Category Archives: Mystery

Guest Post: “The Necessary Deaths” by David C. Dawson

necessarydeathsthe_headerbannerHello, and thank you so much to Jamie for letting me write on his blog! It’s great to be here, and I’m really grateful to get to share the details of the first book in the Dominic Delingpole Mystery series, and to tell you a bit about myself.

david_c_dawson_headshot_hi_resSome stuff about me:

I live near the university city of Oxford in the UK. This is my first novel, so I was really grateful to DSP Publications when they offered to publish it.

In the past, I’ve been a radio journalist, for which I won a couple of awards, and a TV documentary maker. Thanks to the BBC, I travelled a lot. I’ve filmed in nearly every continent of the world, and I’ve lived in lots of different places: London, Geneva and San Francisco. But now I prefer the Oxfordshire countryside, it’s a bit quieter!

I have a wonderful boyfriend who’s a masseuse and therapist. I also have a son from my previous marriage. He’s now twenty-three, and this year he set up his own video production company. He’s doing great, and occasionally I help him out with camerawork. He made the trailer for the book, which I think is a great piece of art in itself!

And in my spare time…

I like to ride around Europe on my ageing Triumph motorbike. I also sing with the London Gay Men’s Chorus, of whom I’m intensely proud. Our aim is to combat homophobia through the power of music. We’ve sung at St Paul’s Cathedral, The Roundhouse and the Royal Festival Hall. But I’m proudest of the time we sang at the House of Lords, campaigning for equal marriage to be legalized in the UK.

thenecessarydeaths_coverAnd so to The Necessary Deaths…

Dominic Delingpole is a country lawyer living near Oxford in the UK. He’s in his early thirties, good looking but shy and very “English reserved”. He’s been seeing Jonathan McFadden, a landscape gardener and occasional opera singer, for two years. Jonathan’s the opposite of Dominic, confident, outgoing, outrageous. They’re in love with each other, but there’s a big commitment question hanging over them. You see, Jonathan wants an open relationship… Two other characters you’ll meet in this first book are John, a twenty-year-old student at Brighton University, and his boyfriend Simon who’s in a coma in hospital from a suspected drugs overdose.

What next, is there more to this series?

I’ve mapped out the story arc for the five in the series and I’ve nearly finished the second book. This first book is set in the UK, in places that I’m familiar with, and that I love. But subsequent books are going to be set in Sitges in Spain, San Francisco, Berlin and Tanzania. It’s possible that any of the characters might come and go over the story arc, it’s also possible that one or two of them might do some very surprising things, and a couple of them might meet unpleasant ends!

BIOG: David C. Dawson is an author, award-winning journalist and documentary maker, living near Oxford in the UK.

He has travelled extensively, filming in nearly every continent of the world. He has lived in London, Geneva and San Francisco, but now prefers the tranquillity of the Oxfordshire countryside.

David is a Mathematics graduate from Southampton University in England. After graduating, he joined the BBC in London as a trainee journalist. He worked in radio newsrooms for several years before moving to television as a documentary director. During the growing AIDS crisis in the late eighties, he is proud to say that he directed the first demonstration of putting on a condom on British television.

After more than twenty years with the BBC, he left to go freelance. He has produced videos for several charities, including Ethiopiaid; which works to end poverty in Ethiopia, and Hestia; a London-based mental health charity.

David has one son, who is also a successful filmmaker.

In his spare time, David tours Europe on his ageing Triumph motorbike and sings with the London Gay Men’s Chorus. He has sung with the Chorus at St Paul’s Cathedral, The Roundhouse and the Royal Festival Hall, but David is most proud of the time they sang at the House of Lords, campaigning for equal marriage to be legalized in the UK.

 

An Excerpt

 

“Mrs. Gregory,” said Dominic. “I would be very happy to have you as a client, but I’m not sure in what way I can act for you.”

Samantha smiled. “And neither am I just at the moment. Let’s call you a professional friend. I have no one else who I can turn to, and your legal mind will help me to see things a little more clearly. As you can tell, I’m a little emotional just now.” She turned away to wipe a tear from the corner of her eye. Then she looked at him steadily.

“Simon and I are very close. Ever since Richard, his father, died in a climbing accident, we have been a very tight family unit. I’d like to think Simon and I can tell each other everything.”

Dominic wondered if she was keeping up a brave front, or whether she really believed Simon told her everything. Her comments clearly contradicted what Simon’s housemate Jay had said an hour ago. Dominic decided that, as she was his client, he owed her the duty of honesty, and he should tell her about what he had learned in the last few hours.

“Samantha, I’m afraid I believe Simon may not have confided everything in you in recent times. I went to see John this morning before coming here. He told me about their relationship and how Simon was not yet ready to tell you.”

Samantha smiled.

“Dominic, I’m his mother. Do you think that I didn’t know?” She sighed. “I knew he was finding it difficult to tell me, and I was waiting for him to pick the right time. I didn’t want to rush him.” She paused. “But yes, you’re right, and I am wrong. Simon hasn’t confided everything to me; I merely know and am waiting for him to tell me. John is a lovely boy, and I was just pleased to know that Simon is happy.”

Samantha narrowed her eyes slightly as she asked, “But why do you think that means he must have kept other secrets from me? Surely you of all people must know how difficult it is to come out?”

Dominic blushed briefly. “Everyone’s circumstances are different, of course, and for young people it really is much easier….”

“Oh nonsense! Can I just say that I think it’s a bit rich for you to judge Simon when you’re so secretive about yourself? We spent nearly three hours in the car together last night, and I still don’t know whether or not you have a boyfriend!”
This time Dominic’s face turned crimson.

“Samantha, could we just get back to—”

“Well, do you?”

Dominic sighed. “I think it’s my turn to acknowledge that I am wrong. Yes, I do have a partner, and no, I am not very open about it. In this day and age, it probably is unnecessary for me to be quite so discreet. But after a while, it gets to be almost a habit.”

Samantha giggled. “Oh, Dominic, how delightfully bashful you are! I imagine that it’s rare you have a conversation like this with your clients.”

Dominic smiled. “Samantha, I can tell you truthfully that I have never had a conversation like this with my clients. You must meet Jonathan some time. I think you two would get on like a house on fire.”

 

Social links and buy links

 

Website www.davidcdawson.co.uk
Blog http://blog.davidcdawson.co.uk/#home
Dreamspinner https://www.dsppublications.com/books/the-necessary-deaths-by-david-c-dawson-321-b
Amazon Kindle UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Necessary-Deaths-Delingpole-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B01LEFUI7O/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Amazon paperback UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Necessary-Deaths-Delingpole-Mysteries/dp/1634774507/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1473839889&sr=1-1
Amazon Kindle US https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Deaths-Delingpole-Mysteries-Book-ebook/dp/B01LEFUI7O/ref=sr_1_4?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1473457953&sr=1-4&keywords=the+necessary+deaths
Amazon paperback US https://www.amazon.com/Necessary-Deaths-Delingpole-Mysteries/dp/1634774507/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1473457953&sr=1-4
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-necessary-deaths-david-c-dawson/1124515983?ean=2940157009700
Apple iBooks https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/the-necessary-deaths/id1135889190?mt=11
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/david.c.dawson.5
Twitter https://twitter.com/david_c_dawson

 

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Filed under Blog Tour, Contemporary, Excerpt, gay, Guest Blogger, Mystery, New Release, Romance

What I’ve been up to lately

008Things have been pretty quiet on both my adult blog (https://jamiefessenden.com/) and my YA blog (http://jameserich.com/) over the past few months, so perhaps it’s time to let people know what I’ve got going on.

So I did have a novel (Violated) come out in the fall, and it did pretty well. It’s pretty dark, and the resolution — while happy — isn’t the big catharsis a lot of readers hoped for, simply because my goal was realism. A story like this isn’t resolved by an epic bout of sobbing in your lover’s arms. Ever. Derek and Russ find the best possible, realistic happily-ever-after for them.

At Christmas time, I was delighted to be offered the chance to do a Christmas story on the WROTE Podcast — one of twelve stories representing the twelve days of Christmas in the carol. I hadn’t had time to get out any of the Christmas stories I was working on (I have one contemporary novella in the works, a free holiday story that revolves around the characters in the Dreams of Fire and Gods series, and a re-write of a previously published novella), so this was a great opportunity. I’m delighted with how the story came out, and Brad Vance‘s wonderful narration! All of the stories are terrific, so if you’re still in the mood for Christmas….

Brad also conducted a great interview of me, aided by my friend, Scott Coatsworth, if you’re interested.

Moving forward, I’m currently working on a novella about alien abduction for the next Gothika anthology (see previous installments: Stitch, Bones, Claw, and Spirit). Eli Easton, who originated the series (I helped a little), won’t be joining us on this installment. The authors participating in this issue are Kim Fielding, BG Thomas, FE Feeley Jr., and myself.

As far as which novels I’m working on goes, I’m having a little trouble with that one. I have several in the works. My YA novel Martian Born, a novel about a spy in the Soviet Union during the cold war (currently called Chimera), and a novelization of the Jomsviking Saga, about a fortress full of Vikings in the tenth century. I’m also tentatively working on an untitled novel about “cavemen” (what we used to call Cro-Magnon Man, but is now referred to as “Early Modern Humans” or “Anatomically Modern Humans,” because they are physically no different from us).

This probably sounds like I need to focus, and that would be correct. Martian Born is closest to being finished, but it’s intended for the mainstream science fiction market. This means a long, tedious process of sending queries to agents — most likely over a year or two, if not longer — because mainstream publishers, by and large, no longer accept submissions directly from authors. So while I do want to get that process moving, I’m also looking at getting other novels out more quickly.

This probably means I’ll either finish up Chimera or The Vikings of Jomsborg. But both still have a lot of work to do on them.

In the meantime, I have two stories that will be coming out soon. One is actually the first part of Chimera, presented as a short story called Train to Sevmash. This will be part of an anthology published by DSP Publications. I wrote the story first, then got permission from the editor of the anthology to expand it into a novel.

The second story is in an anthology put together by BG Thomas called A More Perfect Union — a collection of stories about same-sex marriage written by gay men who are actually married. My story, Destined, is a fictionalized account of how I met my husband and how we created our life together. The characters aren’t exactly me and Erich, but the events are largely true.

This has gotten lengthy, and I haven’t even touched on other projects I’ve been working on, such as finishing the Dogs of Cyberwar trilogy (I’m nearly done the second novella (A Mote in the Eye), but my publisher wants the third, before we move ahead), the samurai tale I’ve been adapting (Shinosuke), and the sequel to Murder on the Mountain, which is in the plotting stages (murder mysteries take a lot of plotting).

Yes, I’m a bit over-extended. But it’s my fault — ideas keep popping into my head. I just need to focus and prioritize.

In the meantime, I have the re-release of my first novel, Murderous Requiem, available for pre-order on DSP Publications. It will be released on March 22nd. This edition isn’t enormously different from the first, but I did go through and tighten things a bit, as well as clarify some of the confusing sexual issues in the novel. The story centers around an occult order in what is basically a “free love” commune, so all of the characters are in open relationships. This upsets some readers, who regard it as “cheating.” I do not. I wrote it for my friends who are involved in open or polyamorous relationships where everything is up front and honest, and everyone’s feelings are taken into account.

But that isn’t actually what the novel is about, anyway. It’s about an ancient manuscript containing a requiem mass that, when performed, may cause death… or possibly may resurrect the dead.

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Christmas, Contemporary, Drama, Fantasy, gay, Gay Marriage, Jamie Fessenden, Murderous Requiem, Mystery, occult, Occult/Paranormal, Rape, Romance, SciFi, Viking, Writing

“Murder on the Mountain” has won an award!

This past weekend, I was very honored to see my novel Murder on the Mountain win the Bisexual Mystery category at the Bisexual Book Awards in New York!

I’d been planning on attending the awards ceremony, and now I really wish I had. However, travel proved too difficult this time around. Fortunately, author Cecilia Tan tweeted the awards ceremony!

Click here to see the other winners!

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Thank you for a great blog tour!

Murder on the Mountain400x600The Murder on the Mountain Blog tour reached it’s final stop last week, and the last winner of an eBook was chosen!  And of course, I also drew the name of the winner of the $40 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate!

I tend to be the kind of person who doesn’t like to put other people’s names out on the Internet without permission (which is why I like to provide an email address people can mail me at as an alternative to putting their email info in a comment).  This is why I don’t make big announcements when a winner is chosen.  I just contact the winner privately.

But everybody who commented on any of the blog tour stops at any time during the past few weeks got their name in the “hat” — I went back and collected names before each drawing — and had a number assigned to them.  Then I used random.org as my drawing method.

So congratulations to the winners!  And thank you to everyone who commented or just read the posts!  It was a lot of fun, and I was pleased to see so much participation.

puddledock1901182.tifKyle and Jesse are already on their way to their next murder mystery adventure — a murder that occurs while Kyle is accompanying Jesse and his writer’s critique group on the annual Candlelight Stroll through the Strawbery Banke historical museum in Portsmouth, NH!

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Some comments about “Murder on the Mountain”

I’ve picked up a habit from my friend Eli Easton of using the review section of Goodreads to put in some comments about my novels (without rating them, of course).  So I put some comments in about Murder on the Mountain.  But after several comments by readers I felt compelled to expand my comments a bit to clarify exactly what the novel is and is not.  At this point, the comment has grown large enough that I think it warrants a blog post.  So here it is:

Murder on the Mountain is a cozy—a murder mystery solved by an amateur detective, where all the suspects are gathered in one place. In this case, in a Victorian hotel at the base of Mount Washington.

I did a lot of research into the way a murder investigation on the mountain would be conducted, including sending a list of questions up with a friend of mine who was visiting the summit to stay with the rangers for a week.  In the process, I discovered that local police don’t really get involved.  The state park rangers have jurisdiction.  If they choose, they’ll call in the state police from the Major Crimes Unit in Concord, NH.  Autopsies are likewise done in Concord.

However, the novel isn’t a police procedural, despite Kyle being a state police detective. Just as Jessica Fletcher in “Murder, She Wrote” somehow infiltrates police investigations wherever she goes, Jesse manages to do the same thing. I would never suggest that the real NH State Police would allow a civilian to tag along on an investigation. Although Jesse checking into the hotel and talking to the suspects is well within his legal rights.  Kyle could choose to dump him for it, but he couldn’t legally stop him.  Like other cozies, the story is largely about the puzzle.

This is another novel set in my home state of New Hampshire. I spent my early years in Gorham, near the base of Mount Washington, and my father worked at the summit of the mountain. I spent some time up there with him when I was about seven, at least once sealed inside the Observatory for a week during the severe winter weather—hurricane force winds and temperatures as low as 70 below zero.

2013-12-08 14.30.18The Sherman Adams building is fairly recent, since the Observatory building I remember burned down. Now Mount Washington Park rangers stay at the summit, along with the Observatory staff. They have jurisdiction over any crimes committed on the mountain, though they may call in the State Police Major Crimes Unit for a murder. This, of course, is what they did in the novel.

I set the bulk of the novel at the gorgeous Victorian Era Mount Washington Hotel. When I was a kid, we could never have afforded to stay there—I just saw it as we drove by. So I used writing this novel as my excuse to indulge my long-held fantasy of staying there for a weekend. My husband and I spent our anniversary there near Christmas, and the hotel was resplendent in more Christmas trees than I can recall. It was gorgeous.

That was also when we stumbled across the fifth floor…. I won’t tell you what we found there, but it was exactly as I described it in the novel. 😉

For those who have wondered about it, yes, I intend to write more mysteries with Kyle and Jesse as the sleuths!

I hope you enjoy Murder on the Mountain.

Buy Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5335

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Murder on the Mountain Blog Tour!

Murder on the Mountain400x600So Murder on the Mountain, my murder mystery set (mostly) at the Mount Washington Resort Hotel in northern New Hampshire, is released today!

Here’s the blurb:

When Jesse Morales, a recent college grad who aspires to be a mystery writer, volunteers to work on the summit of Mt. Washington for a week, he expects to work hard. What he doesn’t expect is to find a corpse in the fog, lying among the rocks, his head crushed. The dead man turns out to be a young tourist named Stuart Warren, who strayed from his friends while visiting the mountain.

Kyle Dubois, a widowed state police detective, is called to the scene in the middle of the night, along with his partner, Wesley Roberts. Kyle and Jesse are instantly drawn to one another, except Jesse’s fascination with murder mysteries makes it difficult for Kyle to take the young man seriously. But Jesse finds a way to make himself invaluable to the detective by checking into the hotel where the victim’s friends and family are staying and infiltrating their circle. Soon, he is learning things that could very well solve the case—or get him killed.

Dreamspinner Buy Link:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5335

Amazon Buy Link:  http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Mountain-Jamie-Fessenden-ebook/dp/B00MTB5TS6/

To celebrate, I’m doing a blog tour for the next four weeks!  During that time, I’ll be giving away four free eBook copies of Murder on the Mountain and one grand prize $40 gift certificate to Dreamspinner Press!  To enter, just go to any of the links below as they become active and leave your email address, or email me at jamiefessenden@hotmail.com.

During each week, I’ll pick a name at random from any of the sites to win a free eBook copy of the novel and announce it here on my blog.  At the end of the tour, on September 22nd, I’ll draw a name for the grand prize $40 gift certificate!  I won’t be eliminating people from the grand prize drawing, even if they win a free eBook, so if you win a free eBook don’t think, “Oh, rats!  I wanted the gift certificate and all I got was this lousy eBook.”  You’ll still be in the running.  (And you’ll love the eBook—trust me!)

So here are the stops on the tour:

Week One(-ish):

Aug. 22nd:  A Review of Murder on the Mountain at Prism Book Alliance
Aug. 25th (Monday):  Mount Washington on Angel Martinez‘s blog
Aug. 28th (Thursday):  Lizzie Bourne on Kim Fielding‘s blog

Week Two:

Sept. 1st (Monday): the Cog Railway on Shae Connor‘s blog
Sept. 4th (Thursday): My time on the mountain on F.E. Feeley Jr.‘s blog

Week Three:

Sept. 8th (Monday): The Mount Washington Hotel on H.B. Pattskyn‘s blog
Sept. 9th (Tuesday):  The fifth floor on Cardeno C‘s blog

Week Four(-ish):

Sept. 15th (Monday):  Kyle on Grace R. Duncan‘s blog
Sept. 18st (Thursday):  Jesse on Jana Denardo‘s blog
Sept. 22nd (Monday):  NH State Police on Eli Easton‘s blog

Sept. 23rd (Tuesday):  Back here to announce the winner of the gift certificate!

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Filed under Blog Tour, Contemporary, Drama, gay, Jamie Fessenden, Mystery, New Release, Romance

“Murder on the Mountain” is available for pre-order!

Murder on the Mountain400x600Coming August 22nd!

When Jesse Morales, a recent college grad who aspires to be a mystery writer, volunteers to work on the summit of Mt. Washington for a week, he expects to work hard. What he doesn’t expect is to find a corpse in the fog, lying among the rocks, his head crushed. The dead man turns out to be a young tourist named Stuart Warren, who strayed from his friends while visiting the mountain.

Kyle Dubois, a widowed state police detective, is called to the scene in the middle of the night, along with his partner, Wesley Roberts. Kyle and Jesse are instantly drawn to one another, except Jesse’s fascination with murder mysteries makes it difficult for Kyle to take the young man seriously. But Jesse finds a way to make himself invaluable to the detective by checking into the hotel where the victim’s friends and family are staying and infiltrating their circle. Soon, he is learning things that could very well solve the case—or get him killed.

This is my first “traditional” murder mystery.  Murderous Requiem had murders in it, but they didn’t occur at the beginning, and the main characters weren’t directly trying to solve the crime—they had other things on their minds.  But Murder on the Mountain is a “who-dunnit,” in which a body is discovered and the suspects are all gathered in a hotel for a week while Kyle and Jesse try to solve the mystery.

It was a very challenging story to write, and I spent forever going over the nit-picky details in the novel.  It was a lot of fun, though, and I hope people love it, because I have a burning desire to set Kyle and Jesse off on a new case soon!

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