Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Weight of Souls Blog Tour: Bryony Pearce's Top Ten Murder Mysteries

Today I am happy to welcome Bryony Pearce, author of The Weight of Souls, releasing from Strange Chemistry on August 6th!

Sixteen year old Taylor Oh is cursed: if she is touched by the ghost of a murder victim then they pass a mark beneath her skin. She has three weeks to find their murderer and pass the mark to them – letting justice take place and sending them into the Darkness. And if she doesn’t make it in time? The Darkness will come for her…

She spends her life trying to avoid ghosts, make it through school where she’s bullied by popular Justin and his cronies, keep her one remaining friend, and persuade her father that this is real and that she’s not going crazy.

But then Justin is murdered and everything gets a whole lot worse. Justin doesn’t know who killed him, so there’s no obvious person for Taylor to go after. The clues she has lead her to the V Club, a vicious secret society at her school where no one is allowed to leave… and where Justin was dared to do the stunt which led to his death.

Can she find out who was responsible for his murder before the Darkness comes for her? Can she put aside her hatred for her former bully to truly help him?

And what happens if she starts to fall for him?

The Weight of Souls is a ghostly murder mystery with a supernatural twist, so I asked Bryony what her top ten murder mysteries of all time were.  Here's what she had to say:

My top ten murder mysteries by Bryony Pearce
I had a ‘murder mystery’ phase when I was a teenager (it was in between my Thomas Hardy phase and my Stephen King phase).  During this time I read everything by Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie. 

The books that I reread the most often and therefore have the fondest memories of are The Hound of the Baskervilles, Curtain: Poirot’s Last Call, The ABC Murders and Murder on the Orient Express.  I loved the writing, the twists and turns and the characters of the detectives in these stories.  There is a reason that Poirot and Holmes have lived over and over again in various incarnations.  From Rathbone to Miller, from Ustinov to Suchet; these characters are infused with fascination for the reader, they are deliciously flawed, superhuman and yet missing some essential elements of humanity which means that they need to be counter-balanced by their all too ordinary assistants (Watson and Hastings).

After watching and being drawn into Hitchcock’s Rebecca I got Daphne Du Maurier’s book from the library and loved it, so dark and creepy.  I adored the psychological side of Rebecca.

Another film that led me to a book was The Name of the Rose with Sean Connery and Christian Slater (I was such a fan of Christian Slater years ago).  After seeing Christian Slater’s monk lose his virginity I bought the book and read both The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum.  The Name of the Rose remains with me to this day.

Although it feels a little like cheating because these books are funny, they are officially crime and have won awards, so I’m going to mention Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels.  I particularly like Two for the Dough, Three to Get Deadly and Four to Score.  Evanovich’s portrayal of character is laugh out loud true.  I love the early Plum novels.   

And if I’m permitted comedy, I think I should be allowed Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels based on Sam Vimes.  They are crime novels too and utterly brilliant.  Sam Vimes is another of my favourite literary characters.  For him I’m going to add Jingo and Feet of Clay.

Finally I will include JD Robb’s Eve Dallas series, in particular Naked in Death.  It is set in the future, which makes it very different.  It is sexy and again populated with great, memorable characters.

What I love about all these books, which range hugely in publication date and style, is that all have fantastic characterisation and that is something I seek in all my reading and what my favourite books all have in common.

The enjoyment I had when reading these murder mysteries was a huge influence on The Weight of Souls which has, at its heart, a murder mystery.  Yes, it is a paranormal thriller which includes ghosts, Egyptian curses and an army of zombified killers (what good book doesn’t?), but it is the murder mystery that absorbs us and keeps the story moving forward.  Taylor has to find out who killed Justin and bring his killer to justice.  I had a great time ‘killing’ Justin, working out who did it and how.  My early ideas were crazy.  In one version is it his mother who kills him by making him drink Anbesol (a children’s liquid antiseptic which should not be drunk as it paralyses the muscles of the throat).  Needless to say that version did not get past the first edit.  I won’t tell you how the final murder ended up, obviously you need to read the book to find out, alongside Taylor.
I hope you enjoy it.

Find out more about Bryony Pearce and her writing:

Bryony is holding a really big contest on her blog, so be sure to check it out here!  To enter, you'll need to check out the rest of the tour stops on her tour!
In the meantime, check out this excerpt from The Weight of Souls!

1 comment :

  1. I'm really excited to read TWoS! I've always loved books about ghosts. And I definitely agree about Poirot and Holmes - I think people will still love them for many years to come! Great post, thank you.