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No Way to Die: A Ming Dynasty Mystery
by P.A. De Voe
About No Way To Die
No Way to Die: A Ming Dynasty Mystery
Historical Cozy Mystery
2nd in Series
Drum Tower Press, LLC (April 18, 2019)
Paperback: 210 pages
Digital ASIN: B07PWJ715D
Through mystery and intrigue, No Way To Die transports the reader into the complex and engaging world of early Ming China.
When a peddler finds a partially mutilated body of a stranger, the unlikely duo of a young scholar and a local women’s doctor once more join forces to discover who killed him and why. In probing the highly gendered world of early Ming China, unanticipated questions surface, complicating their investigation.
As their case rapidly transitions into the unexpected, they find all roads leading away from the victim, forcing them to consider alternate routes. Was the death the result of inexorable bad karma and beyond their purview, or merely the result of mortal foul play? Was the murdered man the intended victim? If not, who was and why? The investigation leads to a growing list of potential suspects: a lustful herbalist, an unscrupulous neighbor, a vengeful farmer, a jealous husband, a scorned wife, and a band of thieves. Who is innocent and who is the culprit? To solve the murder and bring peace to the victim’s spirit, the duo must untangle the truth and do it before the murderer strikes again.
About P.A. De Voe
Interview with the Author
What initially got you interested in writing?
I’ve always loved to read–whether fiction or non-fiction. For me, wanting to write stores was a natural progression from reading.
What genres do you write in?
Mysteries: amateur sleuth, contemporary cozies, historical mysteries, international (Chinese) mysteries
What drew you to writing these specific genres?
These are the type of stories I like to read. Whether contemporary or historical mysteries, I enjoy getting lost in a world different from my own.
How did you break into the field?
The first novel I had published was a contemporary cozy, A Tangled Yarn. It was published through a publisher who specialized in crafts and had just begun broadening out into publishing a cozy mystery book-of-the-month club. I happened to attend a writers’ conference where their representative was looking for authors. My experience shows how important attending conferences can be. You never know who you’ll meet to help you on your writing journey.
What do you want readers to take away from reading your works?
First, I hope that readers find my stories entertaining and a fun experience. That’s why we all enjoy reading, isn’t it? Second, especially in my historical Chinese stories, I want to open up a world that is at once quite different from their own everyday life and, at the same time, readers can identify with the characters’ dilemmas and emotions.
What do you find most rewarding about writing?
That’s an interesting question. I think I feel most rewarded when I’ve finished a short story or a novel and a reader tells me that she both learned something new (especially in the historical Chinese mysteries) and was moved emotionally by a scene or a character. We all write because we want to share our stories, otherwise we would simply daydream and never put words down on paper [or on the computer screen J ]. It’s really about the reader and her positive reaction to what I write.
What do you find most challenging about writing?
I really enjoy doing research for my stories, the problem is knowing when to stop and get on with the writing. You might think that I wouldn’t have to do much research for my contemporary cozies, but research adds depth to the stories. So, for example, I went to Maine and talked to the locals when I was preparing to write a cozy set in coastal Maine.
For my new historical Chinese mystery series (Deadly Relations and No Way to Die) accuracy was a top priority. So naturally I need to do a lot of research for these novels. For example, I needed a female protagonist who could get around without the usual constraints put on young women. Someone who could have existed in early Ming China. Through a footnote in a book I was reading, I found reference to a real women’s doctor who lived in the Ming Dynasty. Eventually, I was able to find out quite a bit about her, enough to use her as a model for my female character. That lead to several other lines of inquiry on related topics. Finally, I just had to stop, take stalk of what I had, and start putting the story together.
What advice would you give to people wanting to enter the field?
Believe in yourself and in your story. Write the best draft of the story you can. And remember, this is your first draft, it’s not the final product. Don’t get caught up in perfecting every sentence. After you have that first draft down, you will go through it several more times editing for grammar, spelling, plot, dialogue, etc. But–you can’t edit a story you haven’t written. If you feel stuck in your novel, take a break and write a short story. Finishing a short story is a reward in itself. Just keep writing.
What type of books do you enjoy reading?
Mysteries, historical and international novels.
Is there anything else besides writing you think people would find interesting about you?
I am an anthropologist with a background in Chinese studies. My two favorite hobbies (besides reading) are spinning yarn from natural fibers and making bears out of vintage furs.
What are the best ways to connect with you, or find out more about your work?
For more information about my writing and me, you can go to my web site: padevoe.com.
P.A. De Voe is an anthropologist with a PhD in Asian studies and a specialty in China. She has authored several stories featuring the early Ming Dynasty: The Mei-hua Trilogy: Hidden, Warned, and Trapped; the A Ming Dynasty Mystery series with Deadly Relations and No Way to Die; Lotus Shoes, a Mei-hua short story; and a collection of short stories: Judge Lu’s Case Files, stories of Crime & Mystery in Imperial China. Warned won a Silver Falchion Award for Best International Mystery; Trapped was a finalist for an Agatha Award and for a Silver Falchion Award. Her short story, The Immortality Mushroom, (a Judge Lu story) was in the Anthony Award-winning anthology Murder Under the Oaks edited by Art Taylor.
Purchase Link – Amazon
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