USA Today best-selling author Marty Wingate shares her love of Britain in three mystery series.
The First Edition Library mysteries (Berkley) are set in the lovely Georgian spa town of Bath. Here we find Hayley Burke, curator of an impressive collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery—Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, and all the rest. Too bad Hayley has never read a detective story in her life. In book one, The Bodies in the Library, she attempts to bluff her way along when a member of a local fan-fiction writers group turns up dead—in her library. In book two, Murder Is a Must (October 2020), Hayley plans an ambitious spring exhibition and with luck finds the best venue and the best—if the most difficult—manager to put it on. Then, said manager is found dead at the bottom of a spiral staircase.
Marty’s first historical fiction book, Glamour Girls (Alcove Press, January 2021), is set against the backdrop of the Second World War in England and follows the story of Rosalie Wright as she goes from farm girl to Spitfire pilot.
Marty also writes two further mystery series. The Potting Shed books feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England—in the latest, Midsummer Mayhem, Pru finds herself up to her ears in murder and Shakespeare, as she builds the set for an outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Also, look for the short story Christmas at Greenoak. The Birds of a Feather mysteries follow Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village—in book four, Farewell, My Cuckoo, Julia attempts to identify a murder victim found at the edge of the village while doing battle with her boyfriend’s sister, who has made herself entirely too at home in Julia’s cottage.
Marty lives with her husband and two cats near Seattle, her local library standing in for a more colorful writing venue—say, Vita Sackville-West’s tower at Sissinghurst. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and the Crime Writers Association (Britain) as well as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Royal Horticultural Society. She has her own modest vintage collection of books from the Golden Age writers.
Marty takes research seriously—she is a former how-to garden writer of three books and a countless number (at least, she stopped counting ages ago) of magazine and newspaper articles on everything from apple maggot to the prettiest daffodils and the best-smelling roses. Research took on an entirely new light when she began writing mysteries, and now she and her husband travel regularly to England and Scotland, where she plunges deeply into study concerning the next adventure for Hayley, Julia, or Pru—sparing not a few minutes a day to head to the pub.
USA Today best-selling author Marty Wingate writes The First Edition Library series (Berkley) set in Bath, England, about the curator of a collection of books from the Golden Age of Mystery. Book one, The Bodies in the Library, concerns murder among an Agatha Christie fan-fiction writing group, and in book two, Murder Is a Must (October 2020), an exhibition manager is found dead at the bottom of a spiral staircase. Marty also writes historical fiction: Glamour Girls (Alcove Press, January 2021) follows Spitfire pilot Rosalie Wright through both the physical and emotional dangers of the Second World War. Marty writes two further mystery series: the Potting Shed books (Alibi) feature Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England, and the Birds of a Feather series (Alibi) follows Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village.
Marty prefers on-the-ground research whenever possible, and so she and her husband regularly travel to England and Scotland, where she can be found tracing the steps of her characters, stopping for tea and a slice of Victoria sponge in a café, or enjoying a swift half in a pub.