Monday, October 20, 2008

The brave new world of new media.

I thought I'd give new media a whirl, so some of my historical mystery short stories are now available in Sony ebook format:

• Two with Alice Roosevelt Longworth and FDR ("Come Flit by Me," set in TR's White House, and "Alice and the Agent of the Hun," where Alice hunts for a WWI German spy at a home of future Hope Diamond owner Evalyn Walsh McLean)

• Two with Bunbury, my sleuth in a Bath chair ("A Roman of No Importance" and "Lady Windermere's Flan"; to complete the Wildean motif, Mr. Wilde makes an appearance in "No Importance")
• "Keeper of the Flame," which won first prize in the Cape Fear (NC) Crime Festival Short Story Contest and is set in a remote Maine lighthouse

• "Unsinkable," which takes place on the Titanic
More info about the short stories' original print publication here.

I've had a great deal of fun casting Alice Roosevelt (1884–1980) as detective. She was brilliant (her light reading was Greek philosophers), rebellious, politically shrewd, and extremely well connected; she also could handle a gun (thanks to her energetic father). She liked the racetrack and a good game of poker, and her book Crowded Hours (1933, ed. Max Perkins) is interesting reading. I've often wished that she had run for office like her friend Ruth Hanna McCormick, but there were aspects of politics that she found unappealing. She was usually maligned for her cruel imitation of her cousin Eleanor and her less-than-helpful public comments during FDR's administration, but this could be viewed as retaliation for FDR and ER's actions during her half-brother Ted's New York gubernatorial campaign in the 1920s.

About the photo: Alice Roosevelt, ca. 1902. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, reproduction no. LC-USZC2-6251

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