Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
I am so excited, Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta are here today as D.E. Ireland.
Their mystery Wouldn’t It Be Deadly: An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery
was released yesterday and it is fantastic!
ESCAPE TO BRITAIN
Writing under the pen name D.E. Ireland, award-winning authors Meg Mims and Sharon Pisacreta have teamed up to write the Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins Mystery Series for St. Martin’s Minotaur. Their debut book Wouldn’t It Be Deadly hit the shelves Sept. 23, 2014. They based their series on George Bernard Shaw’s 1912 play Pygmalion. Long-time Anglophiles, both Meg and Sharon have escaped to England in the past, and are dying to go there again!
Hi, I’m Meg and my first trip overseas occurred in 1983. My younger brother, serving in the USAF in Spain, had the brilliant idea to meet my older sister and me in London. Needless to say, we jumped at the idea. I spent a month researching spots to visit, bed-and-breakfasts, train routes and schedules, castles, houses, etc. We bought airfare, booked a car for the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, and the B&B plan. And then my brother couldn’t get leave. So my sister and I flew to England for eleven days. I did get jet lag, unfortunately, and fell asleep on the double-decker bus tour of all the lovely London city highlights.
But we visited the Tower, saw the crown jewels, the chopping block, plus the British Museum and Reading Room. Ate at the Sherlock Holmes pub, saw the portraits at the National Gallery, and the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace. Then we headed off by train for the rest of England. Windsor Castle, Warwick Castle, Oxford (I would live there, definitely!), Stratford-on-Avon, Stonehenge… we loved it all.
My sister took the wheel in the Lake District. We were scared silly by the sheep ambling over the hilly roads in the Yorkshire Dales, which is green, remote and just gorgeous. York was also a highlight, walking along the wall of the old city, and seeing the meandering narrow alleyways.
I stopped at a small shop before we took the train back to southern England. I didn’t say a word, only placed the items I wanted to buy on the counter. The woman looked up at me and handed me a coin. ‘Take it, we can’t use it here,’ she told me. I stared at the silver dime in shock. ‘How did you know I’m an American?’ I asked her. She laughed. ‘You’re so tall, and you’re wearing trousers!’”
I also noticed how much people walk everywhere. My sister and I almost got lost in the maze at Hampton Court – that was quite scary, and while she ate every type of fish imaginable, I was so ready for an old-fashioned American hamburger once I got home again. Teatime was definitely something we loved! I passed that tradition on to my friends and my daughter, who collects teapots and teacups.
I intend to go “on holiday” to England with my daughter, hopefully next year in time for Royal Ascot. I’d love to see all those wonderful hats in person!
Hi, this is Sharon, and I’ve been lucky to visit Britain twice. The first time I was a jet lagged teenager in London for three days on a foreign study trip, and couldn’t begin to do it justice. However 17-year-old Sharon did love a few things about that stay, namely the Tower of London, and the cute British guys who flirted with my friend and me. As I said, I was a teenager.
My best escape ever occurred in 1987 during a six-week trip to Britain. After a blissful week in Ireland, I moved on to England, Scotland, and Wales. Being a writer, my backpack was filled with paperback books. I had ample opportunity to read as I traveled primarily by rail, which made for many relaxing hours spent gazing out train windows at the Yorkshire dales, western Highlands and Welsh countryside. Some of my best memories revolve around me, a book, and one of those plastic wrapped sandwiches sold on BritRail trains.
Because I was a graduate student in archaeology, I worked at a Roman fort in Northumberland for a week. Lodged at a boarding house along the Northern Sea, I often hiked after dinner atop the cliffs that overlooked the sea. When I found a spot sheltered from the wind, I’d settle back with a book, accompanied by the haunting sounds of crashing waves and gull cries.
Only later did I learn it wasn’t safe for a woman to be there close to dusk. The lady who ran the boarding house was appalled I’d been walking there alone in the evenings. The rugged coastline was once a haven for smugglers, and dangerous men still frequented the area. Luckily the few people I met during my hikes were quite cordial. And not a smuggler seemed to be among them.
A week later I headed up to Scotland. One afternoon, I climbed to the top of Arthur’s Seat, a hill overlooking Edinburgh. Afterwards, I couldn’t bring myself to leave the natural beauty I’d discovered just outside the city. So I pulled a book out of my backpack and plopped down among the grassy hillocks. There wasn’t a sound to be heard until a Scotsman finally appeared walking his terrier. I would not have been surprised at that moment to learn I’d been transported – Outlander style – to another time. And if that gray-haired Scotsman had looked more like the novel’s Jamie, I might still be there!
I also remember a wondrous day spent at Kew Gardens outside London. Toward the end of my visit, I sat beside a pond with a book of poetry. I had just finished reading a haiku about geese when I looked up. No more than two feet away were a line of geese silently walking past me, as if reluctant to disturb my reading. Some may call this a coincidence. I think of it as a moment of serendipity and magic – much like my entire trip to Britain.
About The Author/s
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 inspiration, they are careful to stick to Shaw’s vision of the beloved characters from Eliza to Higgins to Pickering, Mrs. Pearce, Freddy Eynsford Hill and his family, while adding a slew of new characters they’ve dreamed up to flesh out their own version of events post-Pygmalion.
Wouldn’t It Be Deadly:
An Eliza Doolittle & Henry Higgins Mystery
New Historical Cozy Mystery Series
Minotaur Books (September 23, 2014)
Hardcover: 336 pages
E-Book File Size: 903 KB
Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins make an incomparable pair of sleuths in the start of a delightful new series…
Following her successful appearance at an Embassy Ball—where Eliza Doolittle won Professor Henry Higgins’ bet that he could pass off a Cockney flower girl as a duchess—Eliza becomes an assistant to his chief rival Emil Nepommuck.
After Nepommuck publicly takes credit for transforming Eliza into a lady, an enraged Higgins submits proof to a London newspaper that Nepommuck is a fraud. When Nepommuck is found with a dagger in his back, Henry Higgins becomes Scotland Yard’s prime suspect.
However, Eliza learns that most of Nepommuck’s pupils had a reason to murder their blackmailing teacher. As another suspect turns up dead and evidence goes missing, Eliza and Higgins realize the only way to clear the Professor’s name is to discover which of Nepommuck’s many enemies is the real killer. When all the suspects attend a performance of Hamlet at Drury Lane, Eliza and Higgins don their theatre best and race to upstage a murderer.
My Fair Lady is one of my all time favorite movies! This story picks up after the Embassy Ball and I absolutely loved it! I immediately heard the voices of Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Wilfrid Hyde-White and Mona Washbourne.
A “loverly” idea to turn Eliza Doolittle and Henry Higgins into sleuths. They make a wonderful team. The barbs they throw at each other are hilarious and so true to their characters. Colonel Pickering is still the voice of reason and Mrs. Pearce is there to soothe flustered feathers and keep everyone’s belly full.
The author has us travel all over London even back to where Higgins found Eliza selling flowers. With Higgins as the prime suspect Eliza is determined to prove his innocence. While doing so she puts herself in danger and still there is no one that is able to give Higgins an alibi. It seems Mr. Henry Higgins has a secret and even though revealing it would prove his innocence he is unwilling to give any details to anyone. I was very surprised by this secret and it is the one thing that left me a conflicted about the story, but as with all stories the reader just has to follow where the author leads.
This is a fantastic story. It is suspenseful but tempered with a good bit of humor. I may not have been dancing but I stayed up all night to finish reading this delightful mystery. I was laughing at loud in places which disturbed Mr. Dollycas but I couldn’t put this book down. Charming, captivating, engaging, and a must read. “Where the devil are my slippers?” I am ready to read the next installment of this series right now!
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