Something extra special today – an interview with the author herself! And the chance to enter a giveaway! I don’t know that I can be any more excited about this review, which is a stop on the Great Escapes blog tour for Gone But Knot Forgotten.
Make sure you get a copy of this book! A page-turning read that I finished in one sitting, it keeps you on your toes, and in stitches, by turn.
The victim’s death in this mystery is neither “fresh”, nor “cold case”, as audiences will most often find in this genre. I thought the choice of having the death be some time past, but not a great amount, made this work quite interesting – a refreshing, unique spin on an oft told tale.
I seem to have a penchant for finding a new series and inadvertently starting a few books in. This is the third title in the Quilting Mysteries series, and I’m definitely going to have to go back and read the others! Ms. Marks does a wonderful job of referencing previous events, but with just enough extra explanation that the reader doesn’t feel on the edge of the “in the know” group, and can enjoy the fullness of the story.
I love these characters! They feel like real people, not caricatures of a certain type of person. Everyone I’ve met has a group of characters they wish could step off the page, and hang out with them. Martha, Lucy and Birdie are on my list! They are so funny, and experiencing their antics throughout the near-perfect pacing of this work makes the story so much fun to read.
As a history nut, the historical, and historical fiction aspects woven into the tale really set this book apart for me. I found the attention to detail in creating the items throughout the house for the reader was incredible, and really showed just how much care Ms. Marks has for her craft.
In all, it looks like I will have to make a new space on my shelves for this and other works by Ms. Mary Marks!
Now, to the interview!
StudentofOpinions (SO): Of all the places you have lived throughout your life, which one do you feel had the best stories?
Mary Marks (MM): I’d have to say Los Angeles, since that’s where I’ve lived most of my life. But I’ve also had some amazing experiences in places I’ve traveled: Israel, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Niger. I think the secret to gathering stories, no matter where you are, is the ability to be a keen observer of details and to connect with other people.
SO: What authors or stories inspire you?
MM: Is this a trick question? There are so many talented writers to choose from! I love the gentleness of Rumer Godden, the intellect of Elizabeth George, and the humor of Brad Parks.
SO: What is your favorite part of writing?
MM: I don’t like to do a lot of plotting before sitting down to write. I just let my characters tell me what they want to say and do next. The story that comes out of this process never fails to surprise and delight me. In this way, I discover the story as I go along, much in the same way the reader does.
SO: What similarities and differences to yourself did you write into Martha? Do you feel someone would be able to know you simply through your characters’ behaviors, quirks and actions?
MM: Are you serious? Martha is totally me, and then some. I am a zaftig, divorced Jewish quilter who spent 39 years living in the San Fernando Valley. I speak my mind, am fiercely loyal, and own an orange cat. However, I am (ahem) closer to Birdie’s age.
SO: What is the first thing you notice about people? What cues do you use to tell what kind of person they are going to be?
MM: I think I first notice the way they carry themselves. Body language can tell you a lot about a person’s state of mind. The next thing I notice is the eyes. Do they look directly at you? If not, what do they focus on? Eyes and facial expressions can speak volumes about a person’s character and intent.
SO: What is your favorite quilt pattern? What do you find to be the best part about quilting?
MM: I greatly admire appliqued quilts and the artistry and skill that goes into making them. But my very favorites are traditional quilts made with geometric block patterns. I especially love scrap quilts that include dozens of different fabrics. The possible combinations of pattern and color are infinite, and that intrigues me.
SO: What is the highest moment of your life so far?
MM: Aside from my children and grandchildren? I’d have to say finding this late-in-life career of writing cozy mysteries and having them published. I used to be a horrible warning, but now I’m a role model. Who knew?
SO: One item you couldn’t do without?
MM: My computer. Hands down.
SO: What is your favorite game?
MM: Okay, so you’re going to make me reveal my dirty little secret? I LOVE playing hidden object games on my computer.
SO: Favorite Dessert?
MM: Coconut vanilla cake from Ralph’s supermarket. Or key lime cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. Or anything made with chocolate. But hold the whipped cream. You have to draw the calorie line somewhere.
Many, many thanks to Ms. Marks for taking the time for this interview!
With the release of Gone But Knot Forgotten, Kensington Books has an amazing giveaway they will be drawing for.
Be sure to enter via this link:
I received a review copy of this work from the publisher through NetGalley