Perseverance Press 

How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries
is the 2009 Agatha winner for best nonfiction book!


How To Write Killer Historical Mysteries is the only book on how to write historical mystery fiction, and it combines the knowledge, experience, and advice of a veteran writer of the genre, and that of over forty published authors, plus various editors, booksellers, reviewers, and fans.

P.D. James said [of C. J. Sansom’s Dissolution]: “The historical detective story must be one of the most difficult novels in the genre to write, requiring as it does a detailed and scholarlyknowledge of the period, the ability to bring it alive for the modern reader, and the talent to provide a credible and exciting plot and a solution which is intellectually satisfying.” But how is this daunting task to be accomplished by the writer new to the field? Kathy Lynn Emerson shows how she and her colleagues bring history to life, rather than merely writing contemporary mystery in costume. Her voice is warm and friendly and her tips are practical; this is no dry, dusty tome. No author of historical fiction--whether established, newly published, or wanna-be--should consider writing another word without reading this book first. And readers and fans of this increasingly popular genre will be fascinated at learning the nuts-and-bolts/behind-the-scenes tricks of their favorite series, from Falco’s Rome to Maisie Dobbs’s London.

This book embodies its subtitle: “The Art & Adventure of Sleuthing Through the Past.” Veteran author Emerson published her first mystery twenty-three years ago, and this is her thirty-sixth published book. It draws on her experience in researching, writing, selling, and sustaining both her Lady Appleton series (Elizabethan England) and her Diana Spaulding series (1880s U.S.). This unique reference book also includes the contributions of more than forty other historical mystery writers. Their books’ backgrounds and settings are as diverse as Ancient Egypt and Rome, antebellum New Orleans, early Constantinople, Jazz Age England and Australia, Depression-era California, turn-of-the-century New York, Victorian England, and eighteenth-century Venice.

How To Write Killer Historical Mysteries is ideal for library purchase, with its useful appendices: a selected list of historical mysteries, a bibliography, and an index.

Kathy Lynn Emerson is the author of fourteen historical mysteries in two series; plus a collection of historical mystery short stories, three novels of historical romantic suspense, and three contemporary mysteries. She has also written assorted nonfiction, romance, and children’s fiction. Emerson has taught college-level creative writing and frequently conducts workshops on “painless research” and other writing-related topics. She lives in Maine.

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How To Write Killer Historical Mysteries
Kathy Lynn Emerson
ISBN 978-880284-92-6
224 pages, trade paperback original, $14.95

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