I start Posed for Murder with an art opening for Lydia McKenzie at the Bulan Gallery in Williamsburg. This is kind of funny because I just had the book launch equivalent last night at Partners & Crime in New York city. Luckily, there was wine and food, there were great people, and there were no murders. I even sold some books, which is better than poor Lydia with her murder recreation photographs.
Because I lost my voice talking with so many dear friends last night, I will let my own book speak for me today.
Here’s how my book begins:
She had never killed so many people in so many ways.
Lydia McKenzie stepped back and surveyed her work. Each corpse had been laid out gently and artistically, and if it weren’t for their wounds or twisted limbs they would look as if they were peacefully asleep. The light and shadows on each photograph were well defined and the contrast was crisp. Each black-and-white print was twenty by thirty inches, the largest size she had ever done, and bordered by expensive sleek black frames.
On the opening night of her show, Lydia felt like a genius. But that didn’t stop her from being nervous.
“What if no one wants to buy them?” Lydia found herself expressing her deepest darkest fear out loud. “What if no one wants a picture of a dead body on his wall?”
Georgia Rae, Lydia’s best friend, considered the question. “Sugar, they can’t help but be intrigued.”
But Lydia could only worry. Her first New York solo show was set up at the Bulan Gallery in the ultra hip art community of Williamsburg, and she was savvy enough to know she had to sell in order to get another show. For five years, she had sweated over the pictures, researching the cold cases, scouting the locations, finding the right outfits, convincing friends to lie in uncomfortable poses for hours, pretending they had been strangled, shot, or stabbed, and here was the end result of her efforts in black and white on the gallery walls. While her prints lay safe and warm in her portfolio case, she could only dream of this moment, but now she was here, exposed and open for criticism.
Her palms felt damp. She smoothed her hands over her vintage suit, wondering if she looked okay. She needed a drink.
Lydia looked around the room. There wasn’t a wine bottle in sight, and Jacques Bulan, the owner of the Bulan Gallery, had vanished. “I guess Jacques hasn’t set up the bar yet.”
“It’s still early. We’ll toast your success later.” A few well-dressed people wandered in and scanned the room. Their cheeks red from the cold, they looked like they had traveled all the way from Manhattan and were disappointed to be the first to arrive. Georgia, seeing an opportunity to exercise her southern debutante roots, glided across the room in her red sparkly stilettos to greet them.
Jacques, sensing potential customers, emerged from the back. He was just a little taller than Lydia, who at five seven was tall for a woman but short for a man. He had dealt with his early balding by shaving his head completely, which fooled no one. He dressed all in black and liked his clothes tailored.
“Lydia,” he said, squeezing her arm, “the work looks amazing, don’t you think?” With his French accent, the word amazing took on a brand-new zing.
Lydia tried not to cough when the fumes from his cologne hit the back of her throat. He had drenched himself in the stuff, probably to mask the scent of alcohol. Lydia had never deluded herself that Jacques loved her work. He merely hoped it was just controversial enough to make some waves in a neighborhood with galleries on every block. Competition was fierce–and he calculated that her photo re-creations of cold-case murder victims shot in a film noir style would garner lots of publicity for his gallery.
“Jacques, what happened to the drinks?”
Jacques looked around vaguely. “Drinks? I thought you were taking care of that.”
Lydia’s stomach dropped down into her Doc Martens and refused to come back up again. If Jacques had told her earlier, she could have figured out what to do about it in advance. But right now, she was left with two very bad choices. She could either have no wine at her opening, thereby ensuring that the droves of people arriving would turn and scurry out as quickly as they had come, or she could dip into her meager checking account and take care of it. Her credit-card balance currently hovered somewhere near astronomical.
Before Lydia could manage to mutter anything to Jacques to show him her fury, he flitted away to greet some new arrivals. Lydia looked across the room and caught Georgia’s eye. Georgia instantly recognized the pained expression on her face and came over.
“What’s the matter?”
“You can hold me back before I murder Jacques Bulan with my bare hands.”
Thanks for stopping by to celebrate with me!
16 Replies to “The Launch of Posed for Murder by Deb Meredith”
Congrats! Everything I’ve seen says that your book is fabulous! Good luck!
I couldn’t help but think of the book launch/gallery show parallels as I read! I hope you had a wonderful time!
Thanks for stopping by. I had a good time last night, and it was nice to know so many friends in cyberspace were also attending my launch “virtually”!
So glad you had an awesome time. It’s one of the few nights we authors get to feel like superstars! Your book sounds wonderful and unique. Can’t wait to read it. Best of luck to you!
Congratulations on the new book & a fun launch party. Please enter my name in your drawing. I will be checking back this week to see what the other bloggers have to say.
LOL, you lost your voice. It took me a second to get that.
Congratulations, Meredith. May you be greeted by the success you and your book deserve!
Thanks everyone. I did feel a little like a superstar, Malena, but even more like a bride again. Remember at your wedding how you had to introduce all these disparate people from your lives (this is my friend from summer camp, meet my friend from work, etc.)? The only downside with the great crowd was that I felt like I only got two seconds to talk to everyone.
Congratulations on the new book! Please enter me in the drawing. The book sounds great!
You may have lost your voice last night, Meredith, but your written voice is smooth and flowing. In other words I now know why Katie couldn’t put the book down, you absolutely beguile the reader.
Thanks for coming by Carolyn! And thanks again for your support on Seize a Daisy for my book and launch, Larramie. It means a lot to have so many on-line friends cheering me on this week.
Thanks for including a sample from your book, it sounds so compelling I can’t wait to read it! Best of luck on the book tour!
BTW, I’ve got an interview with Larramie over at my blog, we’re talking about her new blog: The Divining Wand, where she grants wishes!
Glad you had fun at your party, Meredith! It is kind of like a wedding. I felt like that, too. Only now I’m twenty pounds heavier and have more wrinkles. But I’m sure you don’t! Congratulations and great work.
Wow, I may have to “getinto” mysteries!
My mom is a mystery lover, so I know what her next gift will be. Your introduction is so compelling, I think I would read your book even if I didn’t know you. Congratulations, Meredith!
Thanks for sharing this snippet, Meredith! I was hooked just by the premise of your book, but this little teaser is great. I have to tell you that I especially appreciate the way you describe the characters. You didn’t take a whole paragraph at the onset and describe every detail of what the character looked like. Instead, it’s brillantly interspersed in places where it makes sense to be. I LOVE that! Best wishes!
This is SO exciting! Glad you’re having fun, Meredith. Good luck — hope you sell a huge bunch! -Kaye
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