Sunday, October 25, 2015

"Faux Pas"

Sofie Kelly is the pseudonym of young adult writer and mixed-media artist, Darlene Ryan. Sofie/Darlene lives on the east coast with her husband and daughter. In her spare time she practices Wu style tai chi and likes to prowl around thrift stores.

Kelly applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Faux Pas, and reported the following:
A reader who opened Faux Paw at random to page 69 would get a decent sense of the story and the main characters. Faux Paw is the seventh Magical Cats mystery and clearly the cats—Owen and Hercules—are important. They’re the first two characters, along with the narrator, on the page. There’s also a hint here of a little on-going war between the two cats, a sub-plot which will tie into the main mystery.
“I have no idea how long this will take,” I said. Owen meowed and disappeared down the basement stairs. I made a mental note to figure out why he was spending so much time down there.

Hercules wound around my legs as I pulled on my favorite low leather boots.

I reached down to pet the top of his head. “I know it’s asking a lot,” I said in a low voice, “but please try to get along with your brother while I’m gone.”
Page 69 would give the reader a bit of a sense, indirectly, into the kind of person the narrator, Kathleen is. Kathleen describes her neighbor, Rebecca like this:
Rebecca was one of the kindest and gentlest people I’d ever met. She was tiny, with silver hair and blue eyes and a smile that lit up her entire face. She also had a will of iron.
Rebecca has hot chocolate and muffins waiting for Kathleen. It seems clear she’s fond of her younger neighbor, which implies that Kathleen is just as kind as the older woman.

This small sample of the book also lets the reader know who’s dead and hints at why.
Rebecca sat opposite me with her own cup. “The way Everett spoke...”

She hesitated. “What happened to Margo Walsh wasn’t an accident, was it?”

“I uh . . . I don’t think so,” I said slowly. I hated that Margo was probably dead because of a drawing.
And it wouldn’t be a Magical Cats mystery without food. That’s here too:
As promised, she made hot chocolate and topped each pottery mug with two fat marshmallows that smelled of vanilla before setting one cup in front of me.

“Would you like a rhubarb muffin?” she asked.
Cats, chocolate, and a mystery to solve: I hope that would be enough to entice a reader to pick up Faux Paw.
Visit Sofie Kelly's website.

My Book, The Movie: Curiosity Thrilled the Cat.

Writers Read: Sofie Kelly.

--Marshal Zeringue