When I wrote Murder at the Rummage Sale, my agent warned: “You have to have a sequel in mind!” I was supposed to write a second domestic cozy, same setting, same characters, different victim. But what came to mind was a memory. When I was a troubled teen visiting England, my uncle gave me a map and let me go sightseeing in London on my own. It was early winter 1968, the war in Vietnam was raging. I did not want to be an American; so I faked an accent, wore an eccentric hat, and called myself Eliza Doolittle. When a man picked me up, I did not know how to break out of character. I ended up drunk in his flat. I just managed to fight off rape. The man must have figured out that I didn’t add up and could land him in trouble. He took me back to my uncle’s office. The kernel for All the Perils of this Night is: what if he hadn’t? What if, like so many others, I had been trafficked? I couldn’t shake that “what if.” So I wrote the standalone sequel, no domestic cozy but what I would call a numinous thriller.
In July, in honor of Mary Magdalen’s feast day, I usually post about Maeve, my Celtic Mary Magdalen. This year Maeve urged me to select an excerpt from the new novel. In the scene below Anne, teenaged Katherine’s mother, is searching for her vanished daughter in London’s red light district. A prostitute agrees to speak with her if Anne will pay for her time. Continue reading “All the Perils of this Night: a preview by Elizabeth Cunningham”