Kaitlyn Dunnett/Kathy Lynn Emerson here, today writing as Kathy. You’d think, after having over sixty books traditionally published in various genres and under various names, that I’d have hit just about every genre there is. But no—my October 6th release from Level Best Books, The Finder of Lost Things, is a first for me in that it’s a standalone historical mystery. And here, for the first time, is a look at the gorgeous cover the folks at Level Best Books have provided for it.
I’ve written historical mystery series in the past, and standalones, but I’ve never before combined the two. That said, I’m back in familiar territory with this one, writing about England in the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth. The Finder of Lost Things is set in the winter of 1590/1 and the protagonist/heroine/sleuth, Blanche Wainfleet, is on a quest.
Blanche and her two older sisters recently learned that their youngest sibling, Alison, died under mysterious circumstances. Since there is reason to suspect foul play, Blanche, whose husband is conveniently traveling on the Continent, takes it upon herself to find out what really happened to Alison. She contrives to have herself committed to the prison in Colchester Castle, where Alison died after being arrested during a raid on a Catholic household. It was illegal, you see, to hear Mass in England in the 1590s, and those who recused themselves from attending services of the Church of England (called recusants) were also heavily fined.
Blanche has excellent powers of observation and she has always had an uncanny ability to find lost objects. When she infiltrates first the prison and then the household where her sister was employed as a gentlewoman’s companion, those traits don’t always work in her favor. Despite her careful planning, aided by her sisters and their husbands, Blanche ends up on her own, forced to live by her wits and call on strengths she didn’t know she had. If she isn’t careful, she’ll find out, first hand, how Alison ended up dead.
I was able to explore some interesting parts of Elizabethan life in The Finder of Lost Things, including various superstitions about witchcraft, possession by demons, and exorcism, and the religious divide that still existed decades after Henry VIII broke with Rome to found the Anglican church.
The Finder of Lost Things will be available for preorder shortly. The release date is October 6 and it will come out in two formats, trade paperback (priced at $16.95) and e-book ($5.99). I don’t have author copies yet, but keep watching this blog for opportunities to win a copy when I do. If you comment on this post, your name will automatically be entered in that future drawing.
With the publication of The Finder of Lost Things, Kathy Lynn Emerson has had sixty-three books traditionally published under several names. She won the Agatha Award and was an Anthony and Macavity finalist for best mystery nonfiction of 2008 for How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries and was an Agatha Award finalist in 2015 in the best mystery short story category. She was the Malice Domestic Guest of Honor in 2014. In addition to writing under her own name, she currently she pens the contemporary “Deadly Edits” series as Kaitlyn Dunnett. She maintains websites at www.KaitlynDunnett.com and www.KathyLynnEmerson.com. A third, at A Who’s Who of Tudor Women, contains over 2000 mini-biographies of sixteenth-century Englishwomen.