Thursday, July 28, 2011

Esri Allbritten

Esri Allbritten is the author of Chihuahua of the Baskervilles, first in a new mystery series that features the staff of Tripping Magazine, a low-budget travel rag that covers destinations of paranormal interest. The thing is, every time they cover a story, there’s a crime behind the supposedly supernatural event — kind of like Scooby Doo for grown-ups.

Not so long ago I asked Allbritten what she was reading. Her reply:
Here's my confession: I've read almost none of Agatha Christie's work. I remember reading some in high school and dismissing one of the most popular writers of all time with the thought, "There are too many suspects and they're all cardboard cut-outs." Since then, I've enjoyed many Christie stories on Masterpiece Mystery (especially the Poirot ones). Because the video productions are so good, I didn't seek out the books. But I recently went through some boxes of childhood stuff and found her book, There is a Tide....

I decided to give the Queen of Crime another shot. Verdict? I still think there are a lot of suspects, but I don't find them cardboardy anymore, just efficiently depicted. Also, it's funny stuff. The beginning of the book, where Hercule Poirot is conversing with a believer in spiritualism, is something I'd love to have written myself.
(Mrs. Lionel Cloade) "My brother Gordon married some weeks before his death, a young widow -- a Mrs. Underhay. Her first husband (poor child, such a grief to her) was reported dead in Africa. A mysterious country--Africa."

"A mysterious continent," Poirot corrected her. "Possibly. What part--"

She swept on. "Central Africa. The home of voodoo, of the zhombie--"

"The zhombie is in the West Indies."

Mrs. Cloade swept on: "--of black magic -- of strange and secret practices -- a country where a man could disappear and never be heard of again."

"Possibly, possibly," said Poirot. "But the same is true of Piccadilly Circus."
Clearly I have a lot of catching up to do.
Visit Esri Allbritten's website.

Allbritten lives in Boulder, Colorado with her husband, Angel Joe, and her cat, Musette La Plume. In addition to sushi, bowling and madrigals, she enjoys discovering quirky, real-life towns and wreaking fictional havoc in them. Her novels include two books about Lord of the Ring type elves, living in Boulder, CO.

The Page 69 Test: Chihuahua of the Baskervilles.

--Marshal Zeringue