Friday, October 23, 2015

Please Welcome Back Suspense Novelist Matty Dalrymple

Omnimystery News: Guest Post by Matty Dalrymple

We are delighted to welcome author Matty Dalrymple back to Omnimystery News.

Matty's second mystery featuring spirit sensor Ann Kinnear is The Sense of Reckoning (William Kingsfield Publishers; October 2015 trade paperback and ebook formats) and we asked her if she could tell us more about the settings of her books. She titles her guest post for us today, "The Sense of Place — The Story Behind the Story".

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Matty Dalrymple
Photo provided courtesy of
Matty Dalrymple

My novels The Sense of Death and The Sense of Reckoning follow the exploits of Ann Kinnear, a woman who has the ability to sense spirits. At the beginning of Book 1, The Sense of Death, Ann's ability is generally limited to sensing the lights or smells emanating from a spirit, but it develops over the course of the book to the point where she can perceive certain spirits as they appeared in life — a progression triggered when a murder victim demands that Ann help avenge her death.

When I wrote The Sense of Death, I chose as its setting Philadelphia and its environs: Wilmington, Delaware; the Jersey Shore; and Chester County, where I live. Local readers report that they enjoy reading scenes that take place in locations they know, and enjoy guessing at locations that are portrayed with fictional names. (The Foundry Bar and Grill in West Chester? That would be Iron Hill Brewery.)

When it came time to write the sequel, The Sense of Reckoning, I already had a location in mind — Mt. Desert Island, Maine. In addition to being another location familiar to me from a decade of summer vacations (including my honeymoon) and weekend getaways, the Maine setting also had the benefit of being the home of one of my favorite characters of Book 1 — Ann's mentor, Garrick Masser. A Maine setting would give Ann (and me) the chance to spend more time with Garrick on his home turf.

A setting on Mt. Desert Island also offered a great backstory — the Fire of 1947 that burned vast swaths of the eastern half of the island, home to Acadia National Park, and destroyed much of Bar Harbor. In 1947, the Depression and World War 2 had already made inroads into Bar Harbor's status as the rustic playground of the rich — the Astors, Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Carnegies, and Morgans — but the fire, which leveled many of the grand "cottages" they had built along Millionaire's Row, put the final nail in the coffin of Bar Harbor's Golden Age.

An autumn trip to Mt. Desert Island provides a startling visual demonstration of the scope of the fire. In areas that were covered with pine forest before the fire, deciduous trees have taken over, and if you stand on Great Hill above Bar Harbor, the crimsons and golds of the turning leaves paint a path toward the town, marking the advance of the flames.

And in Bar Harbor itself, along Eden Street, you can still — almost seventy years later — see the remains of granite stairways that once led to those opulent homes.

The Maine setting also gave me a chance to write about one of my favorite places on MDI — the Claremont Hotel in Southwest Harbor. With its rocker-lined porches, time-worn guest register, and manicured croquet court, a visitor can easily imagine the Claremont as it would have looked during the time of the fire.

In The Sense of Reckoning, the Claremont serves as the basis (from an architectural point of view) for the struggling Lynam's Point Hotel, and the hotel's management was so accommodating in letting me poke around behind the scenes. So now, should I ever need to hide a body at The Claremont, I know just the place.

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Matty Dalrymple lives with her husband and two Labrador Retrievers in Chester County, Pennsylvania, the setting for much of the action in The Sense of Death. In the summers they enjoy vacationing on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, where The Sense of Reckoning takes place. Her husband is a pilot and she has logged time in a Piper Warrior, a Cessna 150, and a 1946 Stinson Voyager. She is considering an aviation-based plot for the third Ann Kinnear book.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Sense of Reckoning by Matty Dalrymple

The Sense of Reckoning by Matty Dalrymple

An Ann Knnear Suspense Novel

Publisher: William Kingsfield Publishers Print/Kindle Format(s) Print/Nook Format(s)

After solving the Philadelphia Socialite murder, Ann Kinnear should be riding high. Instead, she's depressed and considering abandoning her spirit sensing business. To add to her problems, Ann has suffered a series of injuries to her hands — could these be the ghostly repercussions of the violence that ended her last case?

Ann goes to Maine to solicit help from fellow spirit senser Garrick Masser. Ann and Garrick find more trouble than they bargained for in a tale of obsession and misplaced loyalty that has its roots in a crumbling summer hotel, international art theft, and the historic wildfire that destroyed large swaths of Mount Desert Island in 1947.

Unless Ann can fit together the pieces of the past while staying ahead of whatever — or whomever — is causing her harm, her future, and that of her friend Garrick, may be very brief indeed.

The Sense of Reckoning by Matty Dalrymple


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