Mask-Shaped Rings Plus Mystery Plus Romance by Lindsay Downs

From Christina:  Whodunit? That’s always a thrilling question for a reader. As often as not, solving a crime requires keen intelligence, careful observation, and tireless determination. When an author can give me a character who possesses these qualities and also throw in a bit of history, I’m ready to read! 

Today, Lindsay Downs talks a bit about mysteries and his writing.

MASK-SHAPED RINGS PLUS MYSTERY PLUS ROMANCE

By Lindsay Downs

The idea for The Masked Lady and The Murder came from a photo I got of two rings shaped as masks a lady or gentleman might don for a masquerade ball in regency England. 

Mask-Shaped Rings

Upon seeing them,  I knew immediately the book had to be a mystery.

There’s nothing wrong with a good romance,  but my choice is to write regency mystery with romantic elements. This way my readers get the best of both worlds, romance and mystery in a Regency book.

As I started to think about the book, the first thing I did was come up with different types of main characters. I wanted to have a unique hero, a viscount who’d rather be in Spain fighting the French. Then there’s the heroine. If you’ve read my other Regencies, then you know I don’t write heroines who are meek and mild.

With this book,  I wanted something different, a hero, Robert, and heroine, Kristina, who worked together to solve the mystery. In other words, no secrets from each other.

That’s one of the things I don’t like with some of the crime drama shows I watch — one or more characters keeping secrets. In my opinion, that doesn’t make for a great,  much less good,  working relationship. This is especially true if the hero and heroine marry.

Next,  I wanted them to not be perfect. Okay, don’t yell at me, ladies. I know the hero is supposed to be at least six feet tall and have dark hair with a wisp falling over his forehead — which the heroine always wants to sweep back into place. He should also have broad shoulders and a slim waist,  and his face should be well-chiseled without any imperfections. Basically, your hot, hunky hero to drool over. Robert does meet some of those criteria but also has a flaw which could send a weak lady scurrying away — if she doesn’t faint first.

Kristina has a few failings of her own which have made it impossible for her to find a match. I’m not going to let you in on them as they are important to the story. I can tell you she has  blonde hair and blue eyes which captivate Robert’s heart.  She’s also, as he notices “not too thin or too thick”.

As I was writing the book,  I realized this would be a great beginning for a new series. As The Masked Lady and The Murder progressed,  I came up with the idea for a second book, The Guilty Countess. Before I go any further, don’t worry. At the end of The Masked Lady and The Murder I’ve  included a tiny snippet of Book Two.

The most important thing in writing a mystery, especially one set during the Regency period, is to keep the reader guessing. During the Regency era, don’t forget, they didn’t have all the scientific methods we have today. It was all about hunting down the evidence and hoping to find the killer. That’s where the fun comes in.  I get to throw in red herrings, and add lots of twists and turns to make it more difficult to figure out. One reader told me she couldn’t wait — she had to skip to the last page to find out the answer. As I told her, that’s not fair;  it’s the journey, not the arrival,  which counts.

In conclusion I’d like to point out the books in this series will be no hotter than “3-flame” and love scenes will be behind closed doors.

 * * * * *

Have you entered his giveaway today? It’s easy! Just comment on this post. Readers can earn one entry each day by commenting on each of Lindsay’s guest posts this week.

Be sure to visit tomorrow — more chances to win, and excerpts from

The Masked Lady and the Murder.

“…might I enquire as to why this dangerous, not to mention compromising, encounter? ”

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1 Comment

  1. I’m really loving writing this series. And the ending to Book 2, The Guilty Countess, will have you shaking your head in disbelief.

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