I’m heavy into the final revision of Placid River Runs Deep, my soon-to-be-published mystery involving a heroine with hepatitis, a not-so-peaceful country get-away, and a revenge plot that has spanned the generations. As I read along, searching for typos, spell-check misinterpretations, and clumsy wording, I find myself wondering just where this complicated story is going to fit.
For the last few years I’ve been concentrating on my Crazy Cat Lady series, which are as comfortably positioned in the cozy cat mystery genre as a kitty in a cardboard box. Placid River is different, like nothing I’ve written before – or after. It’s a leap, a challenge, a journey to a deeper place. Not that it’s literature – I would never presume! Nor is it gloomy, but it does have a somber side, exploring mental illness, a devastating disease, and the raw need to cope with tragedy. It also has a romantic side, for along with the heroine comes the handsome hero, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Then, coiled among the longing glances and first kisses, lurks the dark story: the mystery, the murders, and a broken villain with a grudge taken to insane lengths.
Though my personal reading preference is for cozy mysteries with gorgeous scenery and a happy ending all wrapped up like a kitten in a blanket, I also have a penchant for noir. The cynicism, smoldering sensuality, and the make no promises storylines peak my interest and transport me to a place I don’t usually go. I recognize something of myself in those fractured actors, their achievements so ambiguous and incomplete. I do, after all, have my own cracks and crazing.
Not saying Placid River ends badly – no spoilers here – but as I read through it yet again, the story is taking me on a voyage of its own. Where it will end up on the bookstore shelf, I have yet to decide.
Coming soon: Placid River Runs Deep By Mollie Hunt
When Ember Mackay learns she has a life-threatening illness, she flees to the old Placid River cabin, but instead of solace, she finds mystery, murder and a revenge plot that has taken a generation to unfold.
Diagnosis: hepatitis C. It’s a shocker for Ember Mackay. In 2010, there is no cure and she is far too young to die. Ember needs time to process. She makes for the little summer community her grandparents helped establish long ago. The old cabin holds happy memories, but can they ease the grim reality that will change her life forever?
Her focus shifts when an elderly River Lane patron is found horribly murdered and his brother dies suspiciously soon after. When a third neighbor is killed, it becomes clear that no one is safe. There is a pattern, but one so unthinkable it is passed off as pure fancy. By the time Ember realizes who is next on the killer’s list, it may already be too late.