In a burst of creativity this morning and with time to spare, it being a Saturday, I finished the final edits on Shadow of a Doubt, the first Mirabel Sinclair urban fantasy noir novel. Noir fantasy? Well you get the idea. Formerly known as Mercy Sinclair, but renamed due to the existence of Mercy Thompson, which I didn’t realize when I re-wrote the story. Oh well, I don’t mind having to rename the main character. I also reconnected with the original setting that had shifted during the second draft, replanting it back in the 1930’s which allows me greater leeway in exploring the noir aspects of the writing as well as the social issues that faced women (let alone female detectives who are witches) during the time period.
Here’s the current query blurb I’m using for the story:
The shady underbelly of depression era Baltimore is no place for a young female investigator, but what’s a woman to do when she has to solve two murders and find a magic artifact for a troll who might work for the mob? She can whistle up the wind, or she can draw her Colt detective special, but either way someone is going to get hurt. Probably her.
When Ben Templeton’s former police partner dies, he calls on his young protege, Mirabel Sinclair, to stand in for him and meet the contact that wants to hire the agency to find a lost treasure. When they learn his dead partner was investigating the same lost artifact, they realize his death may not be the accident it seemed. And when the killer strikes again, the investigation kicks into high gear and Mira is forced into the grubby underworld of troll mobsters, elven racists, and New England witches. But is she ready? And who is the real killer?
Baltimore doesn’t give up its secrets easily and danger lurks in every dark alley under the watchful red eye of the Natty Boh sign. Mira must race to locate the killer before they find the treasure first and use it to increase their power, destroy the fragile tolerance between humans and non-humans, or destroy time itself… but she’ll also do it because she wants revenge. The gnomes are making illegal weapons, the elves have sent their ambassador to Baltimore, and in Maine an ancient witch hides her secrets, which may include the information that Mira seeks to unlock.
First novels are notoriously hard to sell. That said, I’m pleased with how it turned out and I’ll keep my fingers crossed as I start new submissions to agents on the revised work. On a separate note, SEO hates me. My sentences are apparently too long. I need to write shorter sentences. Hence these sentences. I need to avoid passive voice, too.
Yeah, I’m just a verbose and long winded guy, what can I say.