Susanna Kearsley will talk to Sisters in Crime Toronto at its first meeting of the new year this Thursday, Jan. 19. A former museum curator, Susanna wrote her first novel, the romance Mariana, on a dare from her sister, and then realized that writing was what she really wanted to do. Mariana won Britain’s Catherine Cookson Fiction Prize in 1993.
Susanna is also a mystery/thriller writer. Every Secret Thing, originally published under her pen name, Emma Cole, was shortlisted for Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 2007. This novel is a terrific read, full of twists, turns and surprises, as well some wonderful touches: vivid portraits of New York City during the 1940s and of present-day Portugal, and lush descriptions of grand old English houses. A clever blend of mystery and romance, and exactly my cup of tea: I like a bit of passion with my thrills.
Protagonist Kate Murray is a reporter at a Toronto newspaper who is on assignment in London, England, when she is approached by an elderly man who claims to know her grandmother. He tells her that he knows about a decades-old murder that he hopes to bring to justice. Minutes later, he is killed in a hit-and-run accident and, as Kate, delves into his background, she finds not only herself in danger, but also the people she cares for. Like the author’s time-travel romances, the story moves between the present and the Second World War.
Every Secret Thing has recently been reissued under the name Susanna Kearsley in Britain and Canada. I purchased it in e-book form for my new Kindle last week.
Susanna, herself, is a terrific person. In 2010, she co-ordinated the agent interviews at Bloody Words, and I know first-hand how much thought and effort she into matching writers up with appropriate agents. Thank you, Susanna!
Come out and meet her on Thursday. She’ll be talking about women in jeopardy.
Sisters in Crime meets at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at the Northern District Library at 40 Orchard View Blvd. near Yonge and Eglinton.