I’m a twenty-four-year-old homeschool graduate, the oldest of four siblings, and I live at home with my family and two dogs—a ten-year-old mini Schnoodle and a big, rambunctious German Shepherd puppy. I’m an insatiable reader; I love old books, history, Westerns and mysteries in particular. Besides the Mrs. Meade Mysteries, I’ve published a collection of Western short stories and a couple other pieces of short historical fiction. When I’m not reading or writing I enjoy music, crocheting or embroidering, watching old movies and sports, and spending time outdoors.
What inspired the Mrs. Meade series?
Well, the first story, The Silver Shawl, began as a vague idea for a Western story with a mystery plot. It didn’t quite work that way, so I re-imagined it as a straight historical mystery. There was a supporting character of an older lady in that original idea that I liked, so somewhere along the way of remodeling it I had the idea to make her a more prominent character and the amateur detective of the story. A little later, when I had another mystery idea in a similar vein, I realized I could use her again and make a series of it!
Do you find it challenging to write mysteries?
Yes and no. It’s a lot of fun to try and put together all the different layers of a mystery plot—the suspects, the motives, the clues. The tricky part is that it’s hard to tell whether you’ve disguised the truth cleverly enough that readers will be challenged to figure it out. I already know the solution and the significance of all the clues, so I can’t really put myself in the reader’s place and try to guess how it will look to them.
I haven’t set a number yet. As of right now I have plots sketched out for four more.
Who will enjoy the stories?
Readers who like old-fashioned mysteries, from the 19th and early 20th centuries—I’ve read loads of Christie and Chesterton and Conan Doyle and their contemporaries, and my own mysteries very much follow in their tradition. If you like Christie’s Miss Jane Marple I think you’ll enjoy making the acquaintance of Mrs. Meade. Also readers who like somewhat unusual mystery plots—I’ve endeavored to try out some more original situations, rather than simply the standard murder-mystery (although I do have plans for Mrs. Meade to take on one of those in the future!).
What is your favorite quote from Mrs. Meade?
I’m rather fond of this bit from the second story, The Parting Glass:
“You’ve been thinking again!” accused Andrew Royal rather unnecessarily.
Do you have any final thoughts?Only to say thank you very much for hosting me here, Sarah! I’ve enjoyed it.
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