Queen of Murder
by Edale Lane
Released: Nov 24, 2023
Why this book and why now?
I’ve been a fan of RuPaul’s Drag Race for 14 years and watched it grow into a worldwide phenomenon. Recently, I have had the privilege of making friends with a professional drag queen in Chilliwack who graciously agreed to help me fine-tune all things drag to reflect current trends (and appear as a secondary character).
Seizing the opportunity to expand my Lessons in Murder series, I am excited to incorporate the world of drag into a murder mystery with a variety of suspects and move Jenna and Randi another step along in their journey together.
What is a significant way your book has changed since either the first draft or the way you thought it would turn out when you first had the inspiration?
In preparation for writing this book, I went back to the archives and rewatched some of my old, favorite seasons of Drag Race to collect ideas for creating unique drag queen characters. I was surprised when Hailey Adler (my expert queen) marked lots of words and phrases saying, “That isn’t done anymore,” or “We use different terminology now.” So I went back to fix all the questionable spots and bring them up to date.
The plot pretty much never changed from my original vision, but I decided on the spur of the moment to include a chapter in which the queens shared their backstories (briefly). As a mystery writer, I understand doing so might have put the breaks on the action, but as a writer of realistic human experiences, I felt it was important to portray the vast array of differences in how families and communities react to queer people and drag queens in particular. I had several beta readers mention they were so glad I included that chapter.
What TV show would your main character(s) most likely binge watch and why?
Jenna and Randi would enjoy watching Rizzoli and Isles, predicting who the bad guys were or how they’d get caught, commenting on the obvious chemistry between the leads, and concocting episode alterations that – had the network dared – would have taken the show in a believable, alternate direction… And because Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander are both so hot!
What 3 things would your main character want with them if they got stranded away from civilization, and why?
Jenna would want her gun and lots of bullets, her cat (so she’d at least have company), and a picture of Randi to remind her how much she’s loved and inspire her to keep trying until she found a way back to her.
What song does your character put on to start your book launch party?
“Up Where We Belong” by Jennifer Warnes and Joe Cocker. Both Jenna and Randi had long been looking for and hoping to find someone to love and be loved by – the right someone. With Jenna in a dangerous job, there are no guarantees. Both women have their powerful and vulnerable sides but they realize the truth – they are stronger together.