A Perfect Manhattan Murder (A Nic & Nigel Mystery)
by Tracy Kiely
A Perfect Manhattan Murder (A Nic & Nigel Mystery) by Tracy Kiely
3rd in Series
Midnight Ink (May 8, 2017)
Paperback: 240 pages
E-Book ASIN: B01LXJQVDI
The play’s the thing, but it’s the star-studded after-party that sends sparks flying
Thrilled that their friend’s Broadway debut was a rousing success, Nic and Nigel Martini, along with Nic’s college pal Harper, are trying to enjoy the exclusive after-party. Unfortunately, all the champagne and repartee in the world aren’t enough to overlook the churlish behavior of Harper’s husband, Dan. Nic is shocked the next morning when she learns that Dan’s been murdered. Nigel thinks the world may be a better place without him.
Still, Harper’s their friend and they’re intent on helping her any way they can. The Martinis will stop at nothing—with the possible exception of cocktails and walks with their bull mastiff Skippy—to see that the killer ends up behind bars.
Oh, Reviews. Tracy Kiely
There is nothing as enjoyable as reading a thoughtful, well-crafted review.
Of someone else’s work.
When it comes of your own work, however, it’s a bit like going to the dentist and being told that you need immediate surgery and that the Novocain has been “iffy” lately. Whenever I read one of my reviews, I find myself holding my breath and skimming to the end to read the final verdict. It’s not unlike in college when I was waiting for a professor to hand back graded papers. I wanted to known my grade, but was also afraid to look.
I’ve had some great reviews and some pretty awful ones. Of course, the first were written by utter geniuses and the later by mentally unstable trolls. Some reviewers seem only interested in pointing out how clever they are by gleefully pointing out any small error. I once received this review; “On page 216, you wrote that ‘the sinking sun’s shadows stretched across the study floor,’ but at that time of the year, the sun would have set twenty minutes earlier.” Now, I could understand if they jumped on me for the alliteration, but by being off some twenty minutes on the time of sunset? And then there are the reviews that are just so angry. I once got a review that was so venomous and toxic that I wondered if I had inadvertently destroyed everything this woman once loved and cherished. And despite the fact that seven plus years have passed since then, it still gives me pause. (And by “pause” I mean, it still makes me want to hit something.) As hard as these reviews are to read, you cannot let them get to you. Whenever there is a level of petty meanness to a review it says more about the reviewer than the item reviewed. And while it can be hard not to respond to them, you must resist that temptation. You will never come out on top if you attack a reviewer. It only ends up as material for more fodder.
The best reviews are the ones that highlight the good as well as the bad. Hearing anything negative about your book is akin to seeing your child being taunted on the playground. However, if it’s a fair and just criticism, take a deep breath and listen. You might just find that it strengthens your future work. And if it’s not fair and just, I find voodoo dolls to be both decorative and therapeutic.
Writing is an industry that demands a thick skin; unfortunately, not many of us are born with them, and writers seem to be especially vulnerable. I think it was this realization that was the genesis for my latest mystery, A Perfect Manhattan Murder. I came across the old movie Please Don’t Eat The Daisies with Doris Day and David Niven (which, if you don’t already know, tells the story of a Broadway reviewer whose popularity increases with the vitriol of his reviews) and thought it would be fun to create a similar kind of character. Except, of course, in my book, the reviewer ends up dead. Here’s the official blurb:
Thrilled that their playwright friend’s Broadway debut was a rousing success, Nic and Nigel are trying to enjoy the A-list after-party with their pal Harper. Unfortunately, all the champagne and repartee in the world aren’t enough to overlook the churlish behavior of Harper’s theater-critic husband, Dan. Nic is shocked the next morning when she learns that Dan’s been murdered. Nigel thinks the world may be a better place without him.
Still, Harper is their friend and they’re intent on helping her any way they can. Invigorated by the thrill of the hunt and fortified by a flood of cocktails, catching the killer becomes the Martinis’ top priority . . . with their behemoth Bullmastiff Skippy along for the ride.
So, yes; while it’s good to develop a thick skin with regard to nasty reviewers, there’s nothing that says you can’t blow off some steam by killing them off in your books!
Tracy Kiely is a self-proclaimed Anglophile (a fact which distresses certain members of her Irish Catholic family). She grew up reading Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and watching Hitchcock movies. She fell in love with Austen’s wit, Christie’s clever plots, and Hitchcock’s recurrent theme of “the average man caught in extraordinary circumstances.”
After spending years of trying to find a proper job that would enable her to use her skills garnered as an English major, she decided to write a book. It would, of course, have to be a mystery; it would have to be funny; and it would have to feature an average person caught up in extraordinary circumstances. She began to wonder how the characters in Pride and Prejudice might fit into a mystery. What, if after years of living with unbearably rude and condescending behavior, old Mrs. Jenkins up and strangled Lady Catherine? What if Charlotte snapped one day and poisoned Mr. Collins’ toast and jam? Skip ahead several years, and several different plot ideas, and you have her first mystery Murder at Longbourn.
While she does not claim to be Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, or Hitchcock (one big reason being that they’re all dead), she has tried to combine the elements of all three in her books.
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