Louisa and the Missing Heiress
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Did you love the Louisa May Alcott books as much as I did when I was growing up? What girl did not want to be Jo March, independent, adventurous, open to all new experiences? How delighted I was when I discovered, years later, that Louisa Alcott was as prolific as she was imaginative: she wrote many other novels, in many moods, some of them quite mysterious.
Welcome to the world of Anna Maclean and Louisa May Alcott
Join me and The Friends of Dickens, New York Chapter, for lunch and presentations during the annual Charles Dickens Birthday Luncheon. I'll be speaking about how Louisa May Alcott (and myself) were influenced by the fabulous Charles Dickens! Feb 9, 1 to 4 pm, at Connolly's, 121 W. 45 th St, New York.
I'll be a guest speaker for the Friends of Dickens, New York, a branch of the world-wide Dickens Fellowship, on February 9, 2013, in New York. Join us for lunch and festivities!
In 1855,Little Women exists only in the mind of twenty-two year old Louisa May Alcott, who dreams of becoming a famous writer. After a bleak winter in Boston, she convinces her philosopher father Bronson, her mother Abba, and her three sisters to visit cousins in charming, quiet New Hampshire. But soon after they settle in, the peaceful village is struck by tragedy, and Louisa begins to suspect that among her new friends lurks a vicious murderer - and he plans to kill again.
LOUISA AND THE COUNTRY BACHELOR
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"Louisa and the Country Bachelor" (Obsidian, 289 pp., $14)
Gentle Readers, It was the summer of 1855 when I first began to associate potato cellars with corpses. Yes, it was as strange as it sounds. I had passed a sad and dangerous winter in Boston after the death of my dear friend, Dot, and was much in need of fresh air and healthy exercise. So off to Walpole, New Hampshire my family went, where father could garden, I could join the local amateur theatre group and mother could have a bit of rest. Ah, but the best laid plans of mice and men...An immigrant bachelor was found dead in my favorite running place, a fading beauty set her sights on my elderly uncle, and the wonderful actress Fanny Kemple set Walpole on its ears when she arrived accompanied by a giant tortoise. And all the while, I was mulling over that character, that name, already whirling in my thoughts...Jo March.
ANNA MACLEAN IS THE AUTHOR OF of Louisa and the Missing Heiress, Louisa and the Country Bachelor, and Louisa and the Crystal Gazer.
"Anna Maclean shows us a side of Louisa May Alcott we never suspected in this fascinating new mystery series."
Victoria Thompson, author of the Gaslight Mystery series
"I was instantly drawn into the characters and culture of America in the 1850's. Cozy mystery lovers, this is your cup of tea."
Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of the Queen Elizabeth I mystery series
"This novel reveals that my great-great-aunt had a secret career that none of us knew about. It's great fun and a page-turner, and it uses the morals and mores of time and place to delightful effect."
John Pratt, great-great-nephew of Louisa May Alcott
Sharon Gallager Chance writes in the Ventura County Star:
Louisa May Alcott turns to amateur sleuthing in the cozy mystery novel "Louisa and the Missing Heiress" by Anna Maclean, the first in a proposed series that features Alcott as a premier mystery solver.
Maclean's premise for this series is that long before she wrote "Little Women," Alcott was writing what she deemed "blood and thunder" fictional stories to sell to newspapers. She and her beloved friend Sophie would wander the streets of Boston looking for inspiration for her tales, and Louisa would, more often than not, find herself involved in trying to crack a mystery or two along the way.
In this story, Louisa's dear friend Dorothy Wortham is finally home after a yearlong honeymoon in Europe. Dot is noticeably upset when Louisa encounters her at a tea party, but Louisa brushes it off as one of her friend's eccentric ways. The next day Louisa learns that her friend has been found dead in the Charles River. Bruises around her throat and injuries to her head lead the police to believe she was murdered and her husband Preston, who everyone thinks married her for her money, is the prime suspect. Louisa is more familiar with the strange behaviors of the families of Dot and Preston and thinks the killer is still at large. Intrigued and wanting justice to be served, she starts her own investigation and almost ends up as the killer's next victim.
Maclean presents a lively, fast-paced novel that mixes a little historical fact with a thrilling mystery to create a story that cozy mystery fans will immensely enjoy.