by Carola Dunn
I'm in the middle of doing my taxes, not my favourite job, but inevitable, as Daniel Defoe was the first to point out (as far as I can ascertain). Paying was undoubtedly as painful then as it is now, but I doubt if trying to figure out what you had to pay was anywhere near as bad. Forms multiply, the paperwork reduction act notwithstanding. And you'd better keep a paper copy, they advise, because no one will guarantee that the virtual forms you've filled in with such labour won't vanish into the ether, along with all those emails that disappeared en route--not to mention the vanishing blog posts. Somewhere, Little Green Men are laughing their heads off.
The other inevitability named by Defoe was, of course, Death. As mystery writers, we spend a lot of our lives planning Death, accomplishing Death, and explaining Death. With a long-running series, I'm constantly trying to come up with different methods of producing Death, as well as new motives and new settings.
In SHEER FOLLY, just out in paperback, the motive is as old as the human race, but the means is new--to the Daisy Dalrymple series, at least--and the setting is somewhat unusual: an artificial grotto, one variety of "folly" of the kind loved by 18th century English landscapers.
The hardcover came out a year ago with the same art, but it wasn't till I received the first copy of the paperback that I noticed the figure of Death in the depths of the grotto. Or is it the mysterious monk who haunts the place?
Or one of the Little Green Men in disguise?
I've posted reviews of Sheer Folly on my website
Now to tackle the local bus tax.