I'm honored to welcome Dorothy James today. I met this fine lady on Twitter, of all places, where her book - A Place to Die - caught my eye. We began exchanging emails, and I discovered she was quite the international writer, with her current novel set in Vienna, one of my favorite places. You may remember I reviewed her book here. Dorothy was born in Wales and grew up in the South Wales Valleys. Writer, editor, translator, educator, college chairwoman, expert in the German language, and more, she has published short stories as well as books and articles on German and Austrian literature. She makes her home now in Brooklyn, but travels frequently to Berlin, to Vienna, and to her native Wales. She blogs here - about mysteries, what else?
To my surprise and delight, Dorothy picked up the first of my LeGarde Mysteries, read them, and performed an in-depth scholarly review to the start of the (ultimately) ten book series, analyzing the content and style with incredible insight. She really "got" me, probably more than any reviewer has in the past. She even discovered my inability to integrate good and evil, my operatic separation of heroes and villains, and she touched on some really interesting psychological discoveries that even I hadn't faced. Very cool. Thank you, Dorothy.
The Country Mysteries of Aaron Paul Lazar, by Dorothy James
copyright 2011, Dorothy James
Lazar is a prolific writer, and I am going to confine my discussion here to the first five of his Gus LeGarde mysteries. These are the novels that set him on the road to becoming a writer of mystery novels, and while he may have refined his writing skills in his later novels, these are the novels that drew me into his world, and I would like work out why, what is their attraction? Why do I keep coming back to see what is going on in East Goodland?
In order of their appearance they are:
All these novels are also available on Kindle and in numerous other e-reader formats, and since Aaron has agreed to be interviewed on this blog, I will be asking him more about the ways in which he wrote and published these novels, but today I want to concentrate on some aspects of the novels themselves.
And yet Gus is not a violent man. On the contrary, he is a loving, sensitive and of course musical soul who tends to get involved in crime only because he is concerned about his fellow men, and particularly about children, women—and animals too. It is this concern and the compulsion to step in and help those in trouble that usually makes him, and often his wife, the direct target of various villains’ wrath.