Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blast from the Past Blog tour

Blast from the Past
Virtual Blog Tour
Guest Blog Post: Rhonda Laney’s Read A Lot
Meet Mac Faraday
By Lauren Carr

Anyone who has read any of my blog posts on other sites knows by now that I grew up reading Perry Mason, Ellery Queen, and saw every episode of Columbo, It’s Murder, She Wrote. I’m a die-hard mystery fan. When it became apparent that I was destined to be a writer, it was natural for me to create my own detective and write my own mysteries.

Before writing It’s Murder, My Son, the first installment in the Mac Faraday Mysteries, I went over the various popular detectives throughout the years, decades, really, and noticed a trend: The great detectives have become more humanized.

Take a look at Sherlock Holmes. (Not the star of Elementary, but the original Sherlock Holmes.) He lives at 221B Baker Street. His childhood is practically non-existent. He has no wife or family. No love interest. Sherlock Holmes is basically perfect as far as his intelligence and manner. He is so highly regarded that he appears beyond touch, which makes him difficult for the reader to embrace.

Let’s move forward twenty-five years or so to Ellery Queen: In the Ellery Queen books and radio show, you get more of a sense of the detective. Like Sherlock before him, Ellery comes across as highly educated. He is a successful author and investigates crime because they stimulate him. He’s got a hint of a love interest and a family and friends, which makes him a little more touchable. Yet, still, the reader is not allowed to get too close to Ellery Queen.

Fast forward another twenty-five years: Columbo, followed by It’s Murder, She Wrote and Monk: Television viewers never knew Columbo’s first name. However, you knew that he was married and adored his wife. Not an episode went by that you didn’t learn something about his wife, and smile at the way Peter Falk would grin when talking about her. Sometimes, he would even be paired up with his dog, an unnamed Bassett Hound.

Jessica Fletcher (It’s Murder, She Wrote) had more nieces and nephews than you could count. She had friends all over the world and was always ready to hop a plane to dive into solving amurder to clear their name. She was also ready to give some motherly advice when needed to put a friend or family member back on the straight and narrow.

Then there was Monk. Even with all his issues, or maybe because of his issues, Monk endeared himself to television viewers. The proper Sherlock Holmes, Monk is not.

All of these characters were great detectives, yet they are as different as night and day in their personalities. The most noticeable difference between all of them is the gradual humanization that has occurred over the decades.

This is where authors need to walk a fine line. It is easy to get so caught up in endearing the detective to the reader to make them touchable, that the mystery can end up taking the back seat to detective’s personal lives.

While Columbo is every bit as attune to subtle details as Sherlock Holmes (and this is decades before DNA profiling), he is much more down to earth, and approachable to the reader. Ask yourself: Who would you rather have as a neighbor? Sherlock Holmes or Columbo?

If you’re a killer—Neither!

Meet Mac Faraday
Mac Faraday was a homicide detective in Washington D.C. He is highly regarded by the other detectives and had worked his way up to lieutenant. After twenty years of marriage, his wife leaves him for another man, an assistant district attorney in Washington, who uses his connections to wipe Mac Faraday out in the divorce.

On the day that the divorce becomes final, Mac Faraday is approached by a lawyer as he comes out of the courtroom. Seeing the lawyer’s tailored suit and upper crust persona, Mac immediately assumes he is a friend of his ex-wife’s lover out to strike another blow, and runs.

The lawyer chases him for three blocks before Mac stops and braces himself.
With the grin of a child telling a secret, the lawyer tells Mac Faraday that he is the sole heir of Robin Spencer, the late Queen of American Mystery (the United States version of Agatha Christie) who had died six weeks before. Mac Faraday has inherited $270 million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake.

Mac Faraday discovers that his mother was Robin Spencer, who had given birth to him and put him up for adoption when she was an unwed teenager. His birth father had gone on to become the police chief of Spencer, Maryland. Mac also has a half-brother, David O’Callaghan, who is now the town’s chief of police.

Mac has also inherited Gnarly, an overly intelligent German shepherd, the only K-9 to be dishonorably discharged from the United States Army. Why? The Army refuses to talk about it.

A rich man who doesn’t like golf, Mac solves murder mysteries for entertainment, or to help his new friends in the resort town of Spencer, Maryland, a town founded by his mother’s ancestors.

His love interest is Archie Monday, the lady who came with his manor home located along the shore of Deep Creek Lake. His late mother’s research assistant and editor, Archie lives in the guest cottage on the estate. Robin’s will stipulates that Archie may live there as long as she wants, and Mac has no desire for the green-eyed blonde to leave.

In Blast from the Past, Mac Faraday finds himself up to his eyeballs in mobsters and federal agents.

After an attempted hit ends badly with two of his men dead, mobster Tommy Cruze arrives in Spencer, Maryland, to personally supervise the execution of the witness responsible for putting him behind bars—Archie Monday!

Mac Faraday believes he has his work cut out for him in protecting his lady love from one of the most dangerous leaders in organized crime; but when bodies start dropping in his lakeshore resort town of Spencer, Maryland, things may be hotter than even he can handle.

In this fourth installment in the Mac Faraday Mysteries, readers learn more about Archie Monday’s past in a flash—as in a gun fight when the syndicate comes to town. In Blast from the Past, readers are going to be surprised to discover the secret of Archie Monday’s past, which threatens her and Mac’s future.

Blast from the Past also takes the Mac Faraday Mysteries to a new level as his relationship with Archie Monday moves onto a whole new level.

What about Gnarly, Mac Faraday’s canine inheritance—the only German shepherd to be dishonorably discharged from the United States Army? Let’s just say Gnarly kicks things up a notch in his own way.

1 comment:

Lauren Carr said...

Thank you so much, Rhonda, for hosting me on this tour. Love to hear from your readers about their favorite detectives.