Sunday, March 25, 2018

"Death of An Unsung Hero"

Tessa Arlen, the daughter of a British diplomat, had lived in or visited her parents in Singapore, Cairo, Berlin, the Persian Gulf, Beijing, Delhi and Warsaw by the time she was sixteen. She came to the U.S. in 1980 and worked as an H.R. recruiter for the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympic Games, where she interviewed her future husband for a job. She lives in the American Southwest.

Arlen applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Death of an Unsung Hero, the fourth book in her Lady Montfort mystery series, and reported the following:
From page 69:
‘We missed luncheon because I was teaching Lieutenant Carmichael to plow –the old way with a horse…”

“No luncheon, you must be famished!” Clementine thought her words sounded a bit forced, or even worse, jolly.

“Not at all, Molly sent us out a picnic lunch of bread and cheese. It was delicious –she sent cider too!”

Us? Clementine felt the evening was slipping away from her. What on earth is going on? She couldn’t quite remember this Lieutenant Carmichael who had spent most of the day with her daughter.
On page 69 of Death of an Unsung Hero Clementine is coming to terms with one of the most enduring changes on the home front caused by the first world war: the effect that it had on its women and most of all its young women. Pre-war Clementine’s daughter, Althea, would have been chaperoned everywhere after she had come-out in polite society as she was groomed to marry ‘the right man.’ Now in 1916 she is wearing breeches, driving around the countryside in her own motor car and running the local Land Army. She is independent for the first time in her life and loving the responsibility of doing something useful. She is also at risk as there is a particularly resourceful and cunning murderer on the loose in the local farming community of Haversham. When Clemmie learns that Althea has been picnicking alone with a young officer –not known to her family –she is extremely alarmed, not just for Althea’s lack of decorum at picnicking alone with a young man but also for her safety. Death of an Unsung Hero features Clementine Montfort’s daughter who has been set free from the hidebound conventions of the upper classes by a terrible war. Many of the female characters in the book are young women who work in munitions factories, drive public transport, or nurse in auxiliary hospitals –a considerable change in the early 1900s.
Visit Tessa Arlen's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Tessa Arlen & Daphne.

Writers Read: Tessa Arlen.

--Marshal Zeringue