The book is finished and has even been edited by a professional editor. Those who have read it, and some are English academics tell me it is very good. So why hasn’t it sold? Do I need to revisit and re-edit?
I took several books off the shelf on ‘editing your work’. They all seem so broad in suggestions as to what I might need to do. Of course there is always the reader critic who also happens to be an editor. The problem like so many today is my lack of cash.
This is my dilemma and like all problems I sit and mull over looking for the best solution. I will read again Michael Seidman book “The Complete Guide to Editing Your Fiction.” If my memory serves me well I didn’t really find it helpful the first time because I had already had the book edited and there seem nothing wrong with it. Maybe I should look for over long sentences.
My protagonist is a very likable young man; he does have extra baggage with his very large family. The sub plot carries the story along without interfering with the main plot. The location is real and believable although I did use a little literary license when necessary.
I know I am doing what most writers do and procrastinate. I must knuckle under and while I finish my sixth book I will revisit and hope I don’t have to change too much on the first book.
Here is the synopsis: -
Coronation Souvenir a murder mystery introduces the handsome James Pidgley to the world. He is the seventh child of eleven children to Matthew and Sarah Pidgley. With his father and two brothers James is a partner in the Pidgley Property Company.
Elizabeth Friedman, a property agent, is showing 13 Crowhurst Road Birmingham England to James. It was his father’s childhood home and the very first house this Romani family lived in. Until that day they moved in they had wandered the side roads and lanes of England’s countryside living the lives of gypsies as their descendants had.
While viewing the property James and Elizabeth are interrupted by a distraught workman. He and his fellow workmate had just dug up the remains of a dead woman wrapped in an old carpet. Elizabeth Friedman is found murdered in the house several days later. Incredibly, the first corpse, dead more than fifty years, is determined to be Elizabeth's aunt who reportedly went missing three days before Her Majesty the Queen of England had her Coronation.
The police loosely and prejudicially tie James’s father, Matthew, to each of the two women and arrest him for the murders. Detective Mark Smith surmises that Matthew must have known Elizabeth Friedman because she was the property agent selling the house. Also, as he lived in the house at the time of the first murder, he must have known Elizabeth’s aunt even though he was only five years old at the time!
James is incensed and sets out to prove his father’s innocence out of his own sense of guilt for buying Matthew's childhood home and the desire to fight the prejudice displayed by the Detective toward the family’s gypsy roots. Detective Mark Smith, along with many other police officers, believes that gypsies are nothing more than a band of thieves, kidnappers and murderers. The Pidgley’s, in Mark Smiths’ opinion had crossed the line into the world of respectability and he would never accept that.
James’ investigations put him on the trail of two local wanna-be-big-time drug dealers, Dave Lily and Brian Steal. They have been using the unoccupied house to hoard illicit prescription drugs. Lily and Steal, threatened by James’ investigation, kidnap Anne, James’s most difficult younger sister. Heroically, James rescues Anne from a near death situation. Lily and Steal go into hiding taking their illicit prescription drugs with them. James dupes the pair into an underground abandoned World War Two bunker and locks them inside pumping water into the bunker. Trapped, Lily and Steal confess to the murder of Elizabeth Friedman after realizing they would drown. A few days later at a family party to celebrate Matthew's release and Anne’s rescue, James is surprised to learn that the drug dealers had merely assaulted Elizabeth Friedman. They are clearly not her murderers. Fearing his father would be arrested again, James continues to investigate.
When the real killers threaten James by shooting at him and then giving chase through a popular park, he realizes he must be close to solving the mystery.
Through further investigation he learns that Elizabeth had been a threat to the fifty-year-old secret surrounding the death of her aunt. To protect that secret she had to die. The actual killers are a mentally unstable brother and sister who have lived across the street from 13 Crowhurst Road all their lives and are Elizabeth’s cousins. They have been protecting the real story of their mother’s murder from the rest of the world all these years!
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Labels: Birmingham, Coronation Souvenir, Crowhurst Road, Michael Seidman, Murder Mystery, Queen of England, Romani