Online Tour Schedule
Nov. 15 – Carstairs Considers – Review
Nov. 18 – Wicked Cozy – Our Guest Post Blog: Edwardian Wedding Traditions
Nov. 19 – Murder, Mystery & More – Review
Nov. 29 – Jungle Red Writers – Our Guest Post Blog: The Kaleidoscope of Character
Dec. 2 – View from the Birdhouse – Spotlight and Giveaway
Dec. 3 – A Holland Reads – Spotlight and Giveaway
Dec. 4 – Cozy Up With Kathy – Review and Giveaway
Dec. 5 – Community Bookstop – Spotlight
Dec. 8 – Queen of All She Reads – Review
Dec. 9 – Laura’s Interests – Review
Dec. 10 – The Power of Words – Review
Dec. 11 – Varietats – Review
Dec. 12 – The Book’s the Thing – Review
Dec. 13 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – Spotlight
Dec. 14 – Girl with Book Lungs – Spotlight
Dec. 15 – Valerie’s Musings – Review
Dec. 16 – StoreyBook Reviews – Spotlight
Dec. 17 – Lisa K’s Book Reviews – Review
Dec. 18 – Bab’s Book Bistro – Review
Online Tour Schedule
Aug. 15 – Interview with Jan Cramer, our Audiobook Narrator
Sept. 22 – Release Day Facebook Party with Giveaway
Sept. 22 – DearReader.com: Our Guest Blog Post Blog: Collaborative Writing – Giveaway
Want to know more about our debut mystery, Wouldn’t It Be Deadly, and how/why we wrote it? Here’s the list of our virtual book tour – and enjoy an excerpt below!
Sept. 12th — Mystery Fanfare — 2 Heads Are Better
Advantages of a Partnership…
Sept. 20th — The Page 69 Test — Wouldn’t It Be Deadly
Putting Our Book to the Test…
Sept. 22nd — Mystery Writing is Murder — Taming the Story Beast
If you don’t have a whip and a chair…
Sept. 23rd — Dru’s Book Musings — A Day in the Life of Eliza Doolittle
Life in post-Edwardian London from Eliza’s Point of View…
Sept. 23rd — Femmes Fatales – Bloody Britain
Britain’s Bloody Settings and Sleuths…
Sept. 24th — Cozy Wednesdays — Escape to Britain
A little escape from the sleuthing business…
Sept. 26th — Shelley’s Bookcase — We Owe It All To Trixie
D.E. Ireland discusses being influenced by Trixie Belden…
Sept. 30th — Jungle Red — Questions for D.E. Ireland
D.E. Ireland answers a few questions about writing, life, etc…
Oct. 2nd — Wicked Cozy Authors – Interview w/B. Ross
Barbara Ross questions D.E. Ireland…
Oct. 2nd — Stiletto Gang – Sleuthing w/o License
How Amateur Sleuths Have It Rough…
Oct. 12th – Susanna Calkins’s Blog
An Interview With Mystery Writer D.E. Ireland…
Oct. 13th – The Rockville 8 — Q & A with D.E. Ireland
D.E. Ireland is on the hot seat – again…
Nov. 9th — Killer Characters — Henry Higgins
Higgins explains, although Eliza gets the last word…
An excerpt from Chapter One of our first book:
WOULDN’T IT BE DEADLY – D.E. Ireland, St. Martin’s Minotaur, September 2014
The shadowy hallway seemed as black as the heart of Jack the Ripper.
Eliza Doolittle paused at the top of the stairs. Why were the lights turned off on the second floor? Since there were no windows along the corridor, the housekeeping staff normally kept four electric lights burning. But all she could see before her was darkness.
Although she had no idea where it was located, Eliza fumbled for the light switch. She cursed these newfangled devices. How was a soul to know what to do when the electricity went out? If she needed illumination when she lived in her old digs on Drury Lane, she reached for a gas lamp – assuming she had a penny for the meter. Now every building in London was awash in the dim glow of electric lights. Maybe the storm caused the lights to go out. Today’s weather was especially foul as thunderous rains and wild winds swept over the city.
If she felt her way, she’d reach the room where she gave phonetics lessons. Her fingers brushed the flocked velvet wallpaper when she inched along the corridor. With her other hand, she grasped a heavy cloth sack weighted down with the tuning forks she used for her lessons.
What a silly goose she was. For years Eliza wandered through alleyways darker than this, with murderous dodgers lurking in them. That’s what civilized living did to people – made them fear every sound. Put a Whitechapel girl among the gentry and she becomes as jumpy as a Brighton maiden aunt. After all, she wasn’t walking along the corridors of a Bethnell Green council house. This was fashionable – and sedate – Belgrave Square.
The distant ring of a telephone downstairs reminded her that she was far from alone in the building. Not only did a prestigious company of solicitors rent offices on the first floor, her employer Maestro Emil Nepommuck lived and gave lessons in the apartment directly across from her classroom. In fact, she could probably hear him moving about his rooms as he prepared for the arrival of his own students.
Eliza stopped and listened. Not a sound. There wasn’t even the usual smell of Nepommuck’s Turkish cigarettes, which often permeated the whole second floor. Only the relentless pounding of rain on the roof broke the eerie silence.
Raised in the slums of Lisson Grove and London’s East End, Eliza was uneasy with too much quiet and stillness. A year ago at this hour, she would have been selling violets under the skylights at Covent Garden Market as dozens of costermongers hawked their wares around her. Now that she’d learned to speak like a lady, she had a more genteel occupation teaching others to speak the King’s English. But she missed the cacophony and lively crowds of market day. And at this moment she would have given five quid to hear just one greengrocer sing out, “Who’ll buy me fresh strawberries? Strawberries ripe from Kent! Sixpence a pound!”
She even harbored a regret or two that she was no longer living with Professor Higgins and Colonel Pickering at 27A Wimpole Street. There was never a quiet moment in that house with Henry Higgins holding court from breakfast to bedtime. However if she was still living there, Higgins would never cease to remind her how grateful she should be to him for turning a Cockney guttersnipe into a proper lady. No, she made the right decision to become Maestro Nepommuck’s teaching assistant.
She strained again to hear any sound from Nepommuck’s apartment. The Hungarian was not fond of mornings so perhaps he was still asleep. It was unlikely he had ventured outside. Eliza couldn’t imagine him stepping outdoors on such a wet and miserable day.
As she crept down the hall, a floorboard creaked beneath the carpeting. Eliza froze. Had she caused that sound? Blimey, if she swooned after hearing her own footsteps, she’d best head back to the stairs before she made a complete fool of herself and yelled for help.
Another creak, louder this time, but she hadn’t moved an inch. The sound came from farther down the hallway near Nepommuck’s apartment. Eliza held her breath.
Was someone slowly walking towards her? If so, why didn’t they speak? Unless they didn’t realize she was here. After all, if she couldn’t see a foot in front of her face, neither could anyone else. Eliza opened her mouth to call out, but hesitated. A childhood spent living on the London streets had taught her to trust her instincts. Just now they told her to keep quiet.
When thunder crashed overhead, she jumped. Hand over her racing heart, she heard the floorboards creak yet again.
Eliza refused to stand still like a frightened bird. How many steps had she taken since she left the stairwell? If she turned and fled however, she might fall headlong down the steps in the dark. And she didn’t fancy breaking her neck because a noisy hallway gave her the vapors.
The carpeted floorboards squeaked two more times, the sounds closer. No doubt about it, someone was in the hallway with her. Her eyes had adjusted to the dark, and Eliza thought she saw a shape move in the shadows.
Instinct be damned. She had to do something. “Who’s there?” Her voice sounded especially loud in the unnerving silence.
“I hear you, mate.” She put as much bluster as possible in her voice. “No use pretending you’re not there. If you’re lost, speak up. And if you’re lurking here in hopes of cutting a purse, it’ll be slim pickings.”
Again, only silence. Eliza heard a furtive footstep, and another. Suddenly a rush of pounding feet headed right towards her. She spun around and ran for the stairs, the bag of tuning forks banging against her hip.
“Leave me alone!”
Behind her came the sound of a grunt as whoever chased her drew near.
“Get away from me, you blooming—” Without warning, she lost her footing and fell hard to the floor. The bag of tuning forks slammed against the opposite wall. Eliza tried to get to her feet, but something hard pressed against her spine.
Her face flattened against the carpet, Eliza shouted, “Get off!”
A shaft of light broke through the darkness….