“Murder Becomes Mayfair” is hot off the presses!

Few things warm an author’s heart more than seeing the first run of a new novel arrive at one’s doorstep.

The first 200 copies of “Murder Becomes Mayfair” have arrived! Fall colors even, for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.

Pre-order now, at:

https://murderbecomes.com/purchase-print.html

(You can also order there the books that provide the Dalton Lee Mystery backstory).

These copies will likely be gone by the time our launch party takes place on Sunday, September 30. So reserve your copy now. (RSVP to our launch party in Dallas at:

https://murderbecomes.com/rsvp-mayfair-book-launch.html

And here it is — the cover art for “Murder Becomes Mayfair”

Earlier this week, our VIP readers got a first glimpse at the cover for my newest mystery thriller, “Murder Becomes Mayfair.” Now, it’s your turn to see the artwork for the third installment in the “Murder Becomes” series, featuring architect/detective, Dalton Lee. (Preorder here).

I wonder if readers realize how much thought goes into a book cover. This book presented a challenge we’d not faced before.

Should the artwork reflect a well-known architectural icon of London, like Westminster Abbey or Big Ben? Or should it be true to the title and show the beautiful Georgian architecture of Mayfair?

We decided to focus on the neighborhood, believing the shot of these Georgian town homes still evokes London. Putting Big Ben on the cover of a book about Mayfair just seemed wrong to us.

Then came the question of the background color. “Murder Becomes Manhattan” has a rich black cover, while “Murder Becomes Miami” has a cover that is a deep ocean blue. For variety, we went with the color of brick for “Murder Becomes Mayfair,” lightened some so the Georgian buildings beneath would still pop through.

We hope you like the fact the cover is true to the series in its fonts and design, but unique in the color that it projects from the bookshelf. Let us know your thoughts.

Hardbacks of “Murder Becomes Mayfair” go on sale October 1. What nefarious plot has The Organization planned for London? Can Dalton Lee and his team stop it before it’s too late?

 

Learn more about this eerie thriller at murderbecomes.com.

Magical misdirection

Magicians learned a long time ago that the best way to distract you from the legerdemain they are undertaking ‘over there,’ is to create some type of flourish, some sort of eye-catching extravaganza, ‘over here.’  Some claim today’s politicians now use this distraction technique more than magician’s do, making voters forget about some scandal ‘over here’ by focusing on some crisis or impending threat ‘over there.’

In “Murder Becomes Mayfair,” architect/detective Dalton Lee is told by his mysterious confidant that he should beware of distractions as he and his team try to deduce what terrorist plot The Organization has in store for London. And, try to understand why they felt the need to murder a seemingly humble tailor working on Savile Row.

But that mysterious confidant has also been distracted in a way that only becomes apparent near the end of the book. Seems nobody can trust anyone these days.

Fog. Electrical sprites. A haunted carnival ground. And seven identical suitcases showing up unannounced at Heathrow. These and many other mysterious elements will make “Murder Becomes Mayfair” the go-to thriller as we head into the holiday season.

Just don’t let anything distract you from purchasing this eerie mystery once September rolls around.

(Get the background about Dalton Lee and his team here)

Summer mysteries

It seems summer, more than any other season, ushers mystery and intrigue into our lives. Released from the hubbub of our day-to-day responsibilities the rest of the year, we seem to seek out mystery (or invite it to find us,) during the summer months more than any other.

Who is that new person sitting across from us at the pool and why are they behaving so mysteriously? What do the unusual markings we have stumbled on in the woods during our hike represent? What are those lights we see across the lake from our summer cabin late at night? Does the laziness of summer make us notice, or seek out, intrigue all the more?

Or, have we been trained through years of summer escapism at the movies to expect mystery in the summer months? Just look at this list of suspense films that were released just before, or during, the summer:  Dial M for MurderJaws, The Dark Knight, North by Northwest, Jurassic Park, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Psycho. And, perhaps the greatest mystery film of all time, Citizen Kane.

If you are looking for an intriguing getaway this summer, might I recommend the softcover version of “Murder Becomes Manhattan”, just made available. It’s the perfect paperback to peer over as you study that mysterious individual nearby who is hiding behind their designer sunglasses. Meanwhile, know that this summer I will be hard at work putting the finishing touches on “Murder Becomes Miami,” the second installment in the Murder Becomes series.

How fitting that much of the intrigue in that book will be taking place in . . . summer.

With whom will readers most connect?

As Murder Becomes Manhattan nears its debut (less than 24 hours!), I wonder who within the book readers will most connect with.

Will it be Dalton Lee, the dashing but quirky lead detective whose genius is unquestioned but whose personal life is a wreck? Or will it be Bree, who has a nervous breakdown triggered by a street performer?

Perhaps it will be Roberto, whose devotion to his little sister drives him to desperate measures that threatens the security of all of his colleagues.

But then it might be one of the suspects, like the flamboyant and shrill Carolina Campobello or the totally transparent wannabe, Toni Spencer.

Only time will tell. And I am sure the result will be very different from what I might have imagined. You can pre-order Murder Becomes Manhattan now at Amazon.com, Nook.com, Kobo.com and through iTunes.

Novel Concept?

One of the great challenges associated with writing a mystery is how to make it stand out from the 100 gazillion other mysteries out there. I concocted the angle of letting the eBook versions of Murder Becomes Manhattan contain links to pictures, videos and other content that might enhance the reading experience.

Or does it? Most murder mystery readers I have shown the concept to have found it fun and worthwhile. But I do wonder if some will consider those links distractions to the story.

The entire book contains about 40 links. I have tried to scatter them throughout the book, although some of the early chapters have a greater abundance of them than the chapters near the book’s climax. And I tried to focus on including only those links that I felt might be worth exploring. A video of a popular song that causes one of the characters to have a public meltdown. A recipe to the perfect grilled cheese sandwich the primary detective craves.

And of course links to the murder scenes and the apartment lived in by one of the victims.

But what do you think about this — if you will pardon the pun — NOVEL concept. Beneficial? Or an irritation?

Architecture for each book’s location

There’s so much groundbreaking architecture in Manhattan. Who can resist the pull of the Guggenheim Museum, the New York Public Library or Grand Central Station? Yet none of those get coverage in my novel Murder Becomes Manhattan. Why is that, a couple of early readers have asked.

My primary detective in the “Murder Becomes” series, Dalton Lee, is a world-renowned architect with projects across the globe. In each book, his knowledge of architecture will help him solve the murder at hand. So I wanted architecture to play a key role in each book.

The architectural form Manhattan is most renowned for is the skyscraper. That is the city in which it debuted and that is the city in which it has been perfected over time. And in the 2010s, it is the city in which a revolution in skyscraper design is underway.

Since I cannot focus on ALL of the tremendous architecture available in my murder locales, I chose to settle on the subset of architecture most important to each place. In my mind, in Manhattan, that should be the skyscraper, and in my next mystery, Murder Becomes Miami, it should be the Deco architecture that city is known for. But do you agree?