The story behind THE TYCOON MURDERER
I love history, particularly the 20th Century, and I’ve always been a sci-fi nerd, especially time travel. So it made sense that I’d eventually end up in this genre. I loved the 1979 movie Time After Time, which was the story of Jack the Ripper arriving in modern-day America. I even watched the TV series when it was on briefly last year. I really loved the TV show Timeless, which was cancelled, but then resurrected. And, of course, you can’t get any better than the Back to the Future movies.
But my most important influence was all the British mysteries I watch on PBS. I love Agatha Christie and wanted to do a throwback story about a house party gone very wrong. I’ve been reading modern-day cozy mysteries, but mostly they make me hungry, since a lot of them seem to revolve around baked goods. I wanted a good, old-fashioned murder mystery set in an era of great clothes.
As I move into the sequels, they’ll take on more of a Thin Man vibe, but I can’t say much more about that without spoiling the book. Okay, one more thing about that….Melanie was my AMAZING editor in this and one of her suggestions was to add to the hero’s background. I did and by doing that I added more clues for the reader AND I even tipped off the setting of the next two books. It was just one of her great suggestions.
How This Was Different from a Romance
While some of my romances had mysteries in them, they were always an afterthought, with the emphasis on the romance. This book is the opposite and the mystery had to be strong. I ended having to go through the book several times to weave in the various threads. There are a few red herrings along the way, but several (hopefully not too many) clues. It was difficult and gave me an appreciation for mystery writers.
Where to From Here
I have two sequels in mind, but they’ll be written while I finish my historical romance series, so I’m not sure when they’ll come out. All three books will be set in the early 20th Century, which means I can have fun looking up the history. Because, again, I’m a nerd.
Thank you for having me here!
BOOK BLURB: When Josie Matthews buys a Victorian mansion with a notorious past, she hopes to turn it into a successful inn. While she expects all the headaches of renovating an old house, she isn’t prepared to be sent back in time to the site of a double-murder which occurred at the mansion in 1929. While the murders were never solved, they were believed to have been committed by Wall Street financier, David Remington, forever known as the Tycoon Murderer.
At the height of the Roaring Twenties, David Remington has invited several friends and acquaintances to a house party, including a Chicago bootlegger and his moll, a Broadway playwright and his best friend, a corrupt U.S. Senator and his wife, a handsome silent screen star and a disgruntled federal agent. After a mysterious woman arrives uninvited, guests start dying one-by-one, making everyone wonder who will be next.
Determined to solve the murders before being sent back to her own time, Josie investigates the crimes and tries not to be the next victim. But the biggest mystery is whether David Remington was falsely accused or whether he truly is the Tycoon Murderer.
BUY LINKS: Amazon
REVIEW: Before I say anything about this story, I have to disclose that I’ve had the privilege to work with this author for sometime now and I’ve come to love her writing voice. My review of this story is, as is with every book I read regardless of who wrote it and if I’ve worked on it, totally subjective and honest opinion.
That said, I can truly say that I’ve loved this story for so many reasons. First, I’ve been a fan of Time Travel genre ever since I’ve seen The Time Machine with Rod Taylor and Timeline with Gerard Butler. I’ve also read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Karyn Gerard’s Timeless Heart series.
And if none of these sound familiar to you, I have two more movies that I am sure you’ve seen and that’s Kate and Leopold with Hugh Jackman and Meg Ryan for one, and please don’t tell me you’ve never seen Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymore in Somewhere in Time. All of these have a time travel in common with one another, but romance and mystery are predominant through all of them.
This is well written and plotted cozy mystery with romance elements. Its main characters are very likable duo of amateur sleuths that I liked from the start. It has an array of very fun and funny secondary characters and a mystery murderer whom I tried to identify from the start and just got it wrong every time.
I also enjoyed the setting of this story in the 1920s as well as the way the time travel occurred. It sounded like a plausible and interesting theory.
If you’ve never read Maureen Driscoll’s stories before, this story would be a perfect time to sample her work. I am sure that you’ll have as much fun as I did discovering her writing voice.
Melanie for b2b
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McConnell, Oregon, August, Present Day
Josie Matthews pulled up to the hardware store in the used Jeep she’d bought just six months earlier. She’d traded in her sedan from her old life in Los Angeles, which hadn’t seemed too practical for someone who was going to spend most of her time hauling supplies and furniture back to the old Victorian she was restoring. As she breathed in the sweet summer air without even a hint of smog, she knew she was finally in the right place.
It was a reassuring thought when you were thirty-four years old and recently divorced.
Josie sat in the Jeep and checked her list again. “Knobs for the dining room built-in, tape, extra fine sandpaper, splinter-proof gloves that really are splinter-proof.” She absently picked at the spot on her ring finger where a splinter had most recently punctured her skin, then added something to the list. “And wine. All hardware stores should sell wine.” She grabbed her purse to enter Hammond’s, the family-owned hardware store in town. It had opened over a hundred years earlier and it was slightly more expensive than the big box stores in the next town, but no one was as helpful as the people at Hammond’s. These days, that meant a lot to Josie.
McConnell was a picturesque little town eighty-five miles east of Portland, and about as far removed from her former life in Los Angeles as it was possible to get. There was little traffic and no chance she’d run into her ex-husband. And instead of their Spanish-style home in Los Feliz, Josie now lived in a Victorian mansion whose best days were far in the past.
At least they were for now. Josie had invested her savings in buying the property and was now fixing it up as an inn. With any luck, her house at the base of the Cascade mountains would be the perfect place for tourists both during ski season and in the summer.
The house had been built in the late 1880s by a man who was a watchmaker by trade, but an eccentric by nature. Henry Wells had inherited a great deal of money from his family back east, so tinkering with watches had been more of a hobby than a profession. From what Josie could tell, he’d spent most of his time inventing gadgets. He’d lived there until his death in the early 1920s, when the property was purchased by Wall Street financier David Remington as a vacation home. But neither Remington nor any of the subsequent owners had cleared out the attics entirely, leaving trunks filled with Wells’s inventions. Josie had made only the slightest dent in going through them, but she’d been enchanted by the fine timepieces she’d found, as well as the notebooks filled with formulas written in precise handwriting. She wasn’t sure what the formulas were for, but she promised herself that she’d read them in her free time, once she finally had some.
But for all of Wells’s eccentricities, he wasn’t the most famous former owner of the estate. That honor – or infamy – went to David Remington, who’d made worldwide headlines as the Tycoon Murderer after one of his house parties resulted in two of the most notorious homicides of the 1920s. While the crimes were never officially solved, the world had been convinced of his guilt. His disappearance shortly after the murders only added to the mystery.
Now Josie Matthews was hoping the house’s past would provide her with a financially secure future.
Today, she was making her latest visit to Hammond’s, where she’d spent so much of her time in the last few months. While she had hired a contractor for the major work, she was still picking out doorknobs, moldings and trim. And getting splinters. Lots and lots of splinters.
AUTHOR BIO: Maureen Driscoll is an Emmy-nominated television writer/producer who’d much rather be reading than writing. She has written 11 Regency romance novels about the Kellington and Emerson families and one stand-alone political satire, DATING GEORGE CLOONEY, which no one ever reads.
She swears a lot. Probably too much. Her comedy credits include writing for JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE, THE DISH on the Style Network and Nickelodeon’s BRAINSURGE. She is also an actor. Which means she’s been rejected more than just about anyone you’ve ever met. But it’s not the “no” that’s important. It’s going back for another one the next day. That’s supposed to be inspirational and not very, very sad.