Friday, July 8, 2011

Will Lavender is Creating A New Genre, "Puzzle Thrillers," and Jackie's Completely On Board and Loving It


Fifteen years earlier. Jasper College is buzzing with the news that famed literature professor Richard Aldiss will be teaching a special night class called Unraveling a Literary Mystery—from a video feed in his prison cell. In 1982, Aldiss was convicted of the murders of two female grad students; the women were killed with axe blows and their bodies decorated with the novels of notoriously reclusive author Paul Fallows. Even the most obsessive Fallows scholars have never seen him. He is like a ghost. Aldiss entreats the students of his night class to solve the Fallows riddle once and for all. The author’s two published novels, The Coil and The Golden Silence, are considered maps to finding Fallows’s true identity. And the only way in is to master them through a game called the Procedure. You may not know when the game has begun, but when you receive an invitation to play, it is an invitation to join the elite ranks of Fallows scholars. Failure, in these circles, is a fate worse than death. Soon, members of the night class will be invited to play along . . .

Present day. Harvard professor Alex Shipley made her name as a member of Aldiss’s night class. She not only exposed the truth of Paul Fallows’s identity, but in the process uncovered information that acquitted Aldiss of the heinous 1982 crimes. But when one of her fellow night class alums is murdered— the body chopped up with an axe and surrounded by Fallows novels—can she use what she knows about Fallows and the Procedure to stop a killer before each of her former classmates is picked off, one by one?

Read a great blog posting from the author about writing this book.

Jackie says:

"Will Lavender is inventing his own genre--'puzzle thrillers,' which his website describes as 'novels that are not quite mysteries and not quite thrillers but incorporate elements of both'.  Whatever else they may be, they are tantalizing reads to a mystery buff and book lover such as myself.

jumps back and forth between 1994 and the present day, following nine very special literature students and their highly controversial professor.  The students were handpicked and Richard Aldiss, the professor, was teaching via a video feed from prison, where he was serving a sentence for the murder of two grad students in the last class he taught.  He's an expert in an elusive author, Paul Fellows, who is a mystery in and of himself as he had only written two (possibly three) books of cultishly fascinating literature.  This new class was charged with solving the literary mystery of just who this author was.  To do so, they had to learn to play The Procedure, developed from Fellow's book, and cryptically mysterious.  Startling things happen during the course of the class, making one student very famous in the literary world.

Flash forward to the present day when the class is called together because of the suicide
(or was it?) of one of their own.  Strange things begin as the old friends meet each other again, and begin to die one by one.

This is a gloriously frustrating book to puzzle through as you are given clues from two
different mysteries nearly two decades apart but very much having to do with each other.  The deeper into the book you get, the faster the clues come until there is just NO way you can put it down until the last page is turned.  And even then...well, read it and see."

No comments: