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Wednesday 11 November 2020

ℚ♫ A Christmas Carol Murder: A Dickens of a Crime [3] - Heather Redmond

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about her latest release, A Christmas Carol Murder (, Kensington Books, 280 pages), a Historical Mystery, book three in the A Dickens of a Crime series.

Wonderful book - engrossing read from start to finish and you do not want the book to end. [...]Redmond does an excellent job with the setting of Victorian London, describing the characters and daily life extremely well and historically accurate. I highly recommend this book and the entire series." - Amazon Reviewer

A fun and adventurous story that turns the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol into a murder mystery that Dickens himself must solve."
- Amazon Reviewer

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || The Series || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Heather Redmond; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in A Christmas Carol Murder , or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?
"I wrote this book two years ago so I have no idea what I was listening to back then.  I will say that the soundtrack of my marketing era on the book is Taylor Swift’s Folklore album which I’ve listened to on repeat since the day it came out."
Ah, that is a new one for me, so here it is for us to listen to as we carry on with the interview!

What was the inspiration for A Christmas Carol Murder?

"The inspiration for A Christmas Carol Murder is A Christmas Carol, a novella by Charles Dickens, who is also the amateur sleuth in my series.

I take inspiration from his life overall, his nonfiction writing for the period of the book, and his later novels and stories when I’m plotting a book."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"As I became interested in my family genealogy, my heritage started to show up in the books. In A Christmas Carol Murder, my Mayflower/Jamestown heritage is reflected in one of the characters and I bring a bit of America into England.

Though my grandfather was British, his parents were Jewish refugees. Otherwise, my most recent British ancestor I know of was transported to the US in 1774. I don’t think he was likely to have been guilty of the crime and I need to see what is still extant. Maybe I’ll write his story someday.

Given how keen an amateur historian I am, it’s interesting to see I ended up writing a series set during years when I don’t think I had family in London, though my overall DNA has a strong London component. I did have an eighth of my tree in Ireland though, in the 1830s. And there are ancestors I have never been able to uncover, so you never know..."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for A Christmas Carol Murder - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I’m traditionally published so the cover is not up to me, but I adore the cover and the print copy is so striking with the gold and red. I’ve used those colors in my marketing pieces because they are so pretty."
Why should we read A Christmas Carol Murder and the "A Dickens of a Crime" series; what sets it apart from the rest?
"My series is an uncommon historical/cozy hybrid. The stories are full of family, food, and that Scooby gang working together-type quality.

If someone likes historical mystery but wants to avoid the full-on gore that is present in many (though certainly not all) of the genre books, my books are a great choice. I think teens could safely read this series as well, especially since the main characters are in their early twenties and some key supporting characters are in their mid teens."
Can you tell us something quirky about A Christmas Carol Murder, its story and characters?
"I am interested in characters that are special needs (as we would term them today) and what their lives were like in history. I find myself returning to these characters because of my own family and past career. Charles runs across a special needs young man in this book and I wanted to explore that, just like I wanted to put him around Jewish characters in Grave Expectations.

Also, with my long history of writing romance, which often brings a Christ child element into holiday romances, I had to put a baby into the story."
Who would you recommend A Christmas Carol Murder to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend this book to a mystery-loving audience or a history-loving audience. I’m a keen researcher so I’m not afraid of Dickens specialists reading my work.

I think it could be read by ages fourteen and up."
If you could / wished to turn A Christmas Carol Murder and the "A Dickens of a Crime" series into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I would happily see anyone involved with the Harry Potter movies turning my books into movies. The actors are the wrong ages these days, but I can definitely imagine Daniel Radcliffe as Charles Dickens. I can imagine Elle Fanning as Kate Hogarth."
What do you like to write about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"Mysteries were my self-care reads during the twenty-two years I wrote mostly romance. It is fun to write historical mystery and cozy now. It’s like giving myself a treat. I know I’m quite the nineteenth century specialist (and Roaring 20s) so when I have ideas outside of those periods I tell myself I should stick to what I’ve done so much work on because people do enjoy how I can bring these settings to life."
What is your writing process?
"Before the pandemic I wrote during school hours when the house was quiet. As the pandemic began, I wrote for about ninety minutes before waking my kid and starting his school day. Now it’s even tougher because the virtual school is more organized which means I’m getting up early to supervise about seven hours straight of school stuff.

Honestly, I’ve kind of thrown up my hands for now. School is my full-time job until classrooms can safely reopen. I’m just like a lot of women buried under child and/or elder care responsibilities. Life is exhausting right now."
What is in store next?
"Tattooed to Death, my second cozy, will be out January 5th.

The Pickwick Murders, book 4 of A Dickens of a Crime, will be out around Halloween 2021. All the Dickens books have audio editions, and we just sold German language rights!"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"No pets here due to my severe allergies, but I am proud of my improving art skills. I do paint a lot of animals and birds, but I included one of the pieces I did while thinking of this book. A door that the Dickens caroling party might have sung in front of…"
Lovely! Thank you for sharing it with us, and we hope you are having a great tour!

Young Charles Dickens suspects a miser of pushing his partner out a window, but his fiancée Kate Hogarth takes a more charitable view of the old man's innocence . . .

A Christmas Carol Murder
Available NOW!

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Heather Redmond said...

Thanks for interviewing me!

CMash said...

Great interview!!!