Mac Maguire’s twelfth outing – The Blood Moon Murders – is a little different to the others. You might get a clue what this difference is through the dedication – ‘For Halloween, ghost stories and things that go bump in the night.’
I have long been an admirer of M. R. James and his ability to put ghostly goings-on right into the workaday world. I’d guess that it was the title that first gave me the idea that this might be my chance to incorporate a supernatural thread into a murder mystery. That and the fact that the book should be ready to be published around Halloween.
As you can guess from the title the murders take place during an eclipse of the Moon by the Earth. I witnessed a really good one some years ago and the effect of the moon darkening and then glowing red with the light that had made it through the Earth’s atmosphere is a really eerie experience. It was easy to see why ancient peoples saw this as a harbinger of change and even doom.
I’ve just completed the first draft and this is currently being read by my wife Kathleen who is always my first reader. After the inevitable rewrite it will then go out to my other readers to see what they think. Only after I’ve gathered in all of their comments (and possible yet another rewrite) will the book be anywhere near ready to be published. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed that it will be available for Halloween but we’ll see.
I’ve already started Mac’s next adventure which doesn’t have a title as yet. Simenon wrote a story I’ve never forgotten called ‘Maigret’s Christmas’ and I’ve wanted to do a Christmas story featuring Mac Maguire for some time now. Unfortunately, Covid and lots of other things have gotten in the way, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can get it published in time for the Christmas season this year.