USA Today Bestselling Author, Daryl Anderson, Selects E.L. Marker™ for Her Third Novel

SALT LAKE CITY UT March 20, 2017

employee of the month

From teacher to registered nurse to mystery writer, Daryl Anderson has transitioned from improving lives to saving lives to ending them – but fear not. She will see that justice is done.

After penning USA today bestseller, Murder in Mystic Cove, and Death at China Rose, Anderson faced a mystery of her own: who would publish her third book? “When searching for a publisher, I’d heard a lot of positive comments about WiDo’s editors, and I was also impressed by the support you provide your authors. A successful book is a collaboration, not a solo act.” This made WiDo a likely suspect.

When E.L. Marker’s submissions editor, Joseph Jones, read through Private Investigator Addie Gorsky’s third adventure, taking place in a psychiatric treatment center, he knew he had found a gem. “Anderson’s writing is really impressive,” Jones remarked. “This is just the kind of engaging story E.L. Marker is looking for.” He forwarded Anderson’s manuscript to Karen Gowen, Managing Editor for the WiDo family of publishers, and the plot thickened.

Upon reading Anderson’s work, Gowen accepted it enthusiastically. “This detective story is fast paced with characters that are easy to visualize. She’s an excellent writer.” Anderson accepted the contract, and the publisher mystery was solved.

“I love mystery because it fires on all cylinders,” Anderson explains. “The thrill of the hunt and the moral dimension are equally compelling. Murder changes everything. There’s more than the loss of a single life. Friends and family mourn. The community is threatened by this breakdown in order. This is where the sleuth comes in. Although the dead cannot be restored, it’s the detective’s job to bring order to this chaos.”

The author continues, “To me, the interesting question is how the sleuth completes the task. Does the detective play by the rules, or does she find justice by any means necessary? Will justice become revenge? There’s a lot to the genre!”

Mrs. Anderson dreamed of writing from a young age. Though she has returned to it now, she spent years as a teacher after earning a degree in English at the University of Florida. Seeking another challenge, Anderson next worked with psych patients as a RN. This was when, at the suggestion of her husband, she finally decided to return to her early dream to be an author.

As a lifelong devotee of Christie, Poe, and Chandler, Daryl Anderson found mystery writing was a natural fit, and she never looked back. Daryl lives in Gainesville with her husband and two spoiled dogs. She spends her days—and nights—happily plotting murders in the Sunshine State. When not contemplating homicide, she enjoys gardening, vegetarian cooking, and hiking. Find out more about the author by visiting her website: www.darylanderson.org or her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DarylAnderson.mystery

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April in the City of Light

The Eiffel Tower puts on a show!

WHAT MAKES A CITY GREAT?

I’m not sure what makes a city great, but I know a great city when I meet one. I’ve been fortunate to have visited some of the famed cities of the world: New York, London, Chicago, Dublin and Paris. Each is unique, but all have claimed a place in my heart. I’ve often wondered what it is about these cities that intrigues me so. What are the elements of a truly superior city?

A few years my husband and I visited Paris in April. While he ran the Paris marathon, I ran around Paris. These are some of my stops. Join me and maybe together we can decide what makes Paris great.

The architecture of Paris is justly admired, and none more so than the Eiffel Tower, Paris’s most iconic symbol. Standing tall and proud, it is the brightest beacon in the city of light.

The magnificent and monumental Arc de Triomphe was commissioned in 1807 after Napoleon’s victory at Austerlitz, when the Emperor rode the crest of fortune’s wheel. As I viewed the massive structure, I thought of War and Peace, Ozymandias and the Russian winter that would soon destroy Napoleon’s Grande Armée.

 
 These somber thoughts vanished when I climbed to the top of the Arc and saw the Champs Elysees below, glistening in the twilight like a magic carpet. Somehow, the impossible seems possible in Paris.

Versailles is one of the must-see tourist destinations. I like to look for the human side of history and it was

Doing the Versailles Shuffle in the Hall of Mirrors

difficult to find at that cold palace. (Clothes of gold offer little comfort–give me soft cotton and fleece.) I’m sure having to dance the  “Versailles shuffle” detracted from my enjoyment–the crowds were horrendous–but there was one human connection.

Passing through Marie Antoinette’s bedchamber, I recalled that this was where she and Louis cowered when the crowd of angry peasants arrived from Paris. The mob had marched from Paris carrying pitchforks and sticks and now they demanded their king’s surrender. In those final desperate moments of freedom, Louis and Marie Antoinette clung together.

From that point onward, it was a slow march to Monsieur Guillotine for Louis and his queen.

A recreation of Marie Antoinette’s cell, prior to her appointment with the guillotine

Paris is most alive in its streets and cafes. Unlike my fellow Americans who are protective of their personal space, Parisians happily sit elbow to elbow in crowded cafes.

I’m going to wind up this little tour with a visit to the exquisite basilica of Sacré-Cœur, which stands on a hill in Montmartre.  When I first saw Sacré-Cœur in the early nineties, I wasn’t familiar with its history. At that time I saw a gleaming edifice in white stone that was both elegant and imposing, a product of  La Belle Epoque.

Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris

First a little history: During the final decades of the nineteenth century Paris experienced an explosion of art and literature. Renoir painted, Gide brooded, and Stravinsky wrote music so revolutionary it provoked listeners to riot. Yet this golden age was rooted in blood, which brings me back to Sacré-Cœur.

The Franco-Prussian War was an unmitigated disaster for France. After the surrender of Napoleon III in 1871, a revolutionary uprising called the Paris Commune seized power in Paris. They held on for two brutal months before being obliterated by the regular French army and were buried on a hilltop in Montmartre.

In the humiliating aftermath of defeat, the people of Paris erected a grand basilica where the martyrs lay buried. After all, the Communards were secular and had no love of priests.  So this was a way of doing penance and erasing the past that had caused such pain.

The history of Sacré-Cœur reads like a metaphor, but I’m not sure what it means. I only know that there is something eternal in that white stone and something horrible as well. There are many places like Sacré-Cœur in Paris, places where the past and present collide.

So what makes Paris great?

The answer is everything. Architecture, art, open spaces, history, culture–all conspire to form the city of light. I don’t think I’d want to live in a world without Paris, and even though it may be years before I see her again, I keep her in my heart.

Perhaps Ernest Hemingway said it best:

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

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A Visit with Mr. Dickens

Throughout his all-too-brief life, Charles Dickens was constantly on the move. By any measure, his list of residences is astounding. Perhaps he inherited this restless spirit from his father, who moved from pillar to post, usually one step ahead of … Continue reading

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The Detection Club

As such things go, detective fiction is the new kid on the literary block. Unlike romance, which can trace its roots back to the middle ages, the detective story burst on the scene in 1841 with Edgar Allen Poe’s detective Auguste Dupin.

Several decades later, Sherlock burst on the scene in A Study in Scarlet and the game was really afoot. By the twenties and thirties the so-called Golden Age of Detective Fiction arrived, when the likes of Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers plied their trade. As many of these writers were based in London, it was perhaps inevitable that they formed their own society–the Detection Club.

Like any club worth its salt, there was an elaborate initiation ceremony including a sacred oath:
Do you promise that your detectives shall well and truly detect the crimes presented to them using those wits which it may please you to bestow upon them and not placing reliance on or making use of Divine Revelation, Feminine Intuition, Mumbo Jumbo, Jiggery-Pokery, Coincidence, or Act of God?

The Detection Club, detecting the Sunday Times

Personally, I have no problem with most of the oath, though I confess to enjoying a little jiggery-pokery now and again. In addition to the blood oath, members were also expected to follow ten commandments in writing a mystery.

The rules were set down in stone by Ronald Knox in 1928. Let’s take a look at five of Ronnie’s rules and see how they’ve stood the test of time:

Rule 1: The criminal must be named in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to follow.

I have no problem with the first part as it’s just a question of playing fair with the reader. Also, the interplay between the sleuth and killer is a big part of the fun in any murder mystery. However, I’m no so sure about about that last bit. If Agatha Christie had taken this rule to heart, she’d have never written the classic The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, where–spoiler alert–the killer narrates the tale. In fact, some contemporary reviewers were so upset, they actually called the Grand Dame of Mystery a cheat!

Agatha Christie

Rule 2: There must not be more than one secret room or passage.

I guess Dan Brown didn’t get the memo.

Rule 3: No hitherto undiscovered poisons may be used, nor any appliance which will need a long scientific explanation at the end.

An excellent  rule as the real deal–or poison–is almost always preferable to some made-up concoction. I added “almost” because this was another commandment that Christie broke, most notably with the fictitious hypertensive drug Serenite in A Caribbean Mystery and the equally fake sedative Calmo in The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side.

Rule 4: No accident must ever help the detective, nor must he ever have an unaccountable intuition which proves to be right.

This depends upon how intuition is defined. A gut feeling or sudden insight is valid only when the insight is based on information that the sleuth has gathered.

Rule 5: The detective must not light on any clues which are not instantly produced for the inspection of the reader.

In other words, play fair with your readers, or else you won’t have them for very long! In the opening chapter of Death at China Rose, I slipped in a little fact that virtually identifies the killer. Of course neither my sleuth nor the reader has the context to use that information at that early date–sneaky, but fair.

Before I get to my final verdict, here’s a quick cautionary tale.

When I attended the University of Florida, postmodernism was the big thing. In one of my classes the professor instructed us to write an paper without any rules. Taking him at his word, I wrote a frenetic paper that incorporated everything from Derrida to Moby Dick to Elvis’s phallus. (Trust me, you don’t want to know.)

Elvis, shaking his money maker

Writing the paper was a liberating experience. I jumped from topic to topic in a steam of consciousness that would have done Joyce proud. It was fun and I even got an A!

A year of so after the fact, I was going through some old papers and came across my forgotten masterpiece. A sappy smile on my face, I started reading. Pretty soon, my smile twisted into a grimace. The damn essay made no sense. It was just a bunch of random thoughts tied together with string and spit, signifying nothing. (Sorry, Elvis.)

The fact is that rules exist for a reason. A writer can  break any rule she pleases, but only if it serves a purpose.

In other words: Rules are useful, unless they’re not!
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Death at China Rose Book Trailer

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Thinking about vacationing in the Sunshine State? Why not experience the real Florida at  China Rose Fish Camp? It’s a place steeped in history…and blood.

CARINA_0415_9781426899874_DeathChinaRose (1)Addie Gorsky’s latest adventure is now available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also enjoy Murder at Mystic Cove.

 

CARINA_1213_9781426897665_MurderInMysticCove

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Murder in Mystic Cove wins Book of the Month poll at LASR

BoM 2014 October Murder in Mystic Cove

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Murder in Mystic Cove Cracks Bestseller List!

Murder in Mystic Cove made the USA Today Bestseller list!

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Murder in Mystic Cove Book Trailer

Check out my new book trailer!

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A Good Day

Sunglasses

It’s a red letter day for me—today my debut novel Murder in Mystic Cove is published at last.

It was nearly a year ago to the day when I got the call that every aspiring writer dreams of.

“Hello?” I didn’t bother to sound polite. I’d had a bad day. I had a hell of a headache. I’d realized that the holidays were almost there and I wasn’t ready. And despite being on the no-call list, every telemarketer in India was calling me nonstop. So when the phone rang again I was loaded for bear.

A little hesitation and a female voice asked, “Is this Mary Anderson?”

“Yeah.” Now I was worried. My first name is Mary, but everyone except for cops and bill collectors called me Daryl. Which was this? But then I remembered that I hadn’t broken any laws lately and there were no overdue bills. “What’s this about?” I asked.

“It’s about your novel Murder in Mystic Cove.”

“Novel?” I croaked.

The woman on the phone was Angela James at Carina Press. It seemed that on my manuscript, I’d transposed a couple of numbers in my phone number, which, as luck would have it, belonged to another Mary Anderson. After a confused conversation with my doppelganger, Angela located the correct number elsewhere, and the call was made.

I felt like a dope for the stupid mistake, but I was a happy dope. My novel was going to be published!

When the euphoria wore off, I started worrying. You see, I tend to walk on the dark side of the road—not a bad quality in a mystery writer–and given half a chance, I’ll imagine the worst. So I grew anxious about the editing process. What was that like anyway? And what if I couldn’t deliver the goods? What then?

But for once my fears were unfounded. With the help of my wonderful editor Deb Nemeth and all the people at Carina Press the experience was overwhelmingly positive.

And now when I tell people that I’m a writer, I don’t have to add, “Well, I’m hoping to be published soon.”

I just grin and say that my debut novel Murder in Mystic Cove is now available.

Murder in Mystic Cove

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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