Saturday, August 8, 2020

"Shadows in Time"

Julie McElwain is a national award-winning journalist. Born and raised in North Dakota, she graduated from North Dakota State University, and moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for a fashion trade newspaper.

Her first novel, A Murder In Time, was one of the top 10 picks by the National Librarian Association for its April 2016 book list. The novel was also a finalist for the 2016 Goodreads’ readers choice awards in the Sci-fi category, and made Bustle’s list of 9 Most Addictive Mystery series for 2017.

The series continues Kendra Donovan’s adventures in Regency England with A Twist in Time, Caught in Time, Betrayal in Time, and Shadows in Time.

McElwain applied the Page 69 Test to Shadows in Time and reported the following:
From page 69:
“Educated guess. She would have stood out if she went to Aldridge Village, asking questions. A beautiful young woman without a chaperone?” She glanced automatically over her shoulder at Molly. “Someone would remember her. That’s also vital to a good con. When you’re doing research, you want to be low-key.”

“She may have disguised herself as a servant or someone from the lower classes, where she wouldn’t need a chaperone. Like someone else I know,” he said dryly, a not-so-oblique reference to the times when Kendra had made use of a maid’s uniform to go about London incognito.

Kendra dismissed that with a wave. “London is different than Aldridge Village. And she still would have been noticed, unless she disguised her looks. Possible, I suppose, but—” She stopped when Alec up a hand on her arm and looked at him “What?”

But now she saw what had caught his attention. They’d reached the crest of the hill. Below them was a charming glen, thick with woods, and a stream cutting through the fields. The land rose again in the distance, rolled green against the milky sky and dotted with bits of white.

“Sheep,” Kendra said.

“Not that.” Alec turned her slightly and pointed.

It wasn’t easy to see through the copse’s foliage. But there was enough space between the branches and leaves to identify something else: gray stone jutting upward.

A chimney stack.
In Shadows in Time, my main protagonist, Kendra Donovan, is confronting two mysteries simultaneously. She’s been asked to track down the missing manager of a brewing company, and she’s found her own world rocked when Carlotta, a woman claiming to be the Duke’s dead daughter, Charlotte, arrives. (In many ways, the former 21st century FBI agent has begun to regard the Duke as a father figure. And, as someone whose own parents abandoned her when she was a teenager, this development shakes Kendra up more than she cares to admit.)

While vague, Page 69 touches on both of these mysteries. Earlier, Kendra realizes that the missing manager, Jeremy Pascoe, was using another place to explore his interest in writing poetry, and she and her love interest, Alec, begin scouring the nearby countryside to find an area that matches the description Pascoe had shared with his mother regarding his writer’s retreat. While walking, their conversation veers to her suspicion of Carlotta, and they consider possible theories on how she could know intimate details of the Duke’s daughter. During their conversation, Alec even makes reference to Kendra’s unorthodox behavior of disguising herself occasionally to conduct investigations, which again reminds readers that Kendra is a modern woman stuck in the 19th century. She is trying to adapt, but she will never truly fit in, especially during an investigation. Their conversation is cut short when they see the chimney stack, indicating a cottage in the woods—in other words, a remote writing retreat. Page 69 is the end of the chapter, and it indicates both a sense of discovery and a slightly ominous note.
Visit Julie McElwain's website.

The Page 69 Test: Caught in Time.

My Book, The Movie: Betrayal in Time.

The Page 69 Test: Betrayal in Time.

Q&A with Julie McElwain.

--Marshal Zeringue