We love mystery!

Revisiting Anna Katharine Green with Patricia Meredith

Brook and Sarah are joined by Patricia Meredith to learn more about detective fiction pioneer Anna Katharine Green.


A Deed of Dreadful Note (2023) Patricia Meredith

The Leavenworth Case (1878) Anna Katharine Green

The Clocks (1963) Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Key and What it Opened (1867) Louisa May Alcott

The Affair Next Door (1897) Anna Katharine Green

The Golden Slipper and Other Problems for Violet Strange (1915) Anna Katharine Green

More about Patricia Meredith





For more information

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Music: Signs To Nowhere by Shane Ivers – www.silvermansound.com


This transcript is generated by a computer and there may be some mis-spellings and strange punctuation. We try to catch these before posting, but some things slip through.

SarahWelcome to Clued in Mystery. I’m Sarah.
BrookAnd I’m Brook and we both love mystery.
SarahHi Brook.
BrookHi Sarah. Happy Friday. Recording day.
SarahI know best day of the week. We’ve said it before.
BrookAnd we have a really special one today.
SarahYes. We’ve got Patricia Meredith joining us today.
BrookHi Patricia.
BrookI’m going to introduce you really quickly. Patricia Meredith is an author of historical and cozy mysteries when she’s not writing she’s playing board games with her husband, creating imaginary worlds with her two children, or out in the garden reading a good book with a cup of tea. She currently lives just outside Colorado Springs. Patricia’s first series The Spokane Clock Tower Mysteries is the product of uncovering fascinating local history circa 1901, making it the first historical mystery series set in Spokane Washington. Her second series, about Anna Katharine Green, is the first and only historical fiction featuring the mother of detection fiction. Her mysteries are clean, cozy reads known for their quirky, yet believable characters backed by extensive research. Patricia’s first book of poetry happenings is available in ebook format as well as her palindrome mystery inspired by Agatha Christie’s real-life disappearance entitled Murder for a Jar of Red Rum. Once again, welcome Patricia.
PatriciaThank you so much for having me. I’m so excited about this.
BrookWe are too. So, share with our listeners kind of the premise behind your series that is based on a character that you drew from Anna Katharine Green.
PatriciaYeah, so that’s ah the first book in a new series. So, the first book is called A Deed of Dreadful Note and this will be a series of mysteries where Anna Katharine Green is the lead detective, the amateur detective. But she is a real person from history. She’s one of those forgotten females that has been overlooked. And she is behind almost every trope, cliché, normal aspect of how you would describe a mystery today. And I happened to cross her and realized that she had written and published long before even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. And so when I realized that, and that she was the first female author of American detective fiction to really just bring everything together and and become… she was the Agatha Christie of her day and yet nobody knows who she is today. Most people have never heard of her. Except for you guys. That’s how I found your podcast. I’m always looking for people who are talking about Anna Katharine Green and you were one of the few that had mentioned her.
PatriciaAnd at the time I was working on my first draft of the novel and now it’s out there and so now we can talk about it and dive into her history a little bit more. I’m so excited to be reintroducing her to the world. We have so much in common and she just she has so much to share. So it’s been a remarkable journey uncovering the history of her life and getting to bring that forward in historical fiction and filling in those crevices and um, just yeah, uncovering new things every day.
SarahSo, Patricia you consider Anna Katharine Green to be your sister from another century. Can you explain why that is?
PatriciaYes, so when I first uncovered her, I had no idea that we would have so much in common. And I actually ended up doing a whole blog and when I first started researching her four years ago and then I just ah, rediscovered that list that I had made. And so, I made a video about it on my Youtube channel. So if you want to hear the full list you can check it out there. Some of the main things that we have in common for example, she was 32 when she had her first novel published. So The Leavenworth Case is first novel. And I was 32 when I had my first short story published, which is a short story called “Mary Did You Know” in Christmas Fiction Off the Beaten Path. And so you know we both published at the same time and then I dove deeper. And I discovered that her stepmother is Grace Hollister and Hollister is actually a family name on my father’s side so I might actually be related to her stepmother which would be really cool. Um, we’re trying to track that back I have a family member looking into that.
PatriciaBut yeah, so that would be really cool. I wouldn’t be directly related to her but to a very influential woman in her life. She moved a lot as a child. The last time I counted I have moved like 18 times in my life, including the most recent one to Colorado Springs and she moved at least 10 times that I’ve tracked so far. And that was just before her first book publication and then since then after she gets married. She and her family move quite a bit. So lots of moving and then the biggest thing that I love having in common with her is that she was also a mother. She ends up getting married. She has 3 kids um continues to publish books and she manages to publish 36 books total, 32 of which are published after she’s married and has given birth to her first-born child. And so the fact that she is a wife and mom I just really connected with that. Um, in this first book. Of course, she’s still single. But just finding those similarities it made it really easy to connect with her and then um, uncovering thankfully because she was so famous when she was publishing. She was interviewed quite a bit, so I found a lot of great articles where she talks about her writing process and we are so similar, it’s crazy. And so, I was able to incorporate that into the book and just I feel really connected to her like through history because we just we have so many things in common.
PatriciaHer faith is another one. She was a very strong Christian and that comes through in her writing and how she approaches handling finding the murderer and everything and I am also a Christian and then probably the other like cool thing that it kind of has to do with Anna Katharine Green but kind of doesn’t is the only other published book about her is a biography written by Patricia Meda so it’s another Patricia. So it’s just meant to be.
BrookI Love that. I love all of those things and I would agree the other authors that are mothers and wives also, I always feel a connection to because it’s so similar to you know how we spend our days and how you incorporate some of those really huge responsibilities but still express your creativity. So, I think that’s wonderful. Patricia, when did you first discover Anna Katharine Green and and become such a fan?
PatriciaYeah, so I was reading an Agatha Christie book of course because I’m a mystery author. So I love Agatha Christie she’s my comfort food. And so it would have been 2019 and I was reading The Clocks, which is one of my favorites.
PatriciaIt’s not in my top 10 but it’s definitely one of my favorites and there’s this whole scene where Hercule Poirot is ah discussing mystery literature with a character and he starts listing off some of his favorites and kind of making mention of them and so it’s really Agatha Christie commenting on other mystery authors. And at one point he says, “The Leavenworth Case is admirable. One savors its atmosphere, its studied and deliberate melodrama those rich and lavish descriptions of the golden beauty of Eleanor the moonlight beauty of Mary. And there’s the maid servant Hannah, so true to type. And the murderer: an excellent psychological study.” And so, that is just one of many things that he lists there and um so I went looking for those books because I’m one of those people who I love getting book recommendations from the books that I’m reading. So, cozy mysteries, historical mysteries I’ve incorporated that into my Spokane Clock Tower mysteries. I have them referencing literature all the time that’s published pre-nineteen-oh-one. Um, so it’s all public domain stuff. And so I went looking for these books and The Leavenworth Case. And so then I found The Leavenworth Case mentioned again in Agatha Christie’s autobiography. It’s misspelled but it is mentioned in there as part of her story of why she started writing mystery in the first place. And she reads The Leavenworth Case and is talking to her sister about it and basically it’s a dare, right? Her sister dares her to write a mystery that’s as good as The Leavenworth Case. And so, I was like “Okay, obviously I need to read this book because it’s behind all sorts of things.” And so I look it up and I discover it’s written by a woman. And that shocked me because I didn’t think that there was any anything written by a woman pre- gosh I mean really pre-Agatha Christie it feels like. It’s really hard to find women who wrote literature, who wrote mysteries. And I now know that that’s absolutely false There’s actually several women um including Louisa May Alcott, that was one that I stumbled across. Um she has a novella called The Mysterious Key and What it Opened. And she’s the author of Little Women of course and it’s another really good one.
PatriciaSo um, but yeah, so that’s how I found her and then I just started you know diving down the rabbit hole Google search and just discovered so much about her. Um, and then now I’m at the point in my research where. it’s repeating itself, right? I haven’t found a lot of new things. On the internet I’m starting to discover everybody says the same you know, five facts that are found in the Wikipedia article. Um, and so ah, when I stumbled across some articles from that time period and I’m slowly adding those onto my website that way everybody else can read them too. Um, that was when I was like okay I have enough here that I could actually write a book about her writing her first book. And so that’s what A Deed of Dreadful Note is all about is her writing The Leavenworth Case. My plan is to have her writing different books throughout her life and moving forward through history and so we’ll you know we’ll see her get married. We’ll see her have kids. We’ll see her meet sir Arthur Conan Doyle because they did in America and he was influenced by her greatly. Um, and so it’d be really fun to have those conversations and things and have that all come across so. And in fact, even Agatha Christie. I don’t think she ever met Agatha Christie but Agatha publishes her first novel basically at the end of Anna Katharine Green like right before she dies. Ah she dies a couple years later like eight years later.
PatriciaThat will probably be the denouement of the of the whole series is her passing the torch basically because Agatha is going to take over and sweep everybody away.
SarahSo you mentioned that ah you have a similar writing style to Anna Katharine Green. Are there any other influences that she has had on your work?
PatriciaWell writing a book about her. And writing this book was it was really fun to really get into her head and, it’s hard sometimes when I’m reading it. It’s one of those I wrote the first draft four years ago and then came back to it about two years ago. And then reworked it into its current form. And when I did that, it was interesting to me to read my own work and I honestly couldn’t tell except where I had marked it whether Anna Katharine Green had said that or I had said it because it was so similar. And basically while I was writing it I was reading The Leavenworth Case over and over and over again I found like a free audio book version, which is not very good. My husband is recording an audiobook version actually now, because he’ll do a really good job with the voices and everything. But I was listening to it and I was reading it and because I just really wanted to make sure that her voice was coming through in this book rather than mine. And thankfully I’ve had several people comment that they did find that they read my Spokane series and then they read this one and they were surprised that it was a very different voice. And so, I’m glad that that’s coming through because I want it to be her voice. It’s all first person that was one of the big changes that I made was it was third person and then I switched to first person because I just wanted to be. . . it’s her story. It’s all in her head. And then along the way in those four years I had found more articles and so I was able to incorporate those even more and more of her words.
PatriciaSo, wherever possible, I have her words coming directly out of her mouth. It’s all public domain. It’s all pre-1930. And so those articles and know the latest article I found is 1923 so yeah, it’s definitely public domain and so I was able to put her words back in her mouth, which is so cool. Because then you’re reading it and hearing actually what she thought about writing and what the process was like for her and then because it’s historical fiction I can breathe a little bit a little bit more life into it by changing a few things bringing some new characters in but wherever possible I used actual characters from her history. So, I’ve really enjoyed her influence on my writing because after writing this book coming back and working on other projects that I have um I think she definitely changed how I write. A little bit. She’s very poetic but that was something that we connected over because, like you read, I have a book of poetry too and so and in in college I was going to be a poetess just like just like Anna um, she wanted to be a poet.
PatriciaYeah I love her poetry. Her poetry’s very similar to mine. Some of her shorter stuff is similar to mine. Um, and so just finding those connections. It’s like it was just always meant to be that I I was meant to write this book and connect with her and and bring her back out because we just have so much in common. It’s a God thing. It’s just crazy so it gives you it gives me goosebumps whenever I come across thing and I’m like oh my goodness I I could have written that you know that’s amazing. So I love how she’s been influencing my writing.
BrookThat’s great. What challenges did you face when you were trying to bring this historic figure? I mean you spoke on it a little bit, but you know were there any specific things that you struggled with in trying to bring this historical figure into a fictional sleuth role?
PatriciaYes, because that’s one of the things that I like about writing historical fiction is I like the box that puts me in and because then it’s a challenge. And that’s why I like writing mystery too is because that solving the puzzle right? That’s the aspect of Agatha Christie that I love is she’s very good at her puzzles. Um I would argue that Anna Katharine Green is better at her character work. She gets a little bit deeper into her characters than Agatha Christie ever does, which is part of the reason why I like Anna Katharine Green. She also flushes out her main detective has an arc whereas like Poirot never has an arc. He doesn’t change. He’s a one of those static figures, which is great. You always going to get with a Poirot, with Anna she tries a couple different detectives but detective Gryce is definitely her top one. Trying to incorporate that. I guess the biggest challenge was what I decided to do for the outline of the book is she is writing The Leavenworth Case based on an actual mystery. She’s trying to solve and so the biggest challenge was not just rewriting The Leavenworth Case. Right? I’m not rewriting it but I am I’m bringing it forward to modern audiences because if you go back and you read the original Leavenworth Case like it’s very good but it is definitely Victorian literature. There are some things in it that are its its slower pace though actually very quick for a Victorian novel.
PatriciaShe doesn’t go off on on long tangents. Usually. There’s one big section where she does. But um, but it’s it’s it’s actually very fast pace for a Victorian novel I feel.
PatriciaSo trying to figure out how to rewrite The Leavenworth Case in a way that still was true to her own history didn’t want to completely change everything. So finding those little tidbits which actually brings to mind the quote that I have in the front of the book. Um, so um, i. This is something Anna Katharine Green says in an article. It’s called “Why human beings are interested in crime” and it’s one of the main articles that I love pulling quotes from because it’s her talking about why she loves writing mysteries. And “ I found that the incidents and books which people pick out as improbable are the very ones which are founded on fact. Truth is stranger than fiction.” And I had to put that in the front because that is that is what this book is is the the things that like my beta readers would point out and be like I don’t believe that for example, the whole thing starting at so they find the body and immediately you you have the coroner arrive.
PatriciaAnd they’re having the coroner’s inquiry right there in the house. Well that happens in The Leavenworth Case and it was one of the things that I was like really you know that’s not how it works anymore. So but maybe it was back then so I looked it up and it is. That’s how they did was they figured if they bring people in off the street. It’s going to be peers because. That’s who’s wandering the street is hopefully people that are probably around the same you know in the class system. So if if he dies on Fifth Avenue it’s going to be people who are his peers. Um, so they go pull random men off the street to come in. They go up. They view the body like it’s right there they see everything. Um, they have the detective come in and but the detectives usually not really at this point they’re not solving the way that like you know Sherlock Holmes is going to change how detectives solve crime though. It’s arguable that Anna did it first with Gryce because Gryce is very methodical in the way that sherlock becomes. Um. But I guess the argument would be that sherlock somehow he reaches more people so he has more of an influence and I think it’s because he’s written by a man. So Anna couldn’t change the system that she was in because she was a woman in 1878 so and writing in 1872 But so things like the coroner’s inquiry. Um you know, realizing that that was real. Those are things that that several beta readers right? right up through my arc readers were like I don’t believe that right? Because that’s one of the things I asked my beta readers to look for is what do you not believe and I was like no, that’s actually like right here right.
PatriciaOr she’d make a statement about something. I would put the words in Gryce’s mouth. And you know and they’re like oh I I don’t believe them I’m like okay she literally says that in an article right here. So you know so the incidents that you find improbable those are those are based on truth. Which makes it really fun because um, it’s historical fiction and so you get to fill in those crevices and find those loopholes that are missing from history and flesh it out a little bit more one of the main things I love about historical fiction. My favorite historical fiction to read and then my favorite to write that I try to bring through in my books is bringing history forward to a modern audience not by pushing our modern ideals on history but actually the opposite pointing out that nothing has changed There is nothing new under the sun people are still people and they might address differently and had slightly different technology but they’re still dealing a lot with. Same things especially turn into the century they were dealing with very similar labor problems with technology with the industrial revolution. You know oh my goodness AI is going to take over everything right is the problem now. Well that was their complaint back then what is technology is taking jobs from everybody. Getting to incorporate that into into my books and hopefully remind people as they’re reading it going? Oh so she’s a real flesh and blood woman who is dealing with a lot of the things of the time. Um, and so you might pick up a Victorian novel like you pick up The Leavenworth Case and the women are fainting.
PatriciaSo that was one of the things that I wanted to approach with my book and have her talk about um she actually has some very strong female characters in her books. The way she writes females is very different from other Victorian literature that you find at that time. And although they are fainting, you’ll find by the end of the book they are always doing it for a reason. They know very well what they are doing. They’re using their femininity and what they have been given in the society that they are currently living in what they can do with that to make their own choices and to move forward. Anna herself, she doesn’t get married until she’s I think she’s 38 when they actually get married. The fact that she’s a single woman pursuing her own career that her oh that was the other thing that people didn’t believe was her um, father supporting her in that decision. He didn’t push her to get married and. In Victorian novels you’re always seeing the father. Oh you need to get married and I think a lot of that is how the same thing you see now where it’s commercial fiction so people write what they think the world wants to hear instead of um, what people actually think sometimes.
PatriciaAnd so in Victorian literature you go back and you’re like oh well the women are all fainting and they’re all wearing their courses too tight and they’re all, um, you know, weak women. Um, and then you go back and you read historical accounts and it’s the exact opposite. You find proof that that is not true at all so you cannot base your perception of literature of history based off of literature. You really need to look at historical accounts instead and that’s what I found with Anna was I was really pleased to go back and find just what a strong female figure she was and be able to incorporate that in the novel and bring that forward. I didn’t need to paint her like her characters in her book and instead I could point out you know? Okay, so if you read my book and then go read The Leavenworth Case I want you to notice these choices that she’s making because she’s doing it on purpose. So um, yeah, so the historical box I love the historical box because it. It’s a challenge for me. Yeah.
SarahWell and and I loved in your book all of those pieces of history that you incorporated and then in your author’s note you know the explanation that you provided just to give that um to give that context and and to say “Actually this is this is how it happened” and just imagine if our justice system still operated that way right? like it would be I think it would be very different.
PatriciaRight? I don’t want to see dead body. It just funny I write mystery novels but I’m I’m actually very squeamish like I can’t handle. A lot of things especially like when it’s like a video version versus so like Agatha Christie right is a great example I love Agatha Christie’s books the way they’ve been remaking some of her books lately is a lot less cozy than the original Davids Suchet BBC version which is he’s my Poirot hands down.
PatriciaI like those versions the newer versions are a little I can’t handle it and I’m a mystery author. Ah.
SarahSo if you were having dinner with Anna Katharine Green what do you think you would want to ask her?
PatriciaSo I was thinking about that and man I think we would just get along so well. We would have a great conversation. I would want to ask her like what her current project is what’s your current idea how you get your ideas which is interesting because actually one of the things I came across so this summer I was able to drive out to Delaware and visit the Winterthur Research Museum out there because they had some original journals from Anna and her family. So I have now held and seen her handwriting which just makes me want to cry. It was so cool.
PatriciaWell one of the things that they had was this journal from when they went overseas and um so it’s a record of what happened every day. I love it. It’s so amazing. It’s an outline for a future book I can have them go overseas and solve a mystery. It’ll be amazing. Well in the back of the book is notes on a mystery idea and it’s just jotted down little ideas and I don’t know which book it is because I haven’t read all of her books yet I’m working my way through them. But I need to figure out like when you know, look at the the timeline of the journal and then when so it’s got to be some book that comes out after that right and try to match it up so that I can have her be inspired to write this book. It supports my whole premise for writing A Deed of Dreadful Note. You know it’s like no, she really was solving mysteries and witnessing things and taking notes and then. Putting them into her books just like I do just like every mystery author does every author does I mean you know we all sit in in coffee shops and listen to conversations and write down ideas. Um, or at least we used to be able to do that. So um, now it’s just surfing the internet and going. Oh that guy’s having an interesting conversation. Let’s watch that.
Patricia So the fact that like she actually did that. Um, and so I’ll be able to incorporate that. But if I think about like what I really want to ask her? Um, it’s it’s coming back to that my idea for the last book in the series I want to know. What her thoughts were when she watched sir Arthur Conan Doyle publish Sherlock and become world famous and just eclipse her in a second you know what was that like for her. Did it bother her? Did she not see it coming? Did she um fight against it? You know. Um, I just wonder what those conversations would have been with like her husband you know oh my gosh this guy you know and he’s coming over here and he wants to meet me what am I going to say to him you know, hi thanks for stealing my detective and making yours famous and mine is no longer remembered. Or Agatha Christie and what was that like for her to realize that her time in the sun was over which is a sad thought. But also I think she honestly would have shrugged and been like you know I was made for such a time as this I had my time and you know God gave me the words to write at this point in time and so I wrote them and now we’re moving on you know, history history moves forward. Um, and you know I hope I can have the same poise someday. So.
SarahBecause she she was in her time, she she was quite popular, right?
PatriciaShe was very popular. She was literally the Agatha Christie of her day I mean she was it. It was articles after articles written about her and um, you know her play was a me or her ah a debut novel was immediately made into a play. Um, which is equivalent today of you know someone coming along and turning your book into a movie or a TV show, right? So, the fact that it was immediately picked up. Um it did um, 2 or 3 tours. Her husband play a leading role in it and it’s and then just seeing how many books she published 36 books and whenever she would introduce some new idea so like um when she introduces Miss Butterworth and she starts solving mysteries like that’s going to go on to inspire Agatha Christie to write Miss Marple and and then she um, later writes Violet Strange, who is a girl solving mystery. So it’s like Nancy Drew um which by the way I loved your guys’ you did a whole podcast on that lot of this if anybody listening wants to hear more about um girl guide mysteries and stuff.
PatriciaThese two uncovered some amazing ah early mysteries that inspired that that I didn’t know I thought Anna Katharine Green had been first and I was wrong. She was inspired by others as well.
BrookOne thing I love hearing about, Patricia, is that you’ve kind of been a detective in this. You know you went and saw the journals and you’re tracing it back and you’re looking for clues that you may be related and you’re so I feel like. As somebody who loves mysteries that’s probably really fulfilling because you’re doing your own detective work along the way.
PatriciaThat’s true I hadn’t thought about it that way.
BrookIt’s really exciting. Well so if we have listeners out there and as you say Anna Katharine Green is not on the tip of everyone’s tongue anymore. But if somebody out there has not read any of her stories. Where would you recommend they start and kind of in general for some of that. Early mystery fiction. What tips do you have for for readers.
PatriciaYeah, um, so most people start with The Leavenworth Case. But as I said before if you were not a fan of slow burn Victorian novel, maybe don’t start there. And she’s got several high points where she just really kicks it out of the park. The Leavenworth Case is really good. It is her debut novel and she gets better. But it is what inspired Agatha Christie it’s what inspired my book. It’s what you know? So if if you want to and it’s very easy to find it is probably the only Anna Katharine Green is easy to find if you walk into Barnes and noble or anywhere and ask your your independent local bookstore right and ask for a book by Anna Katharine Green if they do a search, the first thing that comes up is The Leavenworth Case and they might have a copy. Um, The Leavenworth Case has been reprinted in like penguin editions and things like that right. None of her other books have it is very hard to find them. Um, in fact, there are some of them that aren’t even in print anymore. Most of them are not in print anymore. Um, so sometimes you can find them as ebooks you can find them on Guttenberg. Um, that kind of thing. Um. But like 1 of the things I’m hoping to track down is there’s another museum in Texas that has first editions of almost all of her books and so I’m hoping to get down there and actually uncover some of these books that have been lost and and you can’t find them anymore. Um, and maybe even.
PatriciaReprinting them myself just so that they’re out there because um, because yeah, they’re amazing. Um, so yeah, so slow burn Victorian original you know you read The Leavenworth Case and like I say in my book. There’s just there’s so many things that you go back. You read it and you’re like oh my goodness this is. The first time you know x y and Z has been done and um I mean detective Gryce himself is just as soon as you meet him you’re like oh my gosh. It’s sherlock but it’s 9 years before Sherlock Well fifteen years if you go back to when she started writing it so she she comes up with Gryce 15 years before Sherlock has hit the publication. Um, and um I mean he’s you know he doesn’t look people in the eye. He’s very methodical people take him for granted and just kind of push him to the side. He’s a consulting detective that kind of thing. The main character in The Leavenworth Case. It’s told from the point of view of Watson. Basically I mean that’s who he is um is he’s a lawyer and um, he ends up helping Gryce solve the case. Gryce has rheumatism um, which is something that Sherlock ends up getting later in his life. Um, and and in fact, Anna Katharine Green and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote letters to each other through the newspaper that are Sherlock writing to Gryce and Gryce writing to Sherlock.
BrookOh that’s lovely.
SarahAh, wow.
PatriciaYeah, um about the rheumatism specifically and it’s basically it’s ah all a marketing ploy. It’s so brilliantly done because it’s like you know well perhaps you know your author should read my newest case you know.
SarahAh I love it.
PatriciaYeah, and I’d give you a sidekick like mine because to help with the rheumatism and you know all that it’s it’s so good. So fun. But then if you jump forward a little bit, one of my personal favorites is when he she introduces Miss Amelia Butterworth um and her first one is That Affair Next Door, which was published in 1897. And that’s her spinster detective who is is the precursor for Miss Marple. So if you’re a fan of Miss Marple I would highly recommend you start with that one. She is very witty very snarky. Um, for an you know for an 1897 woman, older woman, a woman of a certain age. Um, and ah, you know and never got married. So what Anna does so well with her is it’s first person told through her point of view and so because she’s a woman, the way she solves the case and the things that she’s noticing all have to do with being a woman. So it’s you know, noticing the hat pin and noticing the style of dress the woman is wearing so that means she must be it’s last season’s gown. So it means okay, she’s hit some hard times or you know just things like that she has to you know, follow to the cleaners and track down you know who was cleaning and starching her gown and things like that. And so it’s just very woman-centric like ah a man could not have solved this. Gryce could not have solved this mystery because um, he’s not a woman and so it’s just. I love how she incorporated that so well. And it and it becomes very clear that like she’s always wanted to write a woman detective which is why I put that in the first one um in my book Adida dreadful note I have her actually her first draft of The Leavenworth Case she has a female detective. Um. And because I I think she absolutely would have done that if she could have if you could have gotten away with it. But as we know sometimes debut novels have a hard time seeing the light of day she had no idea it was going to be so famous and I think the reason it was is because of Gryce. If that still is not your cup of tea if you love Nancy Drew if you love and if you want to read something that she wrote much later. Um, so towards the end of her career so you want to see like you know how far she came in her writing um, and if you like short stories. Um, there is a collection called The Golden Slipper and Other Problems for Violet Strange and it was published in 1915 and that’s the one that’s the inspiration for Nancy Drew. Violet Strange is a young like debutante. Um, she’s you know in high society and um, you know.
PatriciaThe way that she’s described by the by the guy who like hooks her up with the mysteries and stuff like that. Um is is exactly like Nancy Drew like basically she can get into places that other people can’t because she’s high society and um so because one of the main problems. The detectives of that time and that policemen of that time faced and you’ll read this over and over again in historical fiction. It’s nothing new. But it is really true to history is that they were considered no one knew what class to put them in. It was a new position having policemen and detectives and because of the class distinctions having you know this. You know is he middle class? Is he even lower than middle class? Come into this upper class home and be daring to ask questions and stick his nose into you know, personal affairs and usually uncovering scandals because that’s you know that was their job and if there’s a murders probably has something to do with a scandal. And so Violet Strange can get into those situations without being noticed right? So again though, it’s a female detective and and a young woman and so again I just think Anna did a really good job of bringing those into publication. There’s only that one collection unfortunately of violet strange. Um, but it’s ah it’s it’s a brilliant idea and I’m glad that other authors took that idea and ran with it so that we have Nancy Drew and all of those wonderful stories now. So so yeah, so there you go three different depending on what you like to read 3 different types of Anna Katharine Green you can um, uncover.
BrookUm, that’s wonderful. Thank you so much.
SarahSo, Patricia this has been so great to speak to you before we. And today can you tell our listeners where they can find you?
PatriciaYeah, so I’ve got a website at ah Patricia Dash Meredith Dot Com and it’s kind of a blog I publish um a lot of the history behind my writing and if you sign up for my newsletter right? now you get a free copy of The Leavenworth Case. I published it as an ebook with an introduction by me. So, it’s me tying it in telling you a little bit more of the history behind it and then of course tying it into a d a dreadful note, which I should say you don’t have to have read The Leavenworth Case to read my book. Um, in fact, i. Almost recommend that you do it vice versa that you read my book and then read The Leavenworth Case because then I think you will notice things in The Leavenworth Case that you would not notice on a cursory read on your own. Um, and also the end of A Deed of Dreadful Note like I said it it follows the outline of The Leavenworth Case. It is different though. Is I purposely made sure it was different enough and the answer to the who’s the murderer and everything is different than in The Leavenworth Case. So if you read my book first it won’t give away the ending if you’re one of those people which I’m one of those people I hate spoilers. Um, however, if you read The Leavenworth Case first and then read my book. You will notice a lot of lines that are pulled straight out of The Leavenworth Case and you’ll notice a lot of what I’m doing a little bit more right? You’ll kind of see peak behind the curtain of of how I tried to structure the book. Um like The Leavenworth Case and then how she’s coming to those ideas and everything so it’s kind of fun to read it either way I had beta readers who read it either way. Um, I you know reached to and what was funny was reaching out to people and saying so I need you to read this Victorian novel first and then you can read my book so specific people I had to ask that who were willing to do that for me. Um, because I wanted to know if someone had read The Leavenworth Case how they would view my book right? It has to work both ways. Um. So yeah, so my website you can learn a lot more about Anna Katharine Green there um I’m trying to collect all of the articles that I used ah for for research on there and like I said I’m uncovering more every day and then I have ah like a blog that points out all of the quotes. That are and A Deed of Dreadful Note. So if you want like an annotated version of my book just print that off and put it next to your book because it it points out every time I used a quote that was directly from an article or from The Leavenworth Case or from a poem you know that kind of thing. Um. And it’s kind of fun because then you can kind of see you know where where it’s all coming together. I also have a Youtube channel which is at P Meredith author um and on there I do a lot of similar things. So it’s a lot of history behind the mysteries.
PatriciaSo if you’re more of a visual or audio person I would recommend checking that out because um, again, what I’ve been showing on there is like things like when I get went to the Winterthur Museum so you can see her handwriting and you can see the things that I uncovered there. Um. I would kind of recommend not watching that particular 1 until you’ve read the book because it I mean if you Google Anna Katharine Green you’re going to see who she’s going to end up with so just know that ist that is a spoiler and I did have some people do that they were like oh yeah, so you know halfway through the book I wanted to know what was real and so I went and looked her up and it answered.
PatriciaA couple things about her life that you know ah I probably shouldn’t have known going into the book. But that’s okay, it’s still enjoyable. Then I’m on social media on ah Instagram and Facebook mostly Instagram ah under the same thing so at p meredith author. I’ve got a new book coming out at Christmas in a new series because I’m nuts and why not let’s start a third mystery series. Um, and I’m really excited. It’s a fantastical Christmas cozy mystery because it follows ah Sam Shovel who is a talking Snowman who comes to life once a year at the north pole and he works with Nick and Nora Clause who are the lead Santas at the north pole and someone has murdered Mr. O Tannenbaum who is the leading Christmas tree salesman and so he’s been found murdered and the lead suspects are the other Santas of the Santa franchise from all across the world and not to mention all the people who live at the north pole so you’ve got Rudolph and it’s got enough Christmas references to choke a reindeer. It’s. Ah, much fun. It’s been so much fun. There’s Christmas Carols. There’s Christmas movies. I mean yeah, it’s been so much fun putting that book together and it just kind of happened so that’ll be coming out this Christmas wherever books are sold.
BrookThat’s fantastic, Patricia. Thank you so much for joining us today. We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time and just like you. We’re really proud and happy to be bringing more awareness. Um. About Anna Catherine Green to mystery lovers and thank you all for listening to Clued in Mystery today I’m Brook.
PatriciaAbsolutely thank you so much for having me.
SarahUm, and I’m Sarah and we both love mystery.