes, one which set legal principles still followed in courts of law today and one more bizarre than anything dreamed up by Charles Dickens.
- Publisher: Greenbrier Book Company (November 30, 2012)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00AGIIME2
(Sponsored by the author)
We are offering 1 lucky commenter a PDF copy of “TINCTURE OF MURDER”. Giveaway open internationally and will run from today January 29 until February 6,2013.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!!
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