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Friday 8 March 2019

✉ On Character and Study - Richard Montanari

Today author takes over our blog with a piece On Character and Study. 
The Buried Girl (, Sphere, 464 pages), a Mystery spanning 150 years, is his latest stand-alone novel.

“Glittering and sharp, an ice pick of a novel. An astounding talent.” ~ AJ Finn, author of The Woman in the Window.

“Taut, propulsive and darkly gripping, Montanari is a master of suspense.” – Chris Ewan

“An ambitious and memorable thriller.” - Booklist

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Guest Post || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

On Character and Study

by Richard Montanari

When I was a younger writer, just about everybody I met was a potential character in my next book — hero, villain, supporting player, keeper of secrets. If newspapers ran want-ads for novelists, somewhere on that bullet list would be the word observant. This much, at least, I bring to the job. I’ve always been a detail person. Especially the telling detail.

The big picture? Not so much. Ask my ex.

In the mid-1990s I observed a man and woman in a trendy café in the French Quarter — early thirties, well dressed, coiffed and jeweled. The man, sitting across from the woman, was clearly pitching her something. Insurance, maybe. There was a short stack of documents on the table between them. His beignet sat untouched.

Every so often, while the woman was talking, the man would lift his water glass to his lips and tilt it back to drink, all the while maintaining eye contact with the woman through the bottom of the glass.

This fellow made a cameo in The Violet Hour.

A few years later I met a homeless woman in Philadelphia as I was leaving Finnigan’s Wake in Northern Liberties. I got some coffee and TastyKake honey buns for us, and we talked until the sun came up. As she told me her story with grand, theatrical flourishes, I could see the young woman inside, the lissome dancer who had once auditioned for the national tour of Dreamgirls. She told me she was now living in her car, and that the church group had made curtains for the car’s back windows so she could change her clothes in privacy. Powder blue gingham, she said. Her mother’s favorite.

She is Carla in The Rosary Girls.

Then there’s the Troyer crew, the Amish carpenters who installed new windows at my house.

Being friends with Detective Josh Bontrager, they also did some work for Kevin Byrne in The Doll Maker.

My new novel, The Buried Girl, is a standalone thriller. At the center of the tale is a small Ohio village called Abbeville, and a story that spans one hundred fifty years. The challenge, and joy, was to write about the same buildings and streets and parks and parlors in 1869 and 2019; the furniture and fashion, the immutability of first love.

On behalf of Chief of Police Ivy Lee Holgrave and the van Laar family, on behalf of Eva Claire Larssen and Willem Schuyler, please consider this an invitation to visit us in Abbeville, Ohio.

If you feast upon the glorious bounty of Zeven Farms, and spend a few nights in a guestroom at Godwin Hall, we think you’ll meet a number of interesting characters here.


Some Secrets Should Stay Hidden

The Buried Girl
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

CMash said...

I have this book in my up next pile so really enjoyed this post!!