Today I welcome Kay Kendall to Terry’s Place. Kay writes historical mysteries set in the late 1960s. Her debut mystery is Desolation Row and her work in progress, a sequel, is Rainy Day Women. She’s got 3 books to give away, so be sure to leave a comment. You have until Friday.
If you can invite anyone (alive or dead) to dinner, who would you invite and why?
William Shakespeare would be my guest. We’d go to a public house (later called a pub) near the Globe Theater in London. He could rush over from work. I’d treat him to pigeon pie washed down with copious amounts of ale. Me–I’d be too mesmerized to eat. Gluing my eyes and ears to his every move and word, I’d try to decide if he really was a simple lad from Stratford-upon-Avon. I want to understand how he became a world-class playwright. I’d ask how he feels about having one of his famous lines turned upside-down, ripped from its context, to mean the opposite of what he intended. From Henry VI comes: “The first thing we do, we kill all the lawyers.” Actually, a rabble-rouser says this, knowing he can bring down the government easier if all lawyers disappear. Shakespeare was in reality suggesting that good lawyers are defenders of good government.
Now, same question, but invite one of your characters.
In Desolation Row Professor Klimenko teaches Russian history to my heroine—amateur sleuth Austin Starr. He always wears a black leather glove on his right hand, and she sits in class and ponders why, making up stories to explain it. Austin would maneuver her professor into having coffee after class and urge him to talk about his participation in World War II. In the book, all he’ll divulge is that he escaped from the Soviet Union with the assistance of good people, but he refuses to tell either Austin or his daughter Larissa about his exploits, which he calls catastrophes. Austin can’t stand not knowing how his hand got damaged. Curiosity is one of her driving characteristics.
Do you read books more than once? If so, name one and say why it’s special.
I bet you’ve seen those tee shirts that say—So many books, so little time. I rarely reread books. In my youth I did read Little Women, Black Beauty, and Jane Eyre many times. But thinking of my reading as an adult, however, I find only Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy by the great English novelist John le Carré. The first time I read this Cold War spy tale, I scarcely understood what was going on. It was so convoluted and mysterious, and le Carré used spy terminology that obscured his meaning. I’ve now read the book three times—plus seen the mini-series on television and the recent film. The book has everything I love—puzzles to figure out based on odd human behavior, elegant writing, historical backdrops, and thwarted love.