Moonlight Author's Mystic Mysteries

English Inspiration: Mary Stewart & Me

Mary Stewart

As a child I was a voracious reader—and have only slowed lately in order to keep my mind clear for my own murder mysteries (i.e., I can’t multitask). I read everything I could get my hands on—including some that were—in retrospect—inappropriate. Tom Jones and Brideshead Revisited went right over my head. Early favorites were the Oz books, Mary Poppins, and E. Nesbit’s tales of magical adventure. If a book was deemed a “classic” I’d go for it on the assumption that it wouldn’t be a classic if it weren’t good. Except for Dickens, to whom I’ve never cottoned, that rule usually held.

I particularly loved romantic suspense and mysteries, especially British ones—Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, Margery Allingham, and the novels of Mary Stewart (1916-2014). In fact, in my interview for college, I tried to pretend I only read heavy tomes on historical subjects, but somehow the subject of Mary Stewart came up and the professor and I had a marvelous conversation. I learned a lesson about human nature that day. Be honest: everyone else is pretty much in the same boat.

I checked Amazon for a list of Stewart’s books and realized I read all but the last five of her romantic suspense novels plus the Merlin trilogy! From her first, Madam, Will You Talk (1957) to Touch Not the Cat (1976), I devoured them. Mostly set in Europe (Stewart was English), they usually feature an unsuspecting heroine who lands in a puzzling mystery. Along with adventure, you’re assured of a fine romance as well. Some of you may remember the movie The Moonspinners, starring Hayley Mills.

Loch Awe in Scotland

Something else I discovered: Mary Stewart lived on Loch Awe in Scotland—a place I remember fondly. It is a picturesque small loch west of Loch Lomond. The Hotel Ardanaseig—a beautiful 19th century castle—sits on one bank. Its guest quarters are in the Rose Cottage up the lane. We stayed there on the last leg of a trip I took with my family. Imagine my delight to discover that one of Stewart’s mysteries I hadn’t read was entitled Rose

Rose Cottage

Cottage! I finished it yesterday.

 

 

 

Stewart’s books inspired my current approach to writing a story more than any others. Like her, my heroines are feisty, my heroes clever and non-gooey, my settings exotic, and my mysteries cozy.

 

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Destiny––An Audio Mystery

Destiny––An Audio Mystery

 
 
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Find Your Destiny
Find Your Destiny

 

To kick-off our fabulous new podcast page, Moonlight Virtual Mystery, I decided to read one of my short stories in it’s entirety. That’s right, a free audio short story just for you. Before you listen, please note I’m not a professional audio recorder so this is a first for me, but who better to tell a story than the author? I hope you all enjoy listening to Destiny as much as I enjoyed writing this mysterious, spooky tale with an ending you’ll never see coming.

So, sit back with your favorite beverage, put your feet up and relax, while I whisk you away to one fateful night on Spirit Lake.

[ Let me know what you think in the comments below. ]

 

PS…If you love our Moonlight Virtual Mystery page, sign up for our Inner Circle Street Team on this link: https://moonlightandmystery.com/street-team/

so you can stop by any time to see, hear, and feel Moonlight Virtual Mysteries.

Oh, and be sure to tell your friends and check back each week for a new episode.

Hugs, Casi

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