Monday, January 13, 2014

Off The Shelf: Death by Misadventure by E.E. Smith

I have a new-to-me author and an intriguing new mystery series to tell you about today. The book I’m taking off the shelf to talk about is DEATH BY MISADVENTURE by author E. E. Smith.

This new release, published by Phoenix International, is the first in a series featuring a fictional young private eye, Alexis J. Smith, and her detective agency called Discreet Inquiries, in a post-World War II setting.

First let me say, I always admire anyone who follows their heart to write. I know it’s not an easy job. This new-to-me author is intriguing for pursuing that passion and has a wealth of 81 years of experience to invest in her books. She is a veteran playwright and novelist debuting as a mystery writer.

E. E. (Evelyn Eileen) first attended the University of Iowa, and later received a B.A. in Fine Arts from California State University Long Beach.

Known earlier as a playwright, her works include PLAYTIME IN LONDON; BOARDINGHOUSE STEW; WARTIME RECIPES; THE TEMPERATE ZONE (based on Edith Wharton's short story);  GHOST WRITERS  (based on two  stories by Wharton and Henry James);  RUNAWAY TRAINS; A FLAG FOR MARIA; PRIVATE LIES (a spoof on the play by Noel Coward);  REVELATIONS,  A GAME FOR THREE OR MORE COUPLES;  three one-act plays, together titled RYAN'S REUNION, and a collection of ten-minute comedies together titled THE BRITISH ARE COMING.  

Her plays have been performed in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and both northern and southern California. One play has been published. Her writing credits include a Drama Award from FS Theatrebooks, New York, (for BOARDINGHOUSE STEW);  awards from Writers Digest (for PRIVATE LIES and PLAYTIME IN LONDON);  and the Gem Award from Jewel Box Theatre, Oklahoma City (for WARTIME RECIPES). 

E. E. Smith lives close to her native San Francisco where she now writes books and short stories instead of plays. One story was published in Writers' Forum:  Britain's Best Magazine for Writers, in 2006. The play, WARTIME RECIPES, first performed in Oklahoma City in 1998, was reprised there in 2010. Her first novel, BOARDINGHOUSE STEW, was published in 2009, and the New Edition published in 2011. The second novel, TIMES LIKE THESE, was also published in 2011, and IN LOVE AND WAR, a memoir, was published in 2012. She debuted as a mystery writer with DEATH BY MISADVENTURE in 2013. At least three more books in the series will follow in 2014 and beyond.

DEATH BY MISADVENTURE (ISBN-13:978-0989935609) is available on Amazon as an e-Book.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the titillating new mystery:

        The sign on her office door reads "ALEXIS J. SMITH - Discreet Inquiries, but a new client of her fledgling detective agency seems to think it means Murder Incorporated. The client, one Kate Faraday, is a former schoolmate (Sacramento High, class of '41) who wants to hire Lexie to find her husband, Frank. During their initial interview it becomes clear that she doesn't want him back "dead or alive," she wants him dead!
        If it were anyone else, the intrepid young private investigator would never have taken the job, but there is a problem. Lexie herself has been in love with Frank ever since they were all together in high school. She makes a desperate decision to find him and warn him of his wife's mad intentions.
        She travels to England and finds Frank staying at a country inn called The Old Vicarage, next to a little Norman church still haunted by a 12th Century ghost. What she discovers reveals a woman bent on vengeance, not only on her husband, but on Lexie, as well. Are they both marked for murder? How all this plays out, and culminates in a shoot-out at The Old Vicarage, is the climax of the story -- but not the end. 

Early reviewers have called the work "insightful," "unique" and "having wonderful references to the 1940s, and a wise-cracking young female gumshoe."

So if you’re looking for a feisty female protagonist in a post-World War II setting with a mystery twist, DEATH BY MISADVENTURE is the book you’ll want to include on your TBR list. 

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy books that feature women in post-World War II as the protagonist? What are your thoughts about life for women in post-World War II?

1 comment:

  1. Mason - Thanks for introducing us to E.E. Smith and her work. I'll bet she does indeed bring a lot of fascinating experience to this series, and I do like historical novels..


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