Wednesday, June 22, 2016

"The Devil's Cold Dish"

Eleanor Kuhns is the 2011 winner of the Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel competition. She lives in New York, received her master’s in Library Science from Columbia University, and is currently the Assistant Director at the Goshen Public Library in Orange County, New York.

Kuhns applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, The Devil's Cold Dish, and reported the following:
The Page 69 rule works as beautifully on The Devil's Cold Dish as it did on Death in Salem.

Page 69 is the final page of a chapter and ends with a cliffhanger - a fire.
Rees sniffed. "What's burning?" He realized that he had not been aware of the odor for a little while but had not paid attention. The acrid smell was much stronger in the kitchen, but he saw nothing amiss. The fire had been banked and only a few embers remained. He sniffed again and walked to the door. Although the sky was still streaked with light, the ground beneath lay in shadow. A reddish glow tinted the horizon. Lydia came up behind him.

"I smell smoke too," she said."

"Something's on fire," Rees said, descending the steps.

The stink of burning was much stronger outside and now he could see sparks flying in the air. He turned to tell Lydia to stay inside but found she was right behind him, a lighted lantern in her hand. "It's the bees," she said and lunged past him. Rees did not argue. He followed Lydia over the crest of the hill and down the slope.
This scene is an example of the persecution leveled at Rees and his family and speaks to one of the underlying themes: the harm malice, resentment and jealousy can inflict. After researching Death in Salem, and being immersed in the effects of the witch trials (which, of course, were 100 years too early for Rees), I wanted to write about what might happen if such anger were directed at Rees and his family. The question I kept asking myself was 'How could someone ever forgive such a betrayal?' And how would one feel afterwards?
Learn more about the book and author at Eleanor Kuhns's blog and Facebook page.

Coffee with a Canine: Eleanor Kuhns & Shelby.

My Book, The Movie: Death of a Dyer.

The Page 69 Test: Death of a Dyer.

The Page 69 Test: Death in Salem.

--Marshal Zeringue