Welcome to Cozy Wednesday! I found out last year Ada Madison was a pseudonym for Camille Minichino and we connected on Facebook very quickly. What did we do before Facebook and the internet? We would never have gotten to know our favorite authors and the only way we were able to tell them we loved their work was to send them a letter through the publisher. I am so happy to be able to send them messages, email them with questions, or just tweet to the world that we love their books. I am so glad I was able to connect with Camille and find out what a truly special woman she is and I am so happy she could take time to visit here today.
I am happy to be here!!
Escape with Camille
The title of the new Dollycas site got me thinking – what does it take for me to escape into a good book?
I’ve come up with two criteria for starters:
1. The setting must hold my interest. The author has to take me to the city, domestic or international, in a way that convinces me she’s been there. If I come across phrases that have been ripped from tour guides and brochures, such as “San Francisco has extraordinary vistas and innovative sightseeing buses,” I’ll toss the book aside.
Even if the setting is fictional, it must have characteristics that make it unique and appropriate for the story, whether it’s a boardwalk or a monument to Machiavelli.
I’ve tried to make my fictional town of Lincoln Point (The Miniature Mysteries by Margaret Grace) memorable for its devotion to Old Abe, with Lincoln quotes etched into public buildings, streets named after him and his friends, a reenactment of a Lincoln-Douglas debate every year, and even a Mary Todd Lincoln Ball on her birthday in December. (Not all in the same book!)
A small New England college is the setting for my newest series (The Professor Sophie Knowles Mysteries by Ada Madison). College events, like reunions and graduations provide the background for the stories. In the latest, “The Probability of Murder” the stacks in the campus library are the site of murder and mayhem.
2. Character names. Those of us who write mysteries and hang around with mystery writers form a kind of inner circle of connections. Not only do we all know more or less the same booksellers, agents, and editors, we know each others’ families. If I find an author’s cousin in a work of fiction, I pull back, taken out of the story. Oh, right, I think, this is a nod to XX’s family. So much for escaping.
The worst case of this: Recently, I was reading a novel with a reporter as amateur sleuth. On the back flap, I learned that the author lives in New York with his wife, the poet—let’s call her Penelope Jones.
About one third of the way into this very well written novel, the protagonist meets a woman in a bar. The woman is reading a book of poetry by—wait for it—Penelope Jones. They read a few lines aloud and have a conversation about how great Jones’s poetry is.
What? A commercial in the middle of my escape fiction?
I’m sure the author made points with his wife and his in-laws for his humorous little plug, but, for me, it simply took me out of the fictional world and into the real life of the author. I closed the book and never opened it again. I guessed that by end of the book, the murder might be solved, but not before Penelope Jones received the Robert Frost Prize for her poetry.
What takes you out of a story? Would you have continued to read the reporter-and-wife’s story?
Let me know here and be eligible for a math-related prize!
What a perfect post for my blog!! I would hate the little plug too, but I really believe the setting is key to escaping into a book, whether it be an island, small town or even a prison, if the author reveals the setting correctly the escape is magical and easy. Thank you so much Camille!!
Camille is offering 3 math prizes so be sure to leave a comment to answer her questions. Check out the book giveaway after my review of Ada’s latest!
About This Author
Camille Minichino is a retired physicist turned writer.
As Camille Minichino, she’s the author of the Periodic Table Mysteries. As Margaret Grace, she writes the Miniature Mysteries, based on her lifelong hobby. “Mix-up in Miniature” will be released April 2. As Ada Madison, she writes the academic mysteries featuring Professor Sophie Knowles, college math teacher. “The Probability of Murder” was released March 6. Check out her blog!
The Probability of Murder
(Professor Sophie Knowles)
Second in the Series
Berkley Prime Crime Mystery
The Berkley Publishing Group
Published by The Penguin Group
Cover Illustration by Lisa French
Cover Design by Lesley Worrell
Dr. Sophie Knowles is a rare college professor who has a way of making the most complex math problems fun for her students. She hosts weekly parties celebrating famous scientists and mathematicians. They are quite popular with the students.
The fun quickly ends when Charlotte Crocker, Sophie’s friend and college librarian, is found dead in the stacks. Everyone loved Charlotte until it was learned that her entire life was just a web of lies. Sophie can’t believe the woman she knew had such a checkered past. So instead of grabbing a couple of days away with her boyfriend Bruce, she needs to do her own homework and formulate a plan to catch the killer before there are any more deductions of students or staff. She is on her own as Bruce takes off on a ice mountain climb, so she has to worry about him too!!
College campuses are full of big, old buildings full of mystery. They are also full of plenty of suspects. Sophie is very distracted in this story by events involving her boyfriend but it doesn’t stop her from working her way through the clues to solve the problems doing her best to catch the culprit. The author combines both situations is a very exciting and entertaining way.
If math was not your favorite or best subject there is no need to be afraid of this series. Being a mathematics professor you may think Sophie takes a very analytical approach to solving the crime, but she is more of an emotional solver when it comes to finding this murderer. She is also very open to having pizza with the Bruce’s friend, Detective Virgil Mitchell to pump him for information.
Thanks to the folks at Berkley Prime Crime
I have 2 copies of this book to give away!!
U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Ada (Camille) for 5 Bonus Entries and
enter her special giveaway.
If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End March 21, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”