Tracy Kiely’s debut novel, Murder at Longbourn, is a mystery set on Cape Cod, and combines Tracy’s love of the classic English country-house murder with Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Publisher’s Weekly wrote, “Jane Austen fans will welcome Kiely’s spirited debut … an engaging adventure that will hopefully be but the first of many.”
Set in a picturesque B&B on New Year’s Eve, Murder at Longbourn follows Elizabeth Parker, a young woman on the mend from a bad breakup. Instead of a peaceful retreat, she finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation, and in the company of the nemesis of her youth, Peter McGowan, a man she suspects has matured in chronological years only. As she investigates her fellow guests — some bearing more than a striking resemblance to characters in Pride and Prejudice — Elizabeth fights to keep her inner poise, while she hunts down a killer who keeps killing.
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Thanks and welcome, Tracy!
So lately I’ve been perfecting a theory of mine (I tend to work on these theories when the laundry gets around eye-high). Anyway, my theory is this: the kind of holiday shopper you are says oodles about the kind of person you are (that’s right people, I said “oodles”).
Think about it. There’s the person who gets all their Christmas shopping done sometime in late September and then gleefully shares this abomination with everyone. These are also the same folks who design their own Christmas cards, create gingerbread houses with indoor plumbing, and knit their Christmas sweaters.
I call these people “Crazy.”
Then there’s the next rung on the gift-giving ladder. These good souls get all their shopping done around mid-December. The presents are wrapped and sent in a timely manner, leaving them plenty of time to bake cookies with the kids. These are the people who also send out their cards each year with an updated picture of the kids. Mind you, that’s an updated picture where no one appears to be screaming, weeping, or sleeping.
I call these people “Annoyingly Organized.”
Next in line are those who get their shopping done, but only after a frantic late-night trip to the mall. Their cards go out sometime late Christmas Eve – but they will go out. The presents will be wrapped, but it will be the wee hours of Christmas morning before their heads hit their pillows.
I call these people “Good Friends.”
And now for the last rung on the ladder. Here hang those well-intentioned souls who fly about in a frantic last-minute panic, forced to log onto Amazon.com at the 11th hour and pay through the nose for the expedited shipping. They send out “Happy January” cards with stick figure sketches of the kids instead of actual photos. Each year they swear that this year will be different – that while they probably won’t climb to where the Crazies perch, they will at least pull themselves up to the level of Good Friends. They never do.
I call these people “Me.”
Now, I know people on each of these rungs and the way they are over the holidays is the way they are in everyday life. The Crazy runs eight committees at the school, runs six miles before dawn, and has an organic garden in her back yard. The Annoyingly Organized finishes her book club’s selection a week in advance, irons, and is learning a second language. Good Friends have an updated calendar in their kitchen, but it’s on the wrong month. There is fruit in the refrigerator but some of it is starting to look funky. They are pretty sure they know where their car keys are.
As for Me, well, what can I say? My calendar is blank, there is an empty plate in my fridge (leading me to think that something ate something else), and I have NO idea where my car keys are.
So that’s my little theory. Look around at the people in your life and see if you don’t agree with me. I’ve got to get those Happy January cards out.