Q: If you woke up one day not wanting to write another crime novel, what would you write instead?
Persuasion…oh, wait, that’s already been written.
One of my favorite relatively recent novels is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I’ve read it twice, a copy sits on the TBR pile, and I admire the late, lamented Mary Ann Shaffer and her still-with-us niece, the children’s author Annie Barrows, almost beyond reckoning. If I were to venture beyond the mystery genre, that’s the direction I’d go in.
Why? It’s set in a fascinating place I liked learning about. It’s set in a massively significant historical period but with such an intimate perspective about that time. It IS a mystery because we don’t know for a very long time what happened to the absent heroine of the story. The story’s in epistolary form – letters – that show us what we need to know about the writers, bit by charming bit. A cast of eccentrics who reveal both their flaws and their goodness as the tale progresses. A tragedy, a thriller, a love story wrapped up as sweetly as a packet of love letters in ribbon. But not treacly, not with much ‘telling’ except in the voices of the cast, who reveal their biases and affections in their distinctive points of view. Honestly, the novel has, for me at least, a thousand virtues.