This Week's Author - Mystery author @Tracy_Kiely and her new release MURDER MOST AUSTEN
Tracy Kiely graduated from Trinity College in 1990 with a degree in English. This accomplishment, however, merely seemed to prompt most job interviewers to ask “how fast can you type?” Her standard answer of “not so fast” usually put an end to further questions.
1. What inspired you to write your first book?
Heavy gambling debts. I’ve wanted to be an author every since I was little. Well, at first I wanted to be a cartoonist for The New Yorker, but apparently they require actual drawing talent, so that plan quickly became moot. (The snobs.) Then, for a brief period of time after watching far too many Gene Kelly movies, I entertained a dream of becoming a tap dancer. This was quickly vetoed by my parents, who no doubt did not want to suffer through several painfully loud years of home practice.
And so a writer was born. Growing up, I fell in love with Hitchcock’s movies, Agatha Christie’s mysteries, and Jane Austen’s novels. When I thought about writing my own book, I knew I wanted it to have Hitchcock’s theme of the ordinary man caught up in extraordinary circumstances, Christie’s clever twisty plots, and Austen’s wit. (And, perhaps a spot on Oprah’s reading list. Why shoot low?)
The only thing missing was a plot.
Then one day there was a story of a local B&B that hosted a Valentine’s day Host -a-Murder Weekend. Guests were invited to stay and solve the “murder.” Only after the show, one woman went back to her cabin, drugged her husband, and then set fire to their room. Horrible yes, but I had my plot! Skip ahead a few years, and you have my first book, Murder at Longbourn.
2. Who is your favorite fictional heroine?
Elizabeth Bennet. How can you not love someone who so perfectly tells off the infuriating Lady Catherine in such a spectacular manner? Oh, to be able to think on my feet like Elizabeth!
3. What is your favorite flower?
4. What natural gift would you most like to possess?
The ability to predict lotto numbers. Baring that, the ability to sing without freaking out dogs and small children.
5. Tacos or Sushi?
A dedicated Anglophile and Janeite, Elizabeth Parker is hoping the trip to the annual Jane Austen Festival in Bath will distract her from her lack of a job and her uncertain future with her boyfriend, Peter.
On the plane ride to England, she and Aunt Winnie meet Professor Richard Baines, a self-proclaimed expert on all things Austen. His outlandish claims that within each Austen novel there is a sordid secondary story is second only to his odious theory on the true cause of Austen’s death. When Baines is found stabbed to death in his Mr. Darcy costume during the costume ball, it appears that Baines’s theories have finally pushed one Austen fan too far. But Aunt Winnie’s friend becomes the prime suspect, so Aunt Winnie enlists Elizabeth to find the professor’s real killer. With an ex-wife, a scheming daughter-in-law, and a trophy wife, not to mention a festival’s worth of die-hard Austen fans, there are no shortage of suspects.
This fourth in Tracy Kiely’s charming series is pure delight. If Bath is the number-one Mecca for Jane Austen fans, Murder Most Austen is the perfect read for those who love some laughs and quick wit with their mystery.