Readers are usually curious about where writers get their ideas. There’s no easy answer to that. Sometimes they simply pop into my head. Other times there is a definite inspiration, as in the case of my latest book, What the Cat Dragged In. That inspiration was Nancy Drew.
I started reading mysteries when I discovered Nancy Drew as an adolescent. Thanks to The Secret of Shadow Ranch, I got hooked and have loved mysteries in the many decades since. One of my favorites in the long-running series is The Secret in the Old Attic. Doesn’t the title itself conjure up all sorts of possibilities? What could you find in an attic that would lead to an exciting adventure?
My sleuth, Charlie Harris, is not a teenaged young woman, so he is excited by different, and perhaps more sinister, items from those Nancy found in old Mr. March’s attic. In this case, the attic now belongs to Charlie, who discovers that he has inherited his grandfather’s old farmhouse. He thought the farmhouse had been sold years ago, but now he’s faced with a key part of his family’s history.
When Charlie goes to investigate the house, seeing it for the first time in nearly fifty years, he takes with him his Maine Coon cat, Diesel, his constant companion. Once they reach the attic, Diesel disappears into the interior, nosing around while Charlie surveys the dust and the physical items that have been left over the years.
Diesel finds something most unexpected – a skull and human bones left in an old wardrobe. Charlie is shocked, of course, because who expects to find old bones in the attic? Charlie starts to ponder the natural questions of who put the bones there. Was it his grandfather, or the tenant who had the life-lease on the house since the death of old Mr. Harris?
The answer to this question turns out to be a tricky one, and I had a great time uncovering the secret in this particular attic. I hope readers will enjoy the journey as well. Thanks, Nancy Drew, for the inspiration.
About the Author
Miranda James is the New York Times bestselling author of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries, including Twelve Angry Librarians, No Cats Allowed, and Arsenic and Old Books, as well as the Southern Ladies Mysteries, including Fixing to Die, Digging… More about Miranda James
Read an Excerpt: right this way!
About the book: What the Cat Dragged In By Miranda James. Part of the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries. Hardcover $26.00. Published Aug. 31, 2021.
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