It’s such a pleasure today to welcome author Pam Lecky as my guest here on Being Anne: her latest book, No Stone Unturned, the first of a planned series of Lucy Lawrence mysteries, was published on 28th June, and is available for kindle (free with Kindle Unlimited) and in paperback.
It’s often frustrating to be unable to squeeze another book I really like the look of into my reading list, but particularly so with this one. Pam has been my guest once before, back in May 2017, when she joined me with an excellent post on period detail in historical fiction: I’d also read one of Pam’s short stories, In Three-Quarter Time, and very much enjoyed her writing (you can read the post again here). I never did manage to get round to reading The Bowes Inheritance (sorry, Pam!), but this new series is one I really hope I’ll be able to try at some point in the future.
A suspicious death, stolen gems and an unclaimed reward: who will be the victor in a deadly game of cat and mouse?
London October 1886: Trapped in a troubled marriage, Lucy Lawrence is ripe for an adventure. But when she meets the enigmatic Phineas Stone, over the body of her husband in the mortuary, her world begins to fall apart.
When her late husband’s secrets spill from the grave, and her life is threatened by the leader of London’s most notorious gang, Lucy must find the strength to rise to the challenge. But who can she trust and how is she to stay out of the murderous clutches of London’s most dangerous criminal?
Again, I have a wonderful guest post from Pam today – on historical fiction as the ultimate time machine…
I’m often asked why I write historical fiction but for anyone who knows me the answer is simple. It was inevitable. My father was a ferocious reader and a lover of history; something he passed on to me at any early age. A special gift from him when I was about 12, the complete works of Jane Austen, firmly set my sights on the 19th century. My love of reading grew to encompass many genres and I read my way through classics, historical fiction and crime (both modern and set in the past). But I found myself always returning to the 19th century as I was fascinated by the speed of social and political change, the fashion, architecture and the way people behaved. Frustrated, I wished I could travel back in time to experience it all for myself. I wanted to create worlds and lose myself in them. The only way to achieve this was through my imagination. But in the end, it was another author who inspired me to put pen to paper: a historical mystery with a disappointing ending sparked the mad idea of actually writing my own.
Discovering how much research was required to write a historically accurate novel was wonderful. The first draft is hard work but I do enjoy chasing down research rabbit holes, and I have often found intriguing plot ideas lurking at the bottom of them! For instance, in my new release, No Stone Unturned, I wanted a storyline around stolen jewellery or gems. I’ve always loved sapphires, so I decided to find out where the best ones come from. To my delight, I discovered the story of the famous Kashmiri sapphires, which were found by accident in the 1880s. The area in which they come from is remote, the gems are of the finest quality, and the mine yielded very little. As a result, they are the most rare and expensive sapphires (and the most beautiful) in the world. What a great story, I thought and then wondered what a Victorian villain would do if he got his hands on some …
The idea of writing a series grew as No Stone Unturned developed. How could I resist the chance to explore the Victorian world through my heroine’s eyes? Now, my plan is to locate The Lucy Lawrence Mysteries in different places around the world. The sequel, Footprints in the Sand, is set in Victorian Egypt and was greatly inspired by Amelia Edwards’ A Thousand Miles up the Nile. Edwards’ book is amazing as it reads like a modern rather than a contemporary account. Most other Victorian travel books I had read were dry and dull: hers is full of humour and gave me great insight into how the Victorians acted when abroad. Then when I delved into the history of Victorian Egyptology, I soon became aware of the animosity which existed between the British and French archaeological teams. I knew immediately this was a scenario I could exploit in my new murder mystery, with the added satisfaction of being able to use the glorious setting of ancient Egyptian monuments.
Perhaps someday time travel will be possible. But in the meantime, I can offer a trip in my novel time machine. So don’t be afraid; jump on board and let me take you to a time and place you have never been, safe in the knowledge I’ll have you back in time for you tea!
About the author
Pam Lecky is an Irish historical fiction author, writing crime, mystery, romance and the supernatural. Pam is represented by the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency in London. She is a member of the Historical Novel Society and the Society of Authors and has a particular love of the late Victorian era/early 20th Century.
Her debut novel, The Bowes Inheritance, was awarded the B.R.A.G Medallion; shortlisted for the Carousel Aware Prize 2016; and long-listed for the Historical Novel Society 2016 Indie Award.
Her short stories are available in an anthology, entitled Past Imperfect, which was published in April 2018.
June 2019, sees the release of the first book in the Lucy Lawrence Mystery series, No Stone Unturned, a fast-paced Victorian mystery/crime, set in London and Yorkshire. The sequel, Footprints in the Sand will be released later this year.