Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am super excited to have D.E. Ireland here today!!
Escape with D.E. Ireland
Anglophiles and award winning authors, the team of D.E. Ireland – Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta – write the Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins cozy mystery series set in 1913 England. In addition, they each pen a contemporary mystery series; coincidentally both series were acquired by Kensington. It seems these two friends are fated to do everything in tandem. Having so many books to write and promote in the course of a year is exciting, but it can also be stressful and tiring. So where do they escape to when they need a break? It’s complicated.
First, they both live in Michigan, albeit on opposite sides of the state. Meg lives near Detroit and prefers to write, laptop on her outstretched legs, in the “Sheldon spot” on the sofa in her living room, right beside the window where she can watch the finches flutter around the hanging feeder. An early morning riser, Meg reminds herself to take tiny “escapes” during her writing day: e.g., letting the dog out, stretching, or exercising. She also takes a break at lunch and at bedtime by reading. Her favorites are cozy mysteries, celebrity biographies, historical mysteries, thrillers, and fantasy. Meg has stacks and stacks of books, plus a staggering number on her Kindle and iPad.
Although Sharon was born and raised in Detroit, she now lives in one of the charming villages and resort towns that dot the sandy shores of Lake Michigan. Surrounded by such scenic natural beauty, it’s easy for her to walk along the beach or go hiking in one of the nearby state forests whenever she feels the need for an “escape”. However a great deal of her day is spent writing on her laptop: in the morning she can be found at her dining room table, in the afternoon, she moves her work station to a comfy leather club chair by the window.
When she needs a break – and a vanilla latte – she heads for the village coffee house. There is something about the combination of espresso, the aroma of pastry and coffee beans, and the cozy environs that help Sharon solve any plotting problems. Sometimes, she brings a book to the coffee house, yet another way to escape from the constant pressure of deadlines. While Sharon enjoys reading a wide variety of genres, she prefers mysteries, (especially Louise Penny), sci-fi and dystopian YA, and urban fantasy. As a former history major, she also reads history for both research and pleasure.
Another frequent escape from the daily writing routine occurs when Sharon and Meg chat on the phone to plot out their next DE Ireland book, discuss the progress of the mysteries they write on their own, and gossip about the latest news from the publishing world. Conversation doesn’t always happen on the phone. Since Sharon moved to the lakeshore, Meg has made more than one visit to her house, allowing the two of them to brainstorm new plot ideas . . . and enjoy a few lake perch dinners.
As for vacation fun, Meg prefers to escape to Mackinac Island with her family. She loves walking along the downtown Main Street, people watching while bicycling around the island, and shopping in the small boutiques that line the streets. Next summer she plans to visit the Butterfly House there, enjoy planked whitefish at one of the restaurants, and perhaps stay at one of the bed and breakfasts on the island.
Because Sharon already lives in a lakeshore resort, she prefers big city vacations in NYC and Chicago. If she had the time and the money, she’d head back to Britain, the site of her all-time favorite vacation, especially Dublin and Edinburgh. But she hasn’t had much time for a vacation lately. In addition to writing two mystery series, she also works at one of the gallery shops in town.
Luckily, there are writing conferences. Sharon and Meg both escape to Malice Domestic every spring, where they love chatting with fellow mystery authors. It’s so relaxing to share what they’re writing, to meet readers, and appear on workshop panels. Malice has a special place in their hearts not only because of the warm and welcoming community who gather there each year. But they were thrilled when their Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins mystery, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, was a finalist for Best Historical of 2014.
Next year, both authors will not only be attending Malice, but are looking forward to traveling to Toronto for Bouchercon. While at Malice and Bouchercon, Sharon and Meg will be discussing – and signing – their respective new cozies: Dying for Strawberries and Bearly Departed written under the pen names Sharon Farrow and Meg Macy. Of course, they are already plotting out the fourth book in the Eliza Doolittle/Henry Higgins series, along with writing the next installment of their cozies. No wonder they need a vacation.
Get Me To The Grave On Time
(The Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mysteries)
Historical Cozy Mystery Series
Setting – London, England
Publisher: Grainger Press (November 15, 2016)
Print Length: 274 pages
Although Eliza still refuses to marry Freddy Eynsford Hill, everyone around her seems headed for the altar. Not only is her cousin Inspector Jack Shaw about to wed his sweetheart, but Freddy’s younger sister Clara is engaged, along with the niece of Henry Higgins. Another blushing bride is the sixty-year-old Duchess of Carbrey, who plans to marry a handsome fellow half her age. But when the groom is found dead, a jealous mistress is blamed for the murder. However, the death may also be connected to the stolen treasure of an Indian temple.
Disaster strikes next at Jack and Sybil’s wedding. Soon after, the wedding reception of Higgins’s niece takes a lethal turn. Someone is targeting bridegrooms, and the wedding of Freddy’s sister is next. Before another bridal bouquet is tossed, Higgins and Eliza must track down the killer. Otherwise, Clara’s bridegroom – and perhaps the bride herself – may be murdered before they can get to the church on time.
Love this series and am so happy the authors have found a way to continue it.
Eliza Doolittle is not heading to the alter with Freddy Eynsford Hill, but she and Henry Higgins will be attanding several weddings throughout the story. Sadly all of the nuptuals have disaster hit them in some way. Someone seems to be targeting these weddings and Eliza and Higgins are doing their best to find out why and still get to the church on time.
The wonderful thing about this story is that if you are familiar with the George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion or the movie My Fair Lady, you know these characters and can jump into this series anywhere. Of course, I believe you should start at the beginning 🙂
This writing team captures these characters wonderfully. The dialogue is spectacular, especially between Higgins and Eliza, but all the others too. I hear the voices from the movie so clearly in my head. The story comes alive for me in the voices of Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Mona Washbourne. To have the characters sleuthing around London, even the East End in just brilliant.
The mystery is very well plotted and it has to be because there are so many characters to keep straight. The classes of people all come together for wedding, funerals and everything in between. The adventure of following our sleuths is so much fun. Eliza seems to have no fear and such keen insight for a young woman. Higgins is forced to follow her lead and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT! So much happens within these pages. It becomes impossible to put down.
Laced with a high degree of humor this is a story I highly recommend.
Which tune will these authors take on next? I Could Have Danced All Night? or I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face? I can’t wait to find out?
About The Authors
D.E. Ireland is a team of award-winning authors, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta. Long time friends, they decided to collaborate on this unique series based on George Bernard Shaw’s wonderfully witty play, Pygmalion. While they admit the lovely film My Fair Lady and its soundtrack proved to be inspiring, they are careful to stick to Shaw’s vision of the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering and Freddy Eynsford Hill. They’ve also added a cast of new characters to flesh out their own version of events post-Pygmalion. They both have patient husbands, brilliant daughters, and share a love of good books, tea and history.
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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.”