NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

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Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Mousetrap--a night to die for!


April was a busy month. First, my second novel Death at China Rose was published.  I barely had time to catch my breath, before my husband and I were off to Europe. Our first stop was Paris, where Steve ran the Paris Marathon while I somehow managed to keep busy drinking Bordeaux and sampling French cheeses. 
After a week or so of la bonne vie, we took the Chunnel train to London. I switched from French wine to English beer and got ready for The Mousetrap.

As every true mystery fan knows, Agatha Christie's The Mousetrap holds the record for longest running play in the world, on stage since 1952, which adds up to over 25,000 performances. Seeing a production of The Mousetrap is on a lot of bucket lists, but it's never been on mine. This is mainly because I don't have a bucket list--I've never bought into the concept of delayed gratification--but also because I wasn't sure the play was still fresh enough to entertain. 

I mean, after 63 years everything gets a little creaky. 

But when our brief overlay in London coincided with a Saturday night performance of The Mousetrap, I knew I had to be there. 

Built in 1901, the cozy St. Martin's Theater is the perfect venue for a classic murder mystery. The interior is somehow both intimate and elegant, an Edwardian feast of burnished woods and heavy burgundy curtains flecked with gold. I overheard a woman complaining about the tight seating, but that is the price of communing with the past--a small price, in my view.

But as they say, the play's the thing, and in this classic who-done-it, Dame Agatha didn't disappoint.

Writing a mystery is a bit like juggling, only instead of balls, you're juggling suspects. The writer strives to keep as many suspects in play as possible so that the reader--or viewer--is never quite sure who the killer is, until the last possible moment. But as the plot grows in complexity, it becomes more and more difficult to keep everything moving--inevitably balls are dropped or discarded as the suspect pool shrinks.

The Mousetrap is a closed mystery. Because of a severe winter storm, the seven characters--along with the intrepid Detective Sergeant Trotter--are marooned at a guesthouse. One of them is a murderer, but which one?

Until the play's closing moments, any one of the suspects could have been the killer--that's the equivalent of juggling seven balls over two hours.

Believe me, that's a lot of balls! As a mystery writer, I can only stand back in awe.

So maybe The Mousetrap is old-school. And maybe it creaks with the conventions of an earlier time. But all the elements that made Agatha Christie great are in this play.

So take my advice, and put it on your bucket list.

Or even better, just hop the next plane to London.

Visit Daryl at her website and blogspot.

In this swamp of double-dealing, almost everyone has an agenda.

When Harry Pitts—owner of the rundown China Rose Fish Camp—is beaten to death in his home, the bloody scene suggests a frenzied, random act of violence. But PI Addie Gorsky believes the crime is connected to another case—the disappearance of Harry's daughter eleven years ago.

All murders begin in the past, but Addie soon realizes that this case is rooted in old Florida, back in the time of wily pirates and proud conquistadors, and the trove of treasure that legend claims is buried in this backwater.

Addie dives headfirst into the wild heart of China Rose, surrounded by grinning gators, killer bees and gaping cottonmouths. But these predators pale in comparison to the cunning two-legged killer Addie is hunting…and who soon begins hunting her.
Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Carina Press.

Guarding the manicured wilds of an exclusive retirement community might seem like exile to a homicide cop. But Addie Gorsky moved to Florida to live with her ailing father, not to chase criminals. In fact, her new job as head of Mystic Cove security is a nice break from all the big-city bloodshed.

But when the community's most despised resident is found dead in his tricked-out golf cart, Addie's ready for action. The local cops focus on the obvious suspect—the unhappy wife—but Addie knows there's more to the story. When the sheriff asks for assistance, she can't resist. Only the deeper she digs, the more questions she turns up.

Surrounded by secretive, tight-lipped residents, Addie soon finds herself hip-deep in a mystery as tangled as cypress roots—and directly in the sights of a cool, clever killer who has no compunction about killing again…

Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Carina Press.

6 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

Oh, how very cool! Attending such a monumental play in such a classic setting sounds fabulous. I've been to Europe a few times, but never Paris or London - definitely on my bucket list! :)

Marcelle Dubé said...

What fun, Daryl! I envy you seeing Mousetrap in London. Great way to experience it. And both your books sound fascinating!

Rita said...

Wow! I'm tellin ya'll we need to take a group road trip. All in the name of research of course.

Cathy Perkins said...

Rita has the right idea - road trip!

What a wonderful description of the theater, play and mysteries in general.

Shirley Wells said...

Wow, great fun, Daryl!

I love Rita's idea. We should all have a road trip and share these great experiences. :)

Sandy Parks said...

So glad you had the "real" experience. My high school class did the Mouse Trap as our Senior play (I worked behind the scenes). So in college when I studied for a while in London (1970s) and I went to see it. What fun it was then. Can't believe it is still running.

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