By Carola Dunn
I wrote Regencies for many years before I started writing mysteries. However, when someone asked why I'd switched from romance to mystery, I realized I'd actually been preparing for the switch for years. Many of my Regencies had elements of mystery—or at least crime fiction.
The very first book I ever wrote, Toblethorpe Manor (aka A Girl with No Name), has a mystery in it. You've guessed it, of course: What is her name? She suffers from that old plot device, amnesia.
The next three books included a kidnapping and an attempted murder-suicide in The Miser's Sister, and three attempted murders in Angel. I went on from there to spies, smugglers, battle, adventure, even a heroine rescued from a notorious Russian prison!
What reminded me of the subject is the appearance in large print of another Regency with three attempted murders. (Why three again, I wonder? Perhaps a feeling that after three attempts, either the fourth will succeed or it's about time someone worked out whodunnit!) This is Captain Ingram's Inheritance, and someone doesn't want him enjoying his inheritance. It's the third of a trilogy. The first, Miss Jacobson's Journey, is about smuggling gold across enemy France to Wellington in Spain. The second, Lord Roworth's Reward, is about the Battle of Quatre Bras. Anyone expecting a Regency romance to be a comedy of manners would get a surprise with these three. They're now all out in large print (librarians, please note!) as well as various e-book formats (www.RegencyReads.com). The large print covers are nothing whatsoever to do with the stories, so I'll show you the e-book covers, which are great, much better than the original hc from one publisher and two pbs from a different publisher (and that's another story, not to mention that I could go on about cover art for hours).
I had a lot of fun writing Regencies. As well as various kinds of crime, I wrote one time travel, three retold fairy-tale novellas (magic and all), one based on The Frog Prince (a non fantasy version), and a ghost story. And best of all, over thirty years after I wrote the first, they're still earning!