My novel, LOYALTY, features female private investigator, Fina Ludlow. The black sheep of a family of ambulance chasing lawyers, Fina works as the family firm’s investigator, a role that fits her to a tee. Fina has no qualms dealing with seedy characters and dangerous situations, but when her sister-in-law goes missing, she has to wade into the murk of family secrets. Uncovering the truth is her primary concern, but as the investigation unfolds, she realizes that there may be a high price to pay before her sleuthing is done.
LOYALTY is set in Boston; I was born in the city and grew up on its North Shore, but it was only when I made the move to the Pacific Northwest that I settled on Boston as the setting for the series. Boston has a storied tradition of fictional P.I.’s including Robert Parker’s Spenser and Dennis Lehane’s Patrick Kenzie. The recipe of old money, ethnic enclaves, history, higher education, technology and the arts lends itself to the intersection of a variety of characters who offer an embarrassment of riches for both writers and readers alike. Seattle is a wonderful city with its glorious landscape, delicious food and book-loving population, but as with any move, it’s taken time for it to feel like home. Writing LOYALTY allowed me to spend my days in Boston—if only in my head—satisfying my craving for “home” while growing to love my adopted city.
Ideally, the setting for a mystery is a character in its own right. Where would Kurt Wallander be without the cold, unforgiving landscape of Sweden or V.I. Warshawski if removed from the gritty streets of Chicago and its windswept lakefront? A good mystery can introduce you to new places or transport you to old favorites, but when it’s a page turner, the only place you want to be is deep within those pages.
The Seattle Mystery Bookshop is surely one of the treasures of Seattle, and I can’t wait to make a return visit!