Today's guest: Kim Wright Why we love her: She's so diverse! Today we're highlighting her latest, a historical mystery. But she also the author of one of our favorite women's fiction novels, Love in Mid Air.
Her latest: City of Darkness
The scoop: City of Darkness takes place in 1888 London, where Jack the Ripper roams the streets with impunity and Scotland Yard seems helpless to stop him. The science of forensics is in its infancy but a few detectives – Trevor Welles among them – recognize that they are dealing with a different sort of killer, a “modern criminal” who chooses his victims at random. If Jack is to be caught, he won’t be caught with Scotland Yard’s normal methods of deduction for there is no logic to this madness. The question is no longer “Why was the victim killed?” but rather “How was the victim killed?” For the first time in the history of detection, science is trumping deductive reasoning. When a twist of fate puts Trevor in charge of the case, he hastily assembles Scotland Yard’s first forensics team: Davy Mabrey, the first bobby on the scene of the grisliest of the murders, whose working class common sense proves an invaluable asset, Rayley Abrams, a cautious intellectual whose future at the Yard is marginalized due to his Jewish heritage, Tom Bainbridge, a medical student with aristocratic connections and a secret drinking problem, and Emma Kelly, sister of the Ripper’s last victim who has a troubled past and a gift for linguistics. The team finds an unlikely ally in the form of Queen Victoria herself, who takes an unusual level of interest in the Ripper case and secretly funds the unit. But will they stop Jack in time to spare Leanna Bainbridge, the young heiress with whom Trevor has fallen madly and improbably in love?
Fun Fact: City of Darkness is the first in a series of three. City of Light and City of Silence are up next.
Giveaway: 5 copies! (It's a medly-3 e-books and 2 paperbacks!) Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll randomly select the winners after 6pm PST on Sunday, April 15.
CHICK LIT IS NOT DEAD PRESENTS...KIM WRIGHT'S 5 THINGS I'D TELL THE TEEN ME
1. You’re not fat. Not even close. 2. Stop sniveling! Next year at this time you’re not even going to be able to remember that trifling boy’s last name. 3. Your English teacher is right to make you read all those classics, even if you’re not sure right now exactly why Ahab is chasing that whale or for whom the bell tolls. Someday you’ll be a writer and you’ll be glad you have that basis. In fact, all the hard teachers you’re resenting now. …they’re the ones you’ll end up really learning something from and the ones that you’ll remember. 4. Adulthood is not some place you move to and never leave. Even when you’re fifty-six, you’ll still be trying new things and learning and changing. So relax. This isn’t your one chance to get it right. Life is going to give you a hundred more times at bat. 5. You know how much you need your girlfriends? How everything is okay just as long as you have your posse around you, how anything is endurable as long as you guys can just hang out and be silly and laugh? Thirty years from now it’s still going to feel exactly the same way.
In light of item four, I’ve just come through a major reinvention – moving from having been published by a Big Six house, to self-publishing and moving from literary fiction to mysteries. My new book, City of Darkness is in some ways a radical departure from my first book, Love in Mid Air, and in some ways it’s the chance to circle completely back and return to my roots. Because I’ve always loved mysteries and always had sort of a sick fascination with Jack the Ripper. Plus my dad was an antique dealer and I traveled through Europe with him in the summer, so this mystery series is sort of a hybrid of three things I loved as a girl; crime fiction, history, and travel.
City of Darkness takes place in 1888 London, where Jack the Ripper is pretty much roaming the streets killing prostitutes at will, and Scotland Yard seems helpless to stop him. The science of forensics is in its infancy but a few detectives recognize that they are dealing with a different sort of killer, a “modern criminal” who chooses his victims at random. They form the basis of Scotland Yard’s first forensics unit, and in future installments in the series, they’ll travel to high-profile crime scenes in Paris, St. Petersburg, Buenos Aires, and New York. Can you say “Road Trip”? That’s one of the things that most excites me about the series – that I can use it as an excuse to revisit some of my favorite cities and go to places like Russia and Argentina, where I’ve never traveled.
Which all goes back to the list above, the things I’d like to have been able to tell my teenaged self. There was a ticking clock in my head throughout my youth and I think I honestly believed that if I didn’t get certain things done by the time I was 25 I never would, that I would fade into some sort of dull adult who no longer had the curiosity and energy to explore the larger world. Boy was I wrong. I feel much freer now than I ever did at seventeen.
Thanks, Kim! xoxo,
Liz & Lisa
To find out more about the fabulous Kim Wright, visit her website.