Ruined Stones (Poisoned Pen Press, July 2017) is our second Grace Baxter mystery. While this novel is set during December 1941 in Newcastle on Tyne, England, Grace was introduced last year in The Guardian Stones. At the time she still lived in her home village of Noddweir in Shropshire but now she is a member of the Women’s Auxiliary Police Force and has relocated to the city to work in a small police station headquartered in a former shop on the corner of a terraced street.
We write in a lean fashion, so the opening chapter of Ruined Stones occupies less than two pages. Even so it introduces two characters. The thoughts of the first reveal something of her history and hopes as Christmas nears. We also provide indications of social attitudes and physical conditions in the city, concluding with the cliff-hanging arrival of the second character.
Mary and Eric, thank you for contributing this post. You certainly create a strong sense of time, place, and mood in under two pages–and introduce us to an intriguing, sympathetic character, too.
We’re grateful for the space to talk about the first two pages of Ruined Stones, Bonnie. Thanks. It was a fascinating operation dissecting them and we hope your visitors find it interesting and useful. It is a novel close particularly close to Mary’s heart because it is set in the Elswick area of Newcastle, where she grew up — and you know they always say write what you know!
I liked how the authors broke down their first two pages into digestible bites and explained their intent for each section. There is a great deal of information doled out in the starkly-written paragraphs, and they certainly hooked me! Well done.