Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Summer of Interviews: Marilyn Levinson

Today I'm pleased to welcome Marilyn Levinson!

1. What was your inspiration for your book? Can you tell us about how your own experiences influenced this story?  

My new mystery, Murder a la Christie, was inspired by Agatha Christie and her wonderful mysteries that avid mystery buffs still read today. My sleuth is an English professor who leads a Golden Age of Mystery book club. Amid the murders she solves in her own life, Lexie Driscoll leads discussions about Dame Agatha and some of her books.  Murder a la Christie takes place on Long Island, where I live.

2. Would you classify this series as plot driven or character driven?            

That’s difficult to say. My characters are complex. Their personalities and conflicts drive the story. However, my wish is to never bore my readers, and so my plot moves merrily along.

3. Can you tell us a little about your main characters?

Lexie Driscoll is a very intelligent forty-eight year old woman who’s at a crossroads in her life. She tends to marry “interesting” men and was in the process of divorcing her second husband, when he burned down her house with himself inside. After the first murder, Lexie finds herself house sitting in Old Cadfield, an upscale community where she doesn’t feel completely at home. Her best friend and former college roommate, lives a few blocks away. Rosie’s married to Hal, one of Lexie’s castoffs whom she discarded for being kind of a nerd. Now Hal is a successful financial advisor.

4. Without giving away too much, tell us about the main conflict.

Lexie is about to open the first meeting of the book club, when she overhears her friend Sylvia being threatened by her neighbor. An hour later, Sylvia is dead, supposedly of her heart condition. Lexie believes she was poisoned and insists that the ME do various tox tests. More book club members are murdered. The remaining members, including Rosie, close rank as Lexie unearths secret after secret of the good people of Old Cadfield.

5. What do you hope readers take away from this book?

A sense of satisfaction that they’ve read a good mystery. Several reviewers and readers told me they didn’t figure out who the murderer was, which pleased me no end. I also hope that Murder a la Christie will inspire readers to read more of my mysteries and those written by Agatha Christie.

6. What song best describes your writing style?

7. Night Owl or Early Bird?

Neither. I write best in the late afternoon.

8. Skittle or M&Ms?

Neither. I love Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Almonds

9. Who are your favorite authors?

Some of my favorite mystery authors are Josephine Tey, Ann Cleeves, P. D. James, Katherine Hall Page, Nancy Atherton. And of course Agatha Christie.

10. Can you tell us about any other future projects?

I’m plotting a new mystery series. My 30-year-old sleuth is about to stop wandering from city to city and accept the position of Director of Programs and Events in a small Connecticut library. The first book deals with a cold case.

More about Murder a la Christie:

Professor Lexie Driscoll is conducting the first meeting of the Golden Age of Mystery book club in her best friend’s swanky mansion when another friend is murdered. More members are knocked off as Lexie unravels secret after secret, leading her to believe she's living in Christie's novel, And Then There Were None. Using Miss Marple’s knowledge of human nature and Hercule Poirot’s cunning, Lexie reveals the murderer.

Find Marilyn and her books on:
Amazon page: http://amzn.to/K6Md1O
Murder a la Christie: http://amzn.to/1c1byHd


A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense, and books for kids.

Her latest mystery, Murder a la Christie, is out with Oak Tree Press. Untreed Reads has brought out a new e-edition of her first Twin Lakes mystery, A Murderer Among Us--a Suspense Magazine Best Indie--and will bring out a new e-edition of the sequel, Murder in the Air, in April. Her ghost mystery, Giving Up the Ghost, and her romantic suspense, Dangerous Relations, are out with Uncial Press. All of her mysteries take place on Long Island, where she lives.

Her books for young readers include No Boys Allowed; Rufus and Magic Run Amok, which was awarded a Children's Choice; Getting Back to Normal, & And Don't Bring Jeremy.

Marilyn loves traveling, reading, knitting, doing Sudoku, and visiting with her granddaughter, Olivia, on FaceTime. She is co-founder and past president of the Long Island chapter of Sisters in Crime.

Her website is: www.marilynlevinson.com