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Why I chose the Golden Age of Mystery Theme for My Seriesby Marilyn LevinsonAs a mystery writer, I’m well aware of the history and development of the mystery novel, and how it has become one of the most popular genres today. I hold the authors of the Golden Age of Mystery in the highest regard. The Golden Age is the period roughly between the World War One and Two. The authors were mainly English and American. One of my purposes in writing the Golden Age of Mystery Book Club Mysteries is to encourage mystery readers to read these authors.After writing Murder a la Christie, the first book in the series, I was surprised to learn that, while many mystery lovers had seen the Agatha Christie mysteries on TV, many hadn’t read the books themselves. In my novel, Lexie and the book club members discuss seven Agatha Christie mysteries. Many take place in a manor house, similar to Lexie’s friend’s home where the first murder in Murder a la Christie takes place. Employing Miss Marple’s knowledge of human nature and Hercule Poirot’s cunning, Lexie reveals the murderer when everyone’s sitting around in a circle as Christie often did. I’m hoping that reading my novel will inspire readers to read the Christie novels, too.Josephine Tey is not nearly as well-known as Agatha Christie, nor is her output as prodigious. Still, her brilliant and original writing style makes her a definite member of the Golden Age of Mystery. Born Elizabeth MacKintosh, not much is known about this author. She wrote plays under the pseudonym of Gordon Daviot. The most successful was Richard of Bordeaux. A young John Gielgud played the starring role.Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is Tey’s hero. In The Daughter of Time, Grant is in a hospital bed recovering from an injury. Bored, he asks a dear friend who is an actress to bring him pictures of people. She obliges, and one of the photos she brings him is a photo of Richard the Third. The king’s demeanor encourages Inspector Grant to prove that this man never murdered his nephews as so many accused him to have done. He does this via actual letters and historical events. While Josephine Tey was not the first person to claim Richard’s innocence, The Daughter of Time certainly popularized this concept.My favorite Tey novel is Brat Farrar, the story of a young man who pretends to be someone who may have been murdered. This book and The Daughter of Time are on the best 100 mysteries list. I’m hoping that those who read Murder the Tey Way will be encouraged to read all of Tey’s novels. They’re all wonderful.
Murder the Tey Way
By Marilyn Levinson
The Golden Age of Mystery Book Club Mysteries, Book 2
Publisher: Marilyn Levinson
Release Date: October 17, 2014
Genre: Mystery/Female Sleuth
Length: 305 Pages
About the book:
Professor Lexie Driscoll is leading a Golden Age of Mystery book club discussion of Josephine Tey’s novels, when her sister arrives in a state of agitation. The sisters aren’t close, and Lexie wonders why Gayle has driven from Utah to Long Island to stay with her. The following morning, Gayle awakens Lexie to say there’s a dead man lying in her backyard. Gayle confesses she’s on the run because she witnessed a murder and the murderer is out to get her. Gayle takes off after begging Lexie not to tell the police she’s been there. This presents a problem because Lexie’s boyfriend, homicide detective Brian Donovan, is initially put in charge of the investigation. The murder victim turns out to be a minor criminal suspected of having burgled several homes in the area. Lexie wonders if her sister killed the man, believing he was sent to kill her.
Lexie and her friend Joy Lincoln, a former FBI agent and now a stay-at-home mom, soon discover that all of the book club members either have secrets or are in situations involving the wrong side of the law. An older couple, Marge and Evan Billings, are at the mercy of the criminals they’ve hired to extricate their young granddaughter from Peru. Tim Draigon has lost his attorney’s license for illegal activities. He and Sadie Lu, a guidance counselor, owe money and have borrowed large sums from money lenders connected to the murdered man. Lexie’s neighbors, the Roberts sisters, are strange birds. Corinne dominates her slow sister, Felicity, and berates Lexie whenever she comes to Felicity’s aid. And who is this Johnny Scarvino Felicity fears? Another club member is murdered, one is knocked unconscious, and old and new secrets impact the lives of the members of the book club. Lexie must find the murderer before more lives are destroyed.
About the Author
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and books for kids.
Her latest mystery, Murder a la Christie, is out with Oak Tree Press. Untreed Reads has brought out new e-editions of her Twin Lakes mysteries: A Murderer Among Us, awarded a Suspense Magazine Best Indie, and Murder in the Air. Uncial Press e-publishes her ghost mystery, Giving Up the Ghost, and her romantic suspense, Dangerous Relations. All of Marilyn’s mysteries take place on Long Island, where she lives.
Her books for young readers include No Boys Allowed; Rufus and Magic Run Amok, which was awarded a Children’s Choice; Getting Back to Normal, & And Don’t Bring Jeremy.
Marilyn loves traveling, reading, knitting, doing Sudoku, and visiting with her granddaughter, Olivia, on FaceTime. She is co-founder and past president of the Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime.
Blog: Makeminemystery the first and third Monday of every month.
The second book in The Golden Age of Mystery Book Club Mystery series, Murder the Tey Way by Marilyn Levinson, showcases the works of author Josephine Tey while Professor Lexie Driscoll once again finds herself solving a series of crimes. A fairly well-developed character, we get to know Lexie’s background a little bit better as we are introduced to her younger sister, and get to watch Lexie interact with the members of her book club. Once again drawing me into her world, Ms. Levinson kept me turning the pages to discover how Lexie would stop the killer before too many lives were claimed.Comfortably settled into her new rental home, Professor Lexie Driscoll eagerly anticipates the upcoming meeting of her book club and their discussion about the works of mystery writer Josephine Tey. Only the evening doesn’t exactly go as planned; a strange man looks in the window of the meeting scaring some of the members and then her younger sister, Gayle, shows up unannounced. Things don’t get any better the next morning when she and her sister discover the body of a dead man in her back yard and her sister takes off leaving Lexie with more questions than she wants to answer.Ms. Levinson does a good job introducing new readers to Lexie and the members of her book club from the very start of this book. As the story develops, and Lexie is forced to question her sister’s sudden arrival and then sudden departure, we learn that Gayle is wanted by the police in Utah for a possible connection to her boyfriend’s murder. While Lexie believes her sister is not capable of murder – she does have to acknowledge that her sister is definitely hiding something. Discovering that almost everyone in her book club had some sort of connection to the dead man in her back yard, also makes her question how well she knows the people she considers her friends. Especially when another crime is committed and the victim is one of her book club members!The secondary characters are all well developed and Ms. Levinson did a good job providing them all with secrets which made them interesting and possible suspects for Lexie to investigate. I especially liked how Ms. Levinson incorporated the books the “mystery book club” was reading into the plot. Never having read anything by Josephine Tey, I’m now intrigued and plan to look them up. The mysteries themselves (there is more than one) are well written and there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing as to who committed what crime and why. There is also a little bit of a development in Lexie’s romance life as her “sort of boyfriend” Al is out of town and she begins to see the detective (Brian) she met in the previous book.Will Lexie figure out who killed the man in her back yard and why they did it? Will Lexie’s sister Gayle end up going back to Utah to face possible murder charges? And will the members of Lexie’s book club still want her to lead them once they discover she considered them all possible suspects? You’ll have to read Murder the Tey Way to find out. I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in this series.My Rating: 4 out of 5 Crowns