19th Century U.S.

About Finding Joaquin by Steve Bartholomew

Posted by on Apr 24, 2017 in 19th Century U.S., Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | Comments Off on About Finding Joaquin by Steve Bartholomew

There’s a razor-thin line between history and fiction. Scholars used to think the Iliad was all made up, until the actual ruins of Troy were found. What fascinates me about the bandit Joaquin Murietta is that no one really knows how much of his story is true. My book Finding Joaquin is not the first fictional narrative about this man. In fact, one of the first novels written in California was inspired by his life. This was The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murieta, by John Rollin Ridge. Note the difference in spelling of the bandit’s name. There are a number of other variations,...

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Law and order (or not) in the Colorado “silver rush” by Ann Parker

Posted by on Dec 5, 2016 in 19th Century U.S., Featured Book | 3 comments

One of the many things that drew me to set a historical mystery series in Leadville, Colorado, was the avalanche of crime that descended upon the hapless community during the big silver rush that started in the late 1870s. Footpads, claim- and lot-jumpers, garrotters, bunko steerers, confidence tricksters: to them, Leadville was like some amazing Costco of opportunity. You only had to reach out a hand to find a victim. A little background: Leadville grew from a sleepy mining camp of 300 souls in the winter of 1877 to somewhere around 20,000 to 40,000 (depending on where you set the city’s...

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Victorian Shoplifters by M. Louisa Locke

Posted by on Aug 8, 2016 in 19th Century U.S., Featured Book, Historical Research, Historical Tidbits | 3 comments

One of my goals for writing the books in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series has been to feature occupations held by women in the late 19th century. Consequently, in Maids of Misfortune, Annie, my amateur sleuth, goes undercover as a domestic servant, in Uneasy Spirits, she investigates a fraudulent trance medium, in Bloody Lessons, she tries to find out who is sending poison pen letters about local public school teachers, and in Deadly Proof, she gets caught up in the world of women working in the San Francisco printing industry. In the latest installment of this series, Pilfered...

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Murder and Mayhem: Four Historical Mysteries

Posted by on Mar 22, 2016 in 16th Century England, 19th Century U.S., 19th England, Japan | Comments Off on Murder and Mayhem: Four Historical Mysteries

Murder and Mayhem is a boxed set of four historical mysteries written by members of the Historical Fiction Authors Cooperative that will be only 99 cents between March 22-27. ♠♠♠♠ These four mysteries range in time periods and settings from I. J. Parker’s The Hell Screen, set in Medieval Japan, to Anna Castle’s Murder and Misrule, set in Elizabethan England, to Libi Astaire’s Tempest in the Tea Room, set in Regency England, to M. Louisa Locke’s Maids of Misfortune, set in Victorian San Francisco. ♠♠♠♠ The Hell Screen, set in eleventh century Japan, is the fifth novel...

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What do a Victorian Lady and a 1940s Gal Gumshoe have in Common?

Posted by on Feb 1, 2016 in 19th Century U.S., 20th Century US | Comments Off on What do a Victorian Lady and a 1940s Gal Gumshoe have in Common?

When M. Ruth Myers and I discovered we were both promoting books in our respective historical mystery series at the same time, we thought how much fun it would be to compare the responses our female sleuths from different historical periods would make to the same questions. (This is reposted from a two part series on M. Louisa Locke’s and M. Ruth Myers’ blogs.) On the surface, Mrs. Annie Fuller, the protagonist in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, is a rather typical 19th century widowed woman who supports herself by running a boarding house. The fact that she...

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Out of the Fog by Michael Llewellyn

Posted by on Dec 14, 2015 in 19th Century U.S., Featured Book, Historical Fiction Influences, Historical Tidbits | 2 comments

Most historical novelists know the rush of unexpected inspiration, of stumbling across an obscure tidbit from another time and place that switches on that creative lightbulb. My most unusual encounter came in the French Quarter when I did something as innocuous as venture onto the second-floor gallery of the 1833 Creole townhouse where I lived. It was one of those mild south Louisiana winter nights, and while I stood there, a fogbank swarmed off the Mississippi River, so thick I could barely see across Dauphine Street. Although fog inhibits sight, it can magnify sounds and smells. I became...

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