Q&A: Susan Page Davis (Spyglass Lane Mysteries)
Susan Page Davis talks about the Mainely Mysteries mystery trilogy she co-wrote with daughter Megan Elaine Davis. The first book in the trilogy is Homicide at Blue Heron Lake (Spyglass Lane Mysteries): In a peaceful Maine town, an old romance rekindles while an older crime is unraveled...
Q: The Spyglass Lane Mysteries all have elements of romance,
faith, and suspense—which of those facets was hardest for you to write? Which
was the easiest?
For me, the hardest was the mystery/suspense.
These were classified as cozy mysteries, but we put in some suspense elements,
especially in the third book. Keeping the murderer’s identity a secret was hard
sometimes. The faith and romance parts were easier for me personally.
Q: As a whodunit
writer who is a Christian, in what ways did your faith impact how you write a
We toned down the violence, for one thing. The murders happen off
stage in these books, which is normal for cozy mysteries. While they deal with
crime, we also avoided getting very explicit about the criminals’ lifestyles.
We also showed the main characters turning to God for wisdom and guidance.
Q: Tell us about your amateur sleuth.
Emily Gray grew up in Baxter, Maine--a
very small town on the edge of Blue Heron Lake (both town and lake are
fictional). Her early years were idyllic. Her parents ran a weekly newspaper
and owned a summer cottage on an island. Things took a dark turn when Emily’s
father died and her mother later remarried to a man Emily grew to fear. Her
best friend from childhood, Nate Holman, was one of the few bright spots in her
high school years. Then Emily’s family moved away. As soon as she could, Emily
left home for work and college. Now, seven years after graduation, she returns
to Baxter to prepare to sell her mother’s island cottage. She’s reunited with
Nate, and together they discover a murder victim.
Q: Do you base your characters on people you know or are they totally made up?
The characters in these
books are fictional. I’ve been known to use a person’s name in a book (usually
at their request), but the character isn’t usually like the person he or she is
Q: Who are the authors that inspire
you as an author?
For mysteries, I love Dick
Francis and Ellis Peters. For historicals, I’d have to include Janice Holt
Giles and Taylor Caldwell.