Today’s review is a stop on the Great Escapes blog tour for The Brooklyn Drop. Extra special bonuses include an interview with the author, and the chance to win your own e-copy of the book!
This is a very fast-paced work! You can’t slow down for a minute, or you might get left behind. The pacing rides the line of almost being rushed, but doesn’t cross it, creating a great atmosphere. There’s an urgency that you more often see in mystery cinema than you see in mystery books.
In addition, the story-telling style Ms. Anderson uses in this work felt more like a memoir than the glossy sheen of “fiction novel”. It is very true-to-life, the characters feel like real people, and the struggles they face have weight. This is not a “30 minutes and everything is tied up with a bow” crime story that you would see on TV. The characters slog forward and fight for every inch, and the reader is right there cheering them on the whole way.
I recommend this work to those who enjoy intricate plots, fast-paced action, and cheering on the underdog.
To the interview!
StudentofOpinons(SO): I am new to this series, but am glad to have been introduced! Fina is a PI who also runs a cleaning service. That’s…not something I would have expected. Where did that idea come from?
Susan Anderson(SA): First of all, thanks for having me, and thanks for these great questions. So, a very perceptive question! You know, Fina is a survivor. She’s so full of energy, and thank goodness for that because she’s been through a lot. When she was in her teens, her father abandoned the family. In order to help financially, she started to clean apartments after school, and even that was not enough, so after high school, she interned at Brown’s Detective Agency, and picked up her PI license. But Lucy’s Cleaning Service grew and now Minnie, her office manager runs it, and it is used as a device in some of Fina’s mysteries to enable backstory as well as to move plot.
SO: What authors or stories inspire you?
SA: Golly, I read a lot and everything I read goes into a grist mill in my mind. Sometimes I like the way an author handles plot or character and their story becomes an inspiration triggering my imagination. I think poetry especially does that for me. But I love Agatha Christie and Anne Perry, Dylan Thomas and James Joyce and T.S. Eliot to name a very few.
SO: What is your favorite part of writing?
SA: Creating characters, because that just happens like magic for me. And I take on their skin and go to different places.
SO: Do you feel someone would be able to know you simply through your characters’ behaviors, quirks, and actions?
SA: Good question, but I have to say no. I am me, although sometimes I wish I had the patience of Lorraine, the energy of Fina.
SO: What is the first thing you notice about people?
SA: Their appearance. I studied drawing for many years and I love how the Impressionists changed drawing. They taught us to use our eyes and to mass in a scene by studying the edges of objects and drawing them. (The line goes ever on.) And that’s true of humans. You can tell a lot by looking at the edges of a person. Are they neat and crisp? Sharp? Inviting? Sloppy? What about the edges of their eyes, the set of their mouth, the lines of their face, their primary gesture?
SO: What cues do you use to tell what kind of person they are going to be?
SA: Usually their physical description, their unique gesture: it reveals character.
SO: One item you couldn’t do without?
SA: My laptop.
SO: Favorite Dessert?
SA: Ice cream.
Many thanks to Ms. Anderson for taking the time for this interview!
You have the chance to win your own copy of The Brooklyn Drop!
Comment below or tweet me @KSRPearson with the title of your favorite mystery book/series, and the top three reasons why it’s your favorite. Entries must be received by October 1, 2015.