Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Make Me Buy Your Book: Mysteries

Make Me Buy Your Book!

Here we are at round two of my monthly challenge for authors to make me buy your book! This month, I’m hankering after historical mysteries. I love ‘em and frankly, can’t get enough.

For these, think of books like the Falco mysteries by Lindsay Davis—which are a total blast to read. They are set in ancient Rome and poor Falco somehow manages to bungle his way through the politics and bullies in one of the oldest cities on earth. I’m also totally addicted to Charles Todd’s books set in post WWI England. They are so atmospheric and richly detailed, you feel as if you are living during that difficult period.

Again, I’m looking mainly for e-books to read on my Kindle. And I welcome both traditionally published authors as well as independents to leave a comment here.

What should you include?

The blurb for your book and a link so we can buy it, of course! I’m serious about that part. I go through all these comments with my Kindle in hand, looking for things to buy. There are a lot of other readers here too who are probably just as desperate to find a good book to curl up with.

If you could also include a bit about what to expect, e.g. is it a cozy-type mystery set in the past, or is it more gritty? Give us the scoop—we’re dying to hear about it and this is your opportunity to spread the word about your terrific novel.

My only restrictions are: no erotica and please don’t include anything offensive or over a PG rating in the comments.


rbooth43 said...

I don't have a book that you could buy, but I just wanted to say that I enjoyed meeting you at Northgate Books, and am looking forward to reading your books!
Thanks for an amazing Day!

Amy said...

I'm posting this for larry Karp--it sounded fascinating to me and I hope it will interest other readers, as well.

The three historical mysteries in my ragtime-based trilogy are THE RAGTIME KID (2006), THE KING OF RAGTIME (2008), and THE RAGTIME FOOL (2010), all published by Poisoned Pen Press. KID has been selected by the San Marino, CA "One Book/One City" Committee as its honoree for 2011; the committee stated that aside from enjoying the stories, they were impressed by the vividness of the settings and the manner in which history, particularly that of the ragtime pioneers such as Scott Joplin, was brought through and made alive. There will be ragtime-related programs and concerts in San Marino throughout February, March, and April, and I'll give the keynote talk on April 28, 7pm, at the Crowell Library in San Marino. More information on the Festival is available at ,, and
Each of the books is set at a critical moment in the history of ragtime music in America, the first in 1899, at the birth of ragtime, the second in 1916, as jazz was replacing ragtime as the country's musical craze, and the third in 1951, as ragtime was being revived. All the books were extensively researched, and I used the history as an architectural framework to explore historically-ambiguous issues through the medium of mystery stories. No history was altered in any way. I used both real and fictional people as characters.
In KID and FOOL, a teenaged ragtime pianist plays a critical role, and I've received a good number of communications from teenagers who said they could easily relate to the characters - as well as comments from older readers who went back in time and had a similar reaction.
KID and KING are available as ebooks via Kindle; FOOL will be. All are available in trade paperback.
Larry Karp