We’re excited to do a cover reveal today for How to Get Away with Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce. You’ll have to scroll down to see the cover and find out about the FREE giveaways.
But first, let’s hear from Elizabeth about how she came up with the idea for the book.
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember—even before I knew it was a job. The inspiration for the Myrtle Hardcastle Mysteries series came from a slip of the tongue one groggy morning as my husband and I staggered our way through breakfast, discussing the local news. I started to say something about “premeditated murder,” but it came out “Premeditated Myrtle” instead. We looked at each other for a moment, and I declared, “That is a middle-grade mystery!” Before I was even finished with Book 1, I knew I wanted to write more. As a lifelong fan of classics like The Lady Vanishes, a mystery set on a train seemed like the natural follow-up—and of course, How to Get Away with Myrtle was the only possible title. But England is not large enough to set an entire novel-length mystery just on the train, so Myrtle and company ended up in the next logical destination for a Victorian holiday: the seaside! Research for those two settings provided the seeds for the plot, and I will admit that my editor’s loathing of Aunt Helena in Book 1 made her a necessary component of Book 2. Sending Myrtle on her ill-fated holiday was just as much fun as I’d hoped, and I can’t wait for readers to go along on the journey with her!
Isn’t that a fun title? And here’s more about the book:
Before the train has left the station, England’s most accomplished new detective already is on a suspect’s trail, and readers will be delighted to travel along.
Myrtle Hardcastle has no desire to go on a relaxing travel excursion with her aunt Helena when there are More Important things to be done at home, like keeping close tabs on criminals and murder trials. Unfortunately, she has no say in the matter. So off Myrtle goes—with her governess, Miss Judson, and cat, Peony, in tow—on a fabulous private railway coach headed for the English seaside.
Myrtle is thrilled to make the acquaintance of Mrs. Bloom, a professional insurance investigator aboard to protect the priceless Northern Lights tiara. But before the train reaches its destination, both the tiara and Mrs. Bloom vanish. When Myrtle arrives, she and Peony discover a dead body in the baggage car. Someone has been murdered—with Aunt Helena’s sewing shears.
The trip is derailed, the local police are inept, and Scotland Yard is in no rush to arrive. What’s a smart, bored Young Lady of Quality stranded in a washed-up carnival town to do but follow the evidence to find out which of her fellow travelers is a thief and a murderer?
Elizabeth C. Bunce grew up on a steady diet of Sherlock Holmes, Trixie Belden, and Quincy, M.E., and always played the lead prosecutor in mock trial. She has never had a governess, and no one has ever accused her of being irrepressible, but a teacher did once call her “argumentative”—which was entirely untrue, and she can prove it. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and their cats. Premeditated Myrtle is her first book for middle-grade readers.
And now. . . TA-DA! *drumroll* Here’s the cover you’ve been waiting for!
Doesn’t this cover make you excited to read the book?
Elizabeth’s publisher is giving away two gift packs of both Myrtle galleys per pack: Premeditated Myrtle & How to Get Away with Myrtle. To enter, all you need to do is comment below, and we’ll pick two random commenters to receive the gift packs. Winners will be chosen June 1, 2020.
Praise for Premeditated Myrtle:
“A joyful thing to behold. Set in Victorian England, this mystery gleefully overturns sexist norms and celebrates independent women of intellect, with Myrtle Hardcastle leading the charge.”
—Booklist, starred review
“Bunce crafts a truly captivating murder mystery, throwing in a delicious mix of twists, red herrings, and relatives excluded from the family fortune. Myrtle is an entertaining protagonist, not afraid to get her hands dirty, sneak into mansions after dark to find a clue, or call out sexism of men toward her scientific interests or the racism toward her governess. The book will make readers yearn for more of Myrtle’s (mis)adventures.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“A saucy, likable heroine shines in a mystery marked by clever, unexpected twists.”
“[A] clever and lively Victorian English village murder mystery . . . Bunce does an excellent job of making Myrtle the lead actor but gives her a strong set of (mostly female) supporters.”
—The Horn Book
“In the tradition of heroines like Flavia de Luce and Harriet the Spy, Myrtle is a fine example of the Victorian scientific female—smart, inquisitive and fearless. Written with a terrific mixture of humor and suspense, Premeditated Myrtle is a perfect read for any budding detective.”
—Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of the Her Royal Spyness series