by Edale Lane
Released: Dec 15, 2022
Why this book and why now?
I wrote the first book in the series based on a previously published short story. I had always wanted my main character, Stetson Goody, AKA Detective Xavier Wellington, to have more adventures and find her forever love. With two popular books in the series I was ready for Stetson to experience an iconic time in London’s history. So I pinned down the year – fall and winter of 1888 when Jack the Ripper terrorized the city. While she doesn’t discover the identity of the serial killer, his rampage influences everything else. Perilous Passages left us with a bit of a cliffhanger which needed resolving; therefore, I thrust Stetson into an almost impossible situation, a “daunting dilemma”, if you will. I also wanted to write a “locked door” mystery, so you’ll find that, too. Five different mysteries, one daring detective and her talented partner.
Do your character names have special significance or meaning?
When I first set out to write a short story for an LGBTQ anthology, Private Dicks Packing Heat, I wanted to invent an interesting and unusual name for my unconventional main character. After trying out a lot of possibilities, I seized on Stetson Goody. When British actress Bernadette Goody engaged in a romance with an American cowboy while touring the states, she named her unexpected daughter after her father’s iconic hat. Some twenty years later, Stetson desired to enter a career field which as barred to women and decided to create a reclusive, eccentric employer whose name she could hide behind while performing her investigations. It had to be a strong, British name which would command respect, and she was inspired to call him Xavier Wellington. I chose the name based on Xavier, the leader of the X-men, and Wellington, the general who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. The short story became a collection, and the collection spring-boarded into a series.
What’s your main character(s)’s favorite book and why?
Stetson Goody is a true intellectual and is very well-read. She loves Charles Dickens, among other classic authors. But one author and his works who are never talked about in my series would in fact be Stetson’s favorite – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. She would love the stories because she is a type of female Sherlock Holmes. She is interested in many of the same things as Doyle’s detective and would find him fascinating, not to mention she may learn from him. If there’s one thing Stetson might love more than solving a mystery, it’s learning something new.
What 3 things would your main character want with them if they got stranded away from civilization, and why?
1) Her Ulster Bulldog revolver. While she is physically fit and not afraid of a fight, Stetson realizes her limitations, and the fact a firearm is a great equalizer. Plus, she’s a crack shot.
2) A survival manual. Stetson loves books, and there were books published in the 1800s teaching hunting and gathering, what wild plants were edible, how to build a fire, and so forth. She would for sure want one of those to consult.
3) Can I say Evelyn, her life-partner? Stetson spent so many years alone searching, now that’s she’s found Evelyn, it would be heart-wrenching to have to survive alone without her.
What song does your character put on to start your book launch party?
Stetson has a music box which plays “Fur Elise” by Beethoven. She would wind it up and start it tinkling out the flowing melody, not only because she enjoys the song, but because it would remind her of Evelyn, her piano playing partner, lover, and best friend. Evelyn would surely be at the party, but Stetson would want her dancing, not at the piano performing. It was also something over which Stetson and Evelyn initially bonded in book one, so the piece holds romantic, sentimental memories.