Our guest today at Book Club Friday is multi-published mystery author Carola Dunn. Carola writes the Daisy Dalrymple mysteries, set in 1920s England, and the Cornish mysteries set in the 1960s in Cornwall. She has also written 32 Regencies. You can read more about Carola at her blog and website. Today Carola talks about killers and how they come in all shapes and sizes. Carola is also offering a copy of Requiem for a Mezzo to one lucky reader who posts a comment to the blog this week. -- AP
Killers come in all shapes and sizes. Having just finished writing the 20th mystery in my Daisy Dalrymple series, I'm constantly looking for new variations.
For a start, I prefer the word "killer" to "murderer." Not all homicides are murder. Some of the unnatural deaths in my books involve assault not intended to cause death, accident, self-defence, or defence of others. This allows some of my killers to be sympathetic characters. In turn this allows Daisy to hold—and act on—a different view of Justice from that of her husband, DCI Alec Fletcher of Scotland Yard, who's sworn to uphold the Law.
They haven't yet quite reached the point where they want to kill each other!
Of course, some of my killer characters commit deliberate murder. Their motives ring the changes on the basics: greed, jealousy, fear, revenge, anger. They are male and female, young and old, rich and poor. Some are crafty (pun intended); some are not too bright and are not arrested immediately more through luck than cleverness. They are otherwise pleasant people who would probably never kill again if they weren't caught, and unpleasant people who are a danger to society.
But however desperate for new twists, I don't create homicidal maniacs. I'm just not really interested in someone who kills for pleasure, or from an irresistible impulse to kill. I prefer to explore the motive(s) of a person who feels he or she has a compelling reason that we can understand, even if we can't imagine ever taking it to the lengths of murder.
Thanks so much for being our guest today, Carola! Readers, if you'd like a chance to win Requiem for a Mezzo, leave a comment, and be sure to check back on Sunday to see if you're the lucky winner. -- AP