Once upon a time, a young Russian literature graduate wanted something a little lighter than War and Peace to read. (Seriously, that volume weighs a ton.) So a friend handed her a copy of Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers, and a lifelong love affair with detective fiction was born. After devouring Sayers’ entire oeuvre, our reader moved on to Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, Patricia Wentworth, and even a few writers who were neither dead nor British.
Years later, our reader set the demands of work and family to one side and began to fulfill her childhood dream of writing fiction. After fumbling around in a variety of genres, she said to herself one day, “Self, you love reading mysteries. So why not try writing one?”
And because that reader still loved her classics—in English as well as in Russian—she found a way to write about them while also writing a mystery. She threw in some other loves—old houses, fictional small towns with casts of eccentric characters, and second chances at romance—and the Crime with the Classics series was born.
As a result of a little luck and a lot of previous hard work, the series was picked up almost immediately by agent Kimberley Cameron and then by editor Marcia Markland of Thomas Dunne/Minotaur Books. And so our author became a ten-year overnight success story. But will Arsenic with Austen truly succeed? Only you, the reader, know for sure!