Beatrice Bests the Burglars

As I mentioned in my last post, as I do research for the next full-length novel, I am going to be writing four new short stories featuring minor characters from my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series. I am pleased to announce that I have finished the first story. On September 15, in celebration of International Cozy Mystery Day, I will be sending out an email to my newsletter subscribers with instructions on how to receive an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of this story—Beatrice Bests the Burglars––for Free. So, if you are interested, and haven’t yet subscribed to my newsletter, you might want to do so right now by clicking HERE. If you subscribe, you will get instructions on how to get the first volume of short stories (including Madam Sibyl’s First Client, Dandy Detects, The Misses Moffet Mend a Marriage, Read more…

A Fall Update and some Discounts

A Fall Update: As summer comes to a close, I’ve become very aware of the fact that in December I will have been a published indie author for 10 years. This means I have seen self-publishing change dramatically from the early days when I felt the need to explain that publishing through Kindle Direct Publishing and CreateSpace was different from publishing through a vanity press, to the so-called gold rush years when my income from the sales of my books had visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, to now, when I have come to understand that I am not willing to spend the time and energy that it would take (in both writing and marketing) to recapture the income level I was making in those gold rush years. I came to this realization this summer, when I encountered Read more…

Maids of Misfortune: A New Audiobook Edition

I am very pleased to announce that a new audiobook edition of Maids of Misfortune is now available. This is a completely new version, narrated by Alexandra Haag, who has narrated all the rest of my Victorian San Francisco mystery series and my science fiction trilogy. In addition, if you get the book from AppleBooks, Nook, Kobo, or GooglePlay, you can get it for under $10. I am particularly excited about the fact this book, as well as most of the rest of my books, are now available to rent as audiobooks from libraries. I decided to have this new version of Maids of Misfortune done for two reasons. First, I was so happy with the way that Alexandra Haag has been interpreting my characters that I wanted listeners to get a chance to hear her narrative interpretation of this crucial Read more…

When Men will be Boys: Masculinity and Late 19th Century Fraternities

When I started research on my newest book, Scholarly Pursuits, the sixth novel in my Victorian San Francisco Mystery series, my only agenda was to take some of my series characters across the San Francisco Bay to solve a crime on the University of California campus at Berkeley. I was primarily curious about what life was like for college students in 1881, and since my mystery series focuses on women and their experiences in this period, I assumed I would mostly deal with what life was like for my female characters. (If interested in this topic, see this post.) What I did not expect was to find myself researching college fraternities and the role they played in the emergence of a new kind of hyper-masculinity among young men of the late nineteenth century. In fact, if you had asked me before Read more…

Who were the Women Attending Berkeley in 1880-81?

In Scholarly Pursuits (now available), I set the mystery on the University of California campus at Berkeley during the spring term of 1881. The university, first opened in 1863, didn’t enroll any women until 1870, and between 1874 and 1881, only ten percent of the bachelor’s degrees granted by the university went to women. This is not surprising, given that one of the decade’s most popular books was Sex in Education (1873), a book by Edward Clarke, a Harvard medical school physician, who argued that women who were educated in the same fashion as men would face an inability to conceive and produce healthy children, life-long illness, and possible death. Clarke only produced anecdotal evidence to support his claims, nevertheless, his views gave a veneer of science to already held prejudices against women attending institutions of higher education, particularly co-educational institutions Read more…