Pop Goes the Weasel--Finding Creative Inspiration from Real Life Event
by Martha Reed
Two pivotal things happened when I was in high school in 1974 that led me to write NO REST FOR THE WICKED, Book 3 in my Nantucket Mystery series: 1) a girl from my neighborhood vanished on her way home from the community swimming pool, and 2) I read Kidnap: The Story of the Lindbergh Case by George Waller.
Both events planted themselves deeply in my teenaged brain. I knew, even before I became a crime fiction writer that I’d have to come back and explore these two things someday.
In NO REST FOR THE WICKED, I synthesized the horror of child abduction and the Lindbergh kidnapping into a modern day ordeal. Because authors must torture their characters, I made it even more difficult for Detective John Jarad to solve the fictional Baby Alice Spenser kidnapping by placing the cold case in 1921 - ninety years in the past - so that John has to contend with natural attrition, family myth, fading human memory, deliberate misdirection, and outright lies.
He does, however, get to meet some intriguing and colorful new characters living at Island Sanctuary, Nantucket’s premier retirement facility.
As John pursues the Baby Alice investigation, myriad scandals emerge from the Spenser family’s Gatsby-esque past. DNA analysis provides the key to deciphering a genetic family puzzle. I also had great fun comparing the investigative techniques at the state level from 1921 - fundamentally fingerprint comparisons - against modern day FBI forensic advances.
To keep the story in balance, John’s wife, Sarah, has a different life focus. Sarah is halfway through a twin pregnancy, and she’s convinced that she is losing her mind. Sarah can’t shake the feeling that she’s being watched. She’d like to blame her paranoia on raging hormones, but she fears that her control freak ex-fiancée Mason has finally tracked her down, and that Mason is on Nantucket plotting revenge.
Events flare white-hot when a copycat criminal snatches a second child. John and Sarah must race against the clock to unmask the kidnapper and expose these modern day threats.
NO REST FOR THE WICKED is available in trade paperback and e-book from most retailers. I encourage you to support your local bookstore! Follow this link to read a free sample:
MARTHA REED (web link: www.reedmenow.com) is the author of the award-winning John and Sarah Jarad Nantucket Mystery series. Book one, THE CHOKING GAME, was a 2015 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion nominee for Best Traditional Mystery. THE NATURE OF THE GRAVE, book two, won an Independent Publisher (IPPY) Honorable Mention for Mid-Atlantic Best Regional Fiction. Book three, NO REST FOR THE WICKED was released by Buccaneer/KMA Pittsburgh in February, 2017.
Martha recently completed a four-year term as the National Chapter Liaison for Sisters in Crime, Inc. You can follow her online at reedmenow.com or on Twitter@ReedMartha.