Woohoo! Tooting Moon is back on the production line.
The manuscript has been sitting on the virtual shelf for the past six months. I finally gave up waiting for the pandemic to be over. Two days ago I posted the MS to my assessment editor ‘publishing legend’ Lisanne Radice in the UK. Lisanne has nurtured each of the Dusty Kent Murder Mysteries to the final stage. I’m not sure how long it will take to travel from Australia to England as there are delays ‘due to limited flights and increased parcel volume’. Keeping my fingers crossed for a speedy trip across the oceans.
Tooting Moon is set in Broome, Western Australia. Team Dusty had a wonderful time there last year researching the area. We always choose to take our away missions to the warm north during Melbourne’s cold July weather. Alas, no away trip this year; we were locked into Victoria with state borders closed. Currently we are pretty much locked into our homes for a strict Stage 4 lockdown. We can only dream of one day once again travelling away together to a warm destination.
As mentioned in my previous blog, I also went to Tooting in London last year to check out the place that lends its name to the title of the book.
As soon as I receive Lisanne’s report and go through the manuscript again with her suggestions in mind, the next step will be to send the MS on another trip; this time to my wonderful, wonderful beta readers.
UPDATE 22 August 2020: The MS has just arrived in the UK. :)
Until next time.
JB (aka Brigid George)
The next Dusty Kent book is not yet ready. Unfortunately, juggling teaching and writing and other commitments leaves me with too little time. I'm excited about Book #5, Tooting Moon, which will now be published in 2020 not the end of 2019 as planned. BUT the cover is ready! Let me know what you think.
In Tooting Moon, one of Brigid George’s most ingenious mysteries, Dusty Kent must expose a killer of women. Beautiful Tiri Welsh and her husband Blake Montgomery were iconic Hollywood stars adored by millions around the world. All that changed one dark night in the Indian Ocean, when Tiri drowned under mysterious circumstances. The truth behind her death was never uncovered.
For fifteen years,Tiri’s sister fought tirelessly to expose Montgomery as his wife’s murderer. Finally, she turns to Dusty Kent.
(My thanks to Clarissa of Yocla Book Design for the awesome cover.)
My travelling is one of several reasons why I am way behind schedule with the writing of Tooting Moon.
In September I took time out to go to London for my niece’s wedding. Apart from having a wonderful time at the wedding I also saw a few sights. Here I am at Scotland Yard - released after hours of interrogation. Just kidding! My niece's father-in-law asked a couple of London bobbies to get in the picture with me but as they were armed to the teeth, they explained they were not permitted to get up close and personal with members of the public. Fair enough!
I also visited the suburb of Tooting (which features in the title of Dusty Kent Mystery #5) as well as a house in Norwood that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lived in between 1891 and 1894.
From London I went to Sicily for ten days. It was a much needed break in a warm climate and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Here is a picture of Mount Etna taken from the balcony of Il Sole Castello in Taormina on the east coast of Sicily.
Taormina has been a place of inspiration and refuge for many creative people over the years, including Oscar Wilde, Coco Chanel, Tennessee Williams and Truman Capote.
In July 2019 Team Dusty travelled to Broome, Western Australia to research the setting for Tooting Moon.
Here is the link to our adventures and pictures. Dusty Kent in Broome.
Click on 'Free booklet' above to receive a sneak preview of Tooting Moon and join my mailing list to be the first to hear all the news.
Until next time... JB (aka Brigid George)
UPDATE February 11, 2020: I managed to spend a lot of time on Tooting Moon during my break from teaching in January. I'm excited that it is now in the final stages of production and on track for publication in the first half of this year. Keep your fingers crossed for me!
UPDATE May 10, 2020. The publication of Tooting Moon has been delayed due to Covid 19 pandemic. I still hope to release the book in 2020 but nothing is certain at this stage.
Team Dusty has just returned from Broome, Western Australia, the setting for Dusty Kent Mystery #5 – Tooting Moon. Pindan red cliffs, dramatic sandstone rocks, red earth, bright blue skies, shimmering turquoise oceans, a 22 kilometre long beach of white sand, pearls and pearl diving, traditional land of the Yawuru people and home to many other nationalities - Broome is all of these things and more.
Popular Australian actor and comedian Shane Jacobson was persuaded to (eventually) give up his phone and relax into ‘Broome time’ on his promotional visit to Broome. On our second day there, Team Dusty member Claudette also found herself without her phone. We searched high and low all day and racked our brains about where she might have left it, but to no avail.
It wasn’t until that evening just after we sat down for a meal at Matso’s Brewery that Claudette’s husband, five thousand kilometres away in Melbourne, rang to tell her he’d located her phone. What? How did he do that? Well, he called Claudette’s phone on the off chance that someone had found it and would answer. And that’s exactly what happened. The lovely man who found her phone, and took good care of it hoping he could somehow return it to its owner was none other than Ahmat Bin Fadal, a local identity and retired pearl diver. As a young diver, Ahmat lived to tell the tale when his oxygen supply was accidentally cut off while he was underwater.
When we met up with Ahmat the next day, he told us Broome was like a magnet. Once you have visited, it pulls you back. Certainly, its rich colours, warm climate and friendly, small-town atmosphere make it a difficult place to leave. We knew we had only a few days to experience the uniqueness of this remote Kimberley town where the red desert meets the sea so we packed in as much as we could.
We visited Gantheaume Point where, in the early 1900s, a lighthouse keeper called Patrick Percy modified a natural rock pool to provide a soothing bath for his much-loved wife Anastasia who suffered with arthritis.
We were moved by a memorial erected to honour the women who were forced to work for the pearling masters in the late 19th century. The sculpture depicts a young, pregnant Aboriginal girl emerging from the water with a pearl shell in her hands.
And we did much more; wandered around the markets, dined at the cafes, shopped in the town, strolled along Cable Beach, supped cappuccinos and sipped Parisian Margaritas. One evening we had reason to celebrate because I received an email notification that Disguising Demons (Dusty Kent Mystery #4) had made the long list in the Davitt Awards for excellence in crime fiction. How good is that!!
Anyway, since you know #5 is on the way, get yourself a sneak peek now. Click here!
Update 9 November, 2019: I am behind schedule with the production of Tooting Moon. I now aim to have it ready around May 2020.
If you’re reading a Dusty Kent Murder Mystery you’re reading a Masala Mystery. A Masala Mystery? Seriously? Yes! It’s a murder mystery enriched by a blend of different spices such as chilli, allspice, cinnamon and mace, and sometimes black cardamom and nutmeg. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Don’t be alarmed; I can explain everything.
You see, outside the general classification of Mystery Novel, murder mysteries have many different categories. Brigid George’s Dusty Kent Murder Mysteries do not fit neatly into any of them. Instead, they contain elements of several different categories, which earns them the intriguing title of Masala Mysteries.
In India the word ‘masala’ (məˈsɑːlə) is often used to describe a dish enriched by many different spices, such as Masala Chai. From that usage evolved Masala Movies – Hindi films that combine several different genres. And now we have Masala Mysteries.
A Masala Mystery has strong elements of the Traditional Mystery, with murder (chilli) as its foundation. However, murder and its associated issues is explored in more depth and not treated humorously. In addition, a Masala Mystery has elements of the Whodunit (allspice), the traditional Cozy Mystery (cinnamon), and Detective Fiction (mace). Masala Mysteries can also include aspects of the Suspense Story (black cardamom) and the Locked Room Mystery (nutmeg).
It’s all just a bit of fun on my part but I kinda like the term Masala Mystery. Brigid George’s latest Masala Mystery is due out at the end of this year.
For those of you who would like to know more about the many types of murder mysteries I’ve outlined some of them below.
The general category of Mystery Novel with the basic plot elements as follows:
Here are some of the categories that come under the broad umbrella of Mystery Novel:
Readers are not necessarily aware of all the sub genres of crime fiction. As a result, a reader who buys a Mystery Novel expecting the fast paced story of a thriller will be disappointed if they are actually reading a Forensic Procedural or a Traditional Mystery (or a Masala Mystery).
My thanks to the good people at No Worries Curries for helping me to match appropriate Indian spices to the various murder mystery elements.
Wikipedia - Crime Fiction
The Balance Careers
Dusty Kent Mystery #5 is in production. Brigid George has written thousands of words. Team Dusty is gearing up for our trip to Broome in Western Australia in July. It’s full steam ahead!
Here in Melbourne we have just come out of a weird summer season where daytime temperatures ranged from 19.1 ºC to 42.8 ºC! The Bureau of Meteorology reported that it was a warmer than average summer but I seem to remember as many cold days as there were sweltering days. By the time July comes around, who knows what the weather will be like! The only thing we know for sure is that we’ll be warm up in Broome. The weather there is even warmer than in the perfect climate of Port Douglas where we were last year, checking out the setting for Dusty Kent Mystery #4, Disguising Demons.
Tooting Moon is shaping up to be one of Brigid George’s most ingenious mysteries. Dusty and Sean start their visit to Broome with a sunset camel ride along Cable Beach before settling down to the serious business of catching a killer. Did iconic Hollywood movie star, Blake Montgomery, kill his first wife, Tiri Welsh? Dusty is immediately suspicious of Montgomery, suspecting his urbane charm hides a sinister side. However, to get to the truth, Tiri’s is not the only mysterious death Dusty and Sean will need to solve.
Subscribe to our mailing list now for a free sneak peak at Tooting Moon as well an exclusive interview with Dusty Kent, a lady who rarely gives interviews. Click here.
Dusty Kent Mystery #4 has just been launched!
The launch of Disguising Demons on 19 October 2018 coincided with a special ceremony in Port Douglas, Far North Queensland.
Sylvia and Eric Barnes, my ex in-laws or my ‘pommie parents’ as I like to call them, loved Port Douglas. Sylvia passed away at age 90 in 2016 and Eric at age 92 in 2018. October 19th was their wedding anniversary and, as was their wish, their ashes were scattered at Four Mile Beach on that day. Launching Disguising Demons, which is set in Port Douglas, on the same day and dedicating the book to them is my way of honouring their memory.
Pictured below, reflecting on the lives of their parents at the ashes ceremony are Sylvia and Eric’s three children (Brian, Anita and Dennis).
In Disguising Demons, Dusty Kent is on a quest to find the truth behind the murder of a gentle Buddhist monk. What she discovers shocks and saddens her and has her Irish assistant questioning whether they should continue with the case.
Read more about Team Dusty’s trip to Port Douglas to research the setting for the book here.
Until next time....JB (aka Brigid George)
Yes! Disguising Demons is ready and will be released on October 19th, 2018 but is available now for pre-order. Check it out. This book, #4 in the Dusty Kent series, is set in Port Douglas, in Far North Queensland. It is an idyllic setting visited by the rich and famous from around the world including Bill and Hillary Clinton, George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Glenn Close, Kylie Minogue and many more. See gorgeous photos from my visit to Port Douglas here.
Here's the awesome cover designed by Yocla Book Cover Designs.
What Dusty discovers in her quest to find the truth about the murder of a gentle Buddhist monk shocks her and and has her Irish assistant questioning whether they should continue with the case.
This 4th book in the Dusty Kent Mysteries following Murder in Murloo, A Devious Mind and Rippling Red is certain to captivate you.
Let all your cares fall away; read a Dusty Kent today.
The next Dusty Kent mystery is nearing the finish line. In this fourth book in the series, Dusty and her assistant Sean O’Kelly are in Port Douglas, Queensland.
Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas early on a warm winter's morning.
The manuscript is currently in the UK with Lisanne Radice – renowned crime fiction editor. Changes will need to be made after I receive Lisanne's report; then my awesome beta readers will improve it even further by picking up on any fine details I might have missed.
Team Dusty has just returned from our second trip to Port Douglas to research the setting for the book. Not a difficult assignment, escaping Melbourne’s winter to the warmth of Queensland where we enjoyed sunrise walks along the beach, snorkelling among tropical fish on the Great Barrier Reef, early morning swimming in the pool, lazing on the balcony in the green surrounds of the Sheraton Mirage Resort and sailing in a catamaran on the Coral Sea. (See picture above - that's me on the catamaran, supplies in hand. Photo taken by Kay: my unpaid and overworked PA. )
I can’t tell you the title of the book yet, but I can give you a sneak preview of the blurb:
'From an Amazon bestselling author comes a classic whodunit with twists and turns and secrets that must be revealed...
The dead body of a Buddhist monk is found at the bottom of a cliff early one morning. Four months later with the killer still at large, the police in the small town of Port Douglas in Australia’s Far North Queensland call in Dusty Kent: investigative journalist renowned for her ability to solve cold cases.
Dusty’s heart goes out to the humble monk who lived quietly in a forest community, nurturing the garden and volunteering to read books to elderly residents. Why would anyone want to kill such a gentle soul? Is the killer a fellow monk with psychopathic traits? Had small town prejudice against the forest community manifested into violent hatred? What Dusty discovers in her quest to find the truth shocks and saddens her and has her Irish assistant questioning whether they should continue with the case.'
LET ALL YOUR CARES FAll AWAY; READ A DUSTY KENT TODAY!
Murder in Murloo, A Devious Mind, Rippling Red.
Until next time. JB (aka Brigid George)
Team Dusty enjoying pre-dinner drinks on our last evening in Port Douglas
at Nautilus Restaurant deep in a rainforest. Photo taken by our waiter, Etienne.
Sometimes readers think the Dusty Kent Murder Mysteries need to be read in sequential order like a serial (a story that is published in several parts over a period of time). That is not the case. The Dusty Kent Murder Mysteries are a series (several books that deal with the same subject or feature the same character) much like Agatha Christie’s Poirot series. Each Dusty Kent book is a stand-alone story. The books can be read in any order and you don’t need to read all the books if you don’t wish to. (I hope you do!)
The other confusing issue is genre. On Amazon.com the Dusty Kent series is listed in the 'Mystery, Thriller and Suspense' category. Wow! That is so broad and potentially misleading for readers. For those of us who are particular about the type of crime novel we want to read, choosing a book from such a wide range of styles can be time consuming. I don’t want to read thrillers or suspense. I want a jolly good murder mystery. BUT under the sub heading of Mystery you could find: police procedurals, murder mysteries, mysteries that do not involve murder, cosy murder mysteries, whodunits and goodness knows what else. Choosing the one that is just right is not quick and not always easy.
The Dusty Kent books, such as Murder in Murloo, are not thrillers or suspense. Murder in Murloo is a murder mystery. But what sort? Easy! A whodunit.
Once I would have called Murder in Murloo a cosy/cozy mystery. However, cosy murder mysteries are now often associated with the very light, often humorous, style of detective fiction. They are like pavlovas: light and sweet and devoured easily and quickly, leaving the reader smiling and licking their lips.
A whodunit, on the other hand, is more like a fruit cake: light enough to rise in the oven but with a substantial filling that can be savoured with leisurely deliberation. Sometimes the filling has a few nuts and sometimes even a little alcohol, but the ‘cake’ is essentially wholesome.
I hope that helps you decide whether a Dusty Kent Murder Mystery is the sort of book you would like to read. I hope the answer is yes because as Lawrence Wargrave said in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None:
‘...no artist, I now realize, can be satisfied with art alone.
There is a natural craving for recognition which cannot be gainsaid.’
JB (writing as Brigid George)
Rippling Red, Dusty Kent Murder Mystery #3 set in Darwin was released in April 2017. And now #4 is on target to be released later this year. I enjoyed a blissful two months over December and January working on the book without any teaching commitments (I tutor English students). It makes such a difference to the flow of writing to be able to spend a good amount of time on a daily basis working on a manuscript. The first rough draft is done; I know who was murdered and I know ‘whodunit’ – but I’m not telling you!
I’m excited about this book; it has shaped up well with twists and turns, eccentric characters, broken hearts and (of course) a murderer trying to outsmart Dusty Kent. The book doesn’t have a final title yet. I’ve tested a few out but haven’t found the one that is ‘just right’. That’s pretty much a normal process for me. Often I’ll end up choosing the very first title I tried out – it just didn’t feel right until I’d tried a few others as well. Quirky, right?
Anyway, Dusty Kent and her research assistant Sean O’Kelly are investigating a cold case murder in Port Douglas, in Australia’s tropical North Queensland. When I went to Port Douglas last year with two of the Dusty Kent team members we liked it so much we decided we’d go back and that’s what we’re doing in July this year. We’ll have a few warm days away from Melbourne’s cold winter – the only thing I don’t like about Melbourne.
Murder in Murloo, the first Dusty Kent Murder Mystery, has been selling well, followed closely by the second in the series, A Devious Mind. Thanks so much to those of you who have read, recommended or reviewed the books. I’m looking forward to finishing and releasing #4 for your enjoyment.
JB (aka Brigid George)