Martha Reed is an award-winning, independently published crime and mystery fiction author. Book one in her Nantucket Mystery series, The Choking Game, was a 2015 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion nominee for Best Traditional Mystery. Book two, The Nature of the Grave, won an Independent Publisher IPPY Honorable Mention for Mid-Atlantic Best Regional Fiction.
Martha recently completed a four-year term as the National Chapter Liaison for Sisters in Crime, Inc. She loves travel, big jewelry, and simply great coffee. She delights in the never-ending antics of her family, fans, and friends, who she lovingly calls The Mutinous Crew. You can follow her online at reedmenow.com or on Twitter @ReedMartha.
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do …
I was one of the lucky kids. My adorable grandfather Pop-Pop had a rambling family cottage on Lake Muskoka in Ontario, Canada. I spent my summers hanging out on a splintery wooden dock working my way through a hundred years’ worth of trashy paperback novels left to molder away in damp bookcases in one of the back rooms. It was pure heaven.
Pop had one brother and three sisters. After five o’clock, they’d all get comfortable on the porch, start sipping cocktails, and goof on each other. Because their generation grew up during the Great Depression, they knew how to entertain themselves, because basically that kind of entertainment was free. Besides criminally intense games of Gin Rummy, they would sass each other using conversations filled with jokes, double entendres, terrible puns, and true nimble wit. If I was very quiet, I was allowed to sit on the nearby steps, and listen.
I loved hearing about the world they grew up in. They were young when America partied through the Roaring Twenties, that insanely Gatsby-esque timeframe between the two great wars. I heard tales of grand weekend parties and big band swing dance contests, of car races, of dancing the Shimmy, the Black Bottom, and the Charleston. It sounded like marvelous fun. Then Pop would catch my eye, and he would sing:
Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do
I’m half crazy, all for the love of you
It won’t be a stylish marriage
I can’t afford a carriage
But you’d look sweet, upon the seat
Of a bicycle built for two.
–Harry Dacre, Daisy Bell, 1892
The funny thing is, that when I sat down to write No Rest for the Wicked, Book 3 in my Nantucket Mystery series, that little ditty kept playing in my head like an unstoppable earworm. When I finally paused long enough to wonder why, I realized that my new Nantucket Mystery needed to be set deeply in the past, in 1921, so that I could write about what I had learned from them.
In No Rest for the Wicked, state archaeologists uncover a suspicious steamer trunk buried in Nantucket’s landfill. The contents reactivate intense interest in the Baby Alice Spenser kidnapping of 1921. As Detective John Jarad pursues the Baby Alice investigation, myriad family scandals emerge from the Spenser’s privileged and gilded past. Modern day events flare white-hot when a copycat criminal snatches a second child.
No Rest for the Wicked is garnering 5-star reader reviews. Offering an array of colorful island characters and an intricate plot filled with surprising twists and reveals, No Rest for the Wicked promises to be a magical summer beach read. The Nantucket Mystery Series is available in trade paperback and e-book formats from Amazon and other retailers. Support your local bookstores!