If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Check out our March author interviews: 3/7--Karen Cantwell, 3/14--Shawn Reilly, 3/21--Annette Dashofy, and 3/28--WWK Blogger Debra Sennefelder (on her debut novel!). Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.

Our March Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 3/3-Heather Weidner, 3/10-Holly Chaille, 3/17-Margaret S. Hamilton, 3/24-Kait Carson, 3/31-Charles Saltzberg.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here: https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Ends-Tai-Randolph-Book-ebook/dp/B079MS67CM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520014972&sr=8-2&keywords=Tina+Whittle

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), will be available on April 3, 2018 at: https://www.amazon.com/Empty-Promises-Seamus-McCree-Book-ebook/dp/B078XJRYDG/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1520089649&sr=8-2&keywords=James+M.+Jackson&dpID=51kcxPsst-L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here: https://mammothpublications.net/writers-m-to-z/rodriguez-linda-dark-sister/

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in August, 2018.

In addition, our prolific KM has had the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," appears in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: A Fifth Course of Chaos.


Saturday, March 17, 2018

The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place

A review by Margaret S. Hamilton

The grave’s a fine and private place/But none, I think, do there embrace.

Andrew Marvell, To His Coy Mistress, 1681

In 2009, when I read Alan Bradley’s first Flavia de Luce book, I realized that Flavia was the fiendishly clever equivalent of my eleven-year-old self: tormented by her sisters (my siblings stole my eyeglasses), free to read without parental censure, with unlimited access to a chemistry lab (I had a chemistry set on an old table in the basement), and allowed to roam the local area on her bike. Reading Flavia’s adventures was a return to my own girlhood. With bodies.

In addition to her chemical pursuits, Flavia has a fascination with death. And in her small English village of Bishop’s Lacey, bodies turn up with depressing regularity. As the series progresses, Flavia morphs into an underage Miss Marple, collaborating with the long-suffering Inspector Hewitt solving local murders.

Most people probably never stop to think about why our burial places are so green. But if they ever did, their faces might turn the very shade of that graveyard grass, for underneath the picturesque moss and lichen, and beneath all those weathered stones, is a slowly simmering chemical stew, bubbling and burbling away in the dark earth as our ancestors and neighbors, with the help of a little chemistry, are returned to their Maker.                                                                 The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place, p.13                                                                

In Bradley’s most recent book, Flavia is twelve, on the cusp of adolescence. While she still assumes the demeanor of a child when it suits her, she has become aware of herself as a persuasive and poised young woman. After the recent death of her father, Dogger, a loyal family servant, takes Flavia and her sisters on a country holiday. Flavia dangles her hand in a peaceful stream and, of course, discovers a corpse. Though she’s in a vacation location and without her trusty bicycle named “Gladys,” she teams up with Dogger as her fellow investigator. They use kitchen chemistry to investigate physical evidence and interview key witnesses.

Because potassium cyanide (KCN) would have been converted by Orlando’s stomach acids to prussic acid (HCN), these tests were simple. We could, of course, have produced the required picric acid with a handful of aspirin tablets in sulfuric acid, but we quickly decided upon an easier method: A couple of grams of sodium bicarbonate and a few drops of picric acid antiseptic, both from the first-aid kit Dogger had brought in from the Rolls, would do the trick nicely.               The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place, p.101

Canadian Alan Bradley retired from his career in television engineering to write fiction. Flavia emerged in a story one day, as she sat on a campstool in a driveway, and refused to leave. Bradley made Flavia the protagonist of his first book. When Bradley won the Debut Dagger Award for The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, he visited England for the first time. He left with a publishing contract for what has turned into a ten-book series. This past week, Bradley announced the sale of television rights for the series to a Canadian producer for CTV.

 Readers, have you read the Flavia de Luce books? Writers, have you written a book or story from a child’s perspective?