Monday, March 3, 2014

Death by the Book by Julianna Dearing Ends 3/9



The Elegant, Lethal Hatpin

    The hatpin.
    There is something fascinating about hatpins. Of course, they are no longer a wardrobe essential, but from the middle ages through the early part of the twentieth century, hatpins were both a necessity and a fashion statement.
    They were originally used to hold veils and wimples in place. They were handmade, a slow and laborious process that was unable to keep up with demand, so England eventually began importing them from France. In America in 1832, a machine was invented to manufacture hatpins, making them much more plentiful and affordable. When, in the 1880s, hats became more popular than bonnets and famous women like Lillian Russell and Lilly Langtree wore enormous hats without strings, the hatpin market boomed. In England, sales of hatpins were eventually restricted to only two days in January each year, and all year long women would save their "pin money" to buy them.
    As most items of fashion do, the hatpin became more elaborate over time. By 1910, hatpins had grown from eight inches to ten or twelve inches in length and laws were passed requiring that the pin ends be covered to prevent accidental injuries. Though a poor woman probably had to settle for a simple black or white bead on the end of her hatpin, the wealthy sported pins made of precious metals with blown glass, rhinestones or even gemstones in abundance, pins designed by some of the great artists of their day such as Tiffany and Gebelein. Some elaborate hatpins even contained a small mirror and a powderpuff for the lady's convenience.
    By World War I, the availability of precious metals was shrinking and hats got smaller and the day of the hatpin was ending. By World War II, with the entry of so many women into the workforce, their day was over. Now few women wear hats with any regularity, but hatpins are still items of beauty and elegant design sought after by many collectors. There are even hatpin societies who discuss the history, design and preservation of these antiques.
    So, as a mystery writer, why am I  telling you about hatpins?


    Death by the Book is the second of my Drew Farthering mystery series. The series is set in Hampshire, England in the 1930s and is in the tradition of Agatha Christie and other writers from the
Golden Age of Crime Fiction. The first book, Rules of Murder, introduces Drew himself, a young Englishman with good looks, a good education and a good fortune who really doesn't know what to do with his life, and his stepfather's American niece, Madeline Parker, who joins him in solving the mystery and wins his heart in the bargain.
    In Death by the Book, Drew and Madeline have to track down a killer who leaves cryptic clues attached to the victims' bodies by . . . antique hatpins. So, yes, hatpins have always fascinated me, but probably not for the right reasons. They are definitely beautiful and elegant. But being some sort of gewgaw attached to eight to twelve inches of sharply pointed metal, they are also lethal weapons. A curious blend of art and menace that's perfect for a mystery novel.

About Julianna:

JULIANNA DEERING has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with three spoiled cats and, when not writing, spends her free time quilting, cross stitching and watching NHL hockey. Her new series of Drew Farthering mysteries set in 1930s England debuted with Rules of Murder (Bethany House, 2013) and is followed by Death by the Book and Murder at the Mikado (Bethany House, 2014). Also, as DeAnna Julie Dodson, she has written a trilogy of medieval romances (In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered) and four contemporary mysteries for the Annie's Attic series. She is represented by Wendy Lawton of the Books & Such Literary Agency (www.booksandsuch.biz).


www.deannajuliedodson.com  https://twitter.com/deannajuldodson  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorJuliannaDeering

Picture from Wikicommons

17 comments:

  1. Hmmm.... I don't think I have read a mystery since Nancy Drew ~~~ but... should I win, I will read it and put down my historical fictions for a bit. So, start a new adventure for me? Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House with my own Debbie Lynn daughter ~
    lanehillhouse[at]centurylink[dot]net

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    1. I follow by Feedburner and get notices of your posts. Also... notice it is a Kindle photo cover ~ will this be a print copy for the giveaway?? thanks, Kathleen

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    2. Oh, just saw that the book is listed as a Historical Mystery! Half-way there... okay ~ this is my final post of the day. Kathleen

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    3. Thanks for coming by, Kathleen! Good to see you. :o)

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  2. This is interesting and I would love to win it. Mother said one time when they had lived in the small town where we were living now, that many years later, that some of the buildings had 2 story balconies. And, that a woman killed a man with a hatpin. I tho't that was so weird, but after reading this I can see how it could have happened. I am a follower by Feedburner. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. Wow! That is crazy Maxie. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I really enjoyed Julianna's book Rules of Murder since I also like the old English cozy mystery books.Death by the Book sounds equally good. I love the covers on these books; they really capture the time period well. I've also been intrigued by hat pins, though I don't own any, so this book captures my interest for that reason as well.
    I follow this blog by Feedburner. Thanks for the extra entry!
    pmk56[at]sbcglobal[dot]net

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    1. Thanks for being a follower! I own one hat pin that has a ruby in it. It's set in a pink gold. Very pretty and old.

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  4. thanks for the chance to read this mystery....love the cover art...and the story line, too :)

    (ps: I'm a follower, too )

    karenk
    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks for following my blog and coming by, Karen.

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  5. I am very excited for this second book!
    bookwormgal2011 at yahoo dot com

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    1. Yay! HOpe you get a chance to read it Michelle.

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  6. I really enjoyed the first book, wish someone would make a movie out of it :) Never realized hatpins could be so deadly. Thanks for the giveaway!
    garfsgirl [at] hotmail [dot] com

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    1. Hey Lis. What a great idea, making a movie out of it. I'm sure Julianna wouldn't mind. ;o)

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  7. Looking forward to reading the second book in this series even if I don't win.
    Thanks!
    Janet E.
    von1janet(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. Congratulations Karen K you won Julianna's book!

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