Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Superfluous Women


My new book comes out today, June 9th. Superfluous Women is the 22nd Daisy Dalrymple mystery, my 25th mystery, and my 57th book (not counting four collections of novellas).


The surplus or superfluous women of the title, so labelled by the press, are the excess of women over men in Britain after the First World War. About 700,000 men were killed in the war, and countless others disabled. Young women who had been brought up expecting to dedicate their lives to husband and family had to face the fact that for many this was an unattainable goal. Some of the ways they coped are described in their own words in Virginia Nicholson’s Singled Out, a fascinating book that inspired mine.

One of Daisy’s school friends has set up house with two others in the same situation, in a small town near London. Daisy and her husband, DCI Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, visiting the town, are invited to Sunday lunch. Intrigued by mention of a locked cellar with a missing key, Alec picks the lock and finds a putrefying body.

Alec is not happy to have his weekend off ruined. The local police are not happy to have a Scotland Yard detective as chief witness. Daisy is not happy that her friends star as chief suspects. Clearly something must be done, and Daisy is the one to do it.

Superfluous Women had great reviews in PW, Booklist, Kirkus, and Library Journal. The one I like best, from Library Journal: “The 22nd entry...proves that Dunn just keeps getting better.” Can’t beat that!

So much for June. I was almost more excited in March, when the very first Daisy book, Death at Wentwater Court, was reissued by Minotaur in trade paperback 20 years after first publication. It has brand new art by Bradley Clark, who has done my covers since the 12th in the series, Die Laughing. It’s been out of print in the US for some time (though available elsewhere and in e-book) and it’s great to know they have enough faith in the series to start again from the beginning. The second will follow in March 2016.

And to cap off the first half of this year, in May the trade paperback of my most recent Daisy mystery, Heirs of the Body) (hardcover 2013), came out. It has perhaps my very favourite cover and, of course, a wonderful story!

Carola Dunn is author of the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries, Cornish Mysteries, and multitudinous Regencies.


12 comments :

  1. Congratulations on the release! You've made so many readers happy over the years.

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  2. I do love the covers of your books, Carola. Did your publisher establish that look, or did you?

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    1. After many false starts, Minotaur tried Bradley Clark studios for the 12th in the Daisy series, Die Laughing. We're so happy with his work, he's done them all since, and is about to embark on a new cover for the second, to be reissued next year. Can't wait to see what he comes up with!

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  3. Like Maryann, I am captivated by your covers. They make me want to read the book without even thumbing through the pages or peeking at the back cover. Because I now have some time to read for the pure pleasure of doing so, you, no doubt, have a new fan, Carola.

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  4. Love the cover, and SO love the history behind the women!

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    1. I picked the period because it was such a time of change for women, but I hadn't fully considered this aspect till I read Singled Out.

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  5. May I add that I'm going to be signing all three books and others at
    Mystery Ink in Huntington Beach CA June 14 at 2
    Mysterious Galaxy San Diego June 19 at 7:30
    Seattle Mystery Bookshop June 27 at Noon

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  6. And another addition: Copyright laws wouldn't allow me to use Vera Brittain's poem, Superfluous Women, but you can read it here (she was one of them, but eventually married): http://allpoetry.com/The-Superfluous-Woman PS. how many colons am I allowed to use one after t'other?

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  7. Love your covers, Carola. They remind me of Erte drawings from the same period. You have certainly carved out a niche for yourself. May you have many more Daisy books in the future.

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  8. When will the rest of your books be released on audible?

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The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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