Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Guest Blogger - Kate Kingsbury

CHRISTMAS AT THE PENNYFOOT.

Ah, Christmas! Tree lights glittering, bells ringing, chestnuts by the fire and carolers singing. The warmth and excitement of the Holiday Season is all around us, so why would we want to spoil all that wonderful, comfortable, fuzzy atmosphere with something as heinous as murder?

Well, first and foremost, mystery lovers are a dedicated bunch. They’ll read a good murder tale any time of the year. Yet there’s something about mixing all that fun and festivity with the dark deeds of a devious killer that makes a Christmas murder mystery seem all the more intriguing.
Perhaps it’s the contrast between heavenly grace and evil, or maybe it’s simply an antidote to all that hectic celebrating.

I started writing the Pennyfoot Christmas books more or less by accident. I had ended the original series, but Cecily Sinclair, former owner of the Pennyfoot Hotel, would not let me rest. Nor would her fans. Cecily had retired to London with her new husband and former manager, Baxter. She became restless, missing the hotel life and the people she’d come to know as family. She also missed the excitement of tracking down a killer and bringing him to justice. So she kept intruding in my mind, waking me up at night, complaining that she was bored.

Fans had been writing to me for two years, asking what had happened to her and why she had sold the hotel. I finally had to listen. I promised Cecily, and the fans, that I would get them all together again with a Christmas Reunion book for one more romp in Badgers End.

NO CLUE AT THE INN saw Cecily back at the Pennyfoot, this time as manager, and once more on the trail of a ruthless killer. I had so much fun combining the merriment of the holiday season with a menacing murderer lurking about. Apparently so did the fans. That one book turned into six, and still counting.

It isn’t easy to maintain a festive atmosphere with dead bodies and scared witnesses scattered around. Especially since I write most of it in the dog days of summer. The Pennyfoot Christmas books, however, are a labor of love for all my incredible fans, so many of whom take the time to write to me. Cecily and the gang are alive and well, and I couldn’t be happier.

I wish all of you a wonderful, happy holiday season, and the very best the new year can offer. Bless you all.

3 comments:

  1. Great blog! I especially loved your comment about combining the festivities of the Christmas season with the dark elements of murder. The same holds true of combining murder with comedy.

    Happy holidays!

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  2. Happy holidays to you and I've been a fan of the Pennyfoot since you first began writing them. It's a delight hearing that Cecily is relentless with you also. LOL

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  3. All I have to say is you do a great job writing Christmas Mysteries and I hope there are many more to come. Tell us about trying to keep the Christmas Spirit in July? LOL
    Hugs,
    Pamela

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