|Photo by Andreas Dantz, via Flickr|
The Actress and the Rake. I set strict rules for him. Every time he made himself visible, passed through a wall, or in some way affected the physical world, he lost energy, until in the end he faded away.
He was able to appear to only one other character, his lawyer. His purpose in death--so to speak--was to thwart his granddaughter and his godson, not, as you might expect, by keeping them apart but by throwing them together so that they failed to observe the terms of his will. He was sure they would, and he was determined to be right.
The book being a romance, everything has to end up happily ever after, so in the end he realises the error of his ways. He helps the hero and heroine overcome the wiles of his greedy relatives and, his substance exhausted by the effort, ceases to exist.
magical stories*, retellings of fairytales, set in a Regency world. In each case I tried to make the magic consistent within the story, abiding by its own rules as well as those of the Regency. For instance, the Djinn in “Aladdin’s Lamp” acts according to a sort of Arab version of China, as in the original One Thousand and One Nights. Unless given very precise orders, he gets everything wrong, until he becomes acquainted with the customs of Regency England.
I have never made use of the supernatural in a mystery, and I don’t read woo-woo mysteries. Introducing the inexplicable seems to me to be cheating in a form of fiction that should rely on investigation, deduction, intuition, and understanding of character.
Even the most unreal of invented realities needs to have rules.
*The ghost story and the three regency fairytales all appear in The Magic of Love.
|Carola Dunn is author of the Daisy Dalrymple Mysteries, Cornish Mysteries, and multitudinous Regencies.|