Welcome author Anna Maclean the creator of the Louisa May Alcott Mystery Series!
I asked Anna to tell us about a journey that changed her. And I began it all with part of a sentence.
Life Hasn’t Been Quite the Same Since…
And here's what Anna had to say:I traveled to Egypt some years ago by myself and with low funds, to put it mildly, so I stayed in some pretty strange hotels. Whenever possible, I stayed in youth hostels and there was a very exotic one in Cairo, full of sand-colored stone and potted palms.
I was alone there on New Year's Eve, so the hostel keeper invited me to celebrate with his family. And celebrate we did: dozens of dishes, all deep-fried and very spicy, and lots of wine. (They weren't strict Muslims.) On the stroke of midnight, my host took an armful of empty wine bottles and tossed them out the window! Judging by the sounds from the street, everyone else did the same. The next morning, the streets were filled with glass and all the cars had flat tires and I thought I had never seen a stranger version of out with the old and in with the new. Yet it was a New Year's Eve I'll never forget, filled with food and music and a little wildness, and the wonderful kindness of strangers.
I was a more trusting person after that night, still filled with the crazy fearlessness of youth that allows you to travel alone to distant places, but also filled with a sense that the world, and its people, can be a very wonderful place.
An excerpt from Louisa and The Missing Heiress
by Anna Maclean
The clock chimed four-thirty. I sighed and stirred, tapping my foot more quickly under the concealing hem of my brown linsey-woolsey skirts. Where was our hostess? Surely she could have tried on every hat in Boston by now. Had she forgotten? Dot had never been the quickest mind – she had wept over fractions and torn her hair over South American rivers – but to completely forget her own welcome-home tea party!
I looked outside the room into the hall. The huge, ornate coat tree was close enough to the parlor that every time I looked in that direction and saw Mr. Wortham’s velvet coat hanging there on its hook, I had the eerie sense that someone else was standing there, watching. Something strange, hostile, dangerous, floated through that house where newlyweds should have been so happy.
Much as I wished to see Dot, I decided it was time to leave. Abba was waiting for me at home with a basket of clothing to clean and mend for the women’s shelter and other tasks with which society could not be bothered. Mr. Wortham was standing at the bay window, looking out into the street. I went to him.
“I do hope Dot is all right. This is not like her.”
“I fear a year in Europe may have changed her,” he said. “It is liberating to travel, you know.” But he was frowning and his dark eyes seemed darker than usual.
Praise for Anna Maclean and the Louise May Alcott mysteries:
"Anna Maclean shows us a side of Louisa May Alcott we never suspected in this fascinating new mystery series." ~Victoria Thompson, author of the Gaslight Mystery series
"I was instantly drawn into the characters and culture of America in the 1850's. Cozy mystery lovers, this is your cup of tea." ~Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of the Queen Elizabeth I mystery series
"This novel reveals that my great-great-aunt had a secret career that none of us knew about. It's great fun and a page-turner, and it uses the morals and mores of time and place to delightful effect." ~John Pratt, great-great-nephew of Louisa May Alcott
Anna will be giving away a Victorian tea cup and saucer to one randomly drawn commenter.