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Death of an Heiress: Historical Mystery

Death of an HeiressDeath of an Heiress by Anne Louise Bannon

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Death of an Heiress

Death of an HeiressWhen the unmentionable stalks the pueblo

It starts when the inheritance that Lavina Gaines was to receive is stolen by her brother Timothy. Then an old Indian healing woman is murdered. Winemaker and physician Maddie Wilcox wants to find the person responsible for Mama Jane’s death, but is also occupied with another killer – the measles.

When Lavina’s friend Julia Carson dies trying to rid herself of a pregnancy, Lavina asks Maddie’s help finding the man responsible for Julia’s child. Soon after, Lavina is killed and her murder bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Mama Jane’s. The only motive Maddie can find involves Julia’s death, which is not the sort of thing one talks about. Not only that, Lavina’s nether garments are missing.

It’s a difficult challenge, but Maddie rises to it, searching among the many men of the pueblo, including some of her dearest friends.

How does a proper lady in 1872 get the answers she needs to stop a killer determined to stop her first?

To purchase Death of an Heiress, click on any of the following links: Amazon – Bookshop – VRoman’s Bookstore – B&N – Kobo – Apple – Google Books

Death of an Heiress
Historical Mystery
4th in Series (Old Los Angeles)
Setting – California
Healcroft House, Publishers (June 14, 2022)
Paperback ‏ : ‎ 306 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1948616211
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1948616218
Digital ASIN ‏ : ‎ B09W5NLMT8

Guest Post by Anne Louise Bannon


I’ve always liked historical stuff. When I first started reading Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers part of what I really liked about them was that they were historical. Not technically in the historical novel genre, because they were written from their contemporary perspective. But for me, they were a part of history.

Then I got hooked on Ellis Peters and the Brother Cadfael mysteries – and this was long before Dereck Jacoby took them on. I eventually found my way to Margaret Frazer, Priscilla Royal, Fiona Buckley, and a host of others, far too numerous to mention here. I read and still read contemporary mysteries of all kinds. But there is a special place in my heart for novels set in the past, when there are no friendly coroners setting time of death, fingerprinting, etc.

My first mystery novels, however, were not historical. They were contemporary. I wrote them in the early 1980s, and never really did anything with them. But later, they became the Operation Quickline series, which I publish as fiction serials on my blog. Book eight, A Little Family Business, is currently running. Link to Chapter One

A few years later, when I wrote my first historical mystery, Fascinating Rhythm, I ended up setting it in the 1920s, December 8, 1924, to be precise. I had recently discovered Dorothy L. Sayers, and Freddie Little, one of the two main characters in Fascinating Rhythm, may have just a little in common with Lord Peter. I hope it’s an homage, at any rate. It was not my intent to write a historical mystery, but Freddie and his counterpart, Kathy Briscow, were who spoke to me and that was the world they inhabited.

For my next two novels, Tyger, Tyger, and A Nose for a Niedeman, I went back to writing contemporaries, including the start of a sequel for each of them (they’re currently stand-alones).

You’d think that with my love of Medieval and Renaissance sleuths, that’s when I’d be setting my work. But I suspect my love of those eras plays more into my love of fantasy. I have written a Medieval-style fantasy – definitely not on the cozy side, though. I wanted to stretch myself by writing grittier and it sure came out that way.

It’s not that I don’t want to do the research. I love research and I love historical research in particular. I guess the thing is that my characters have to be talking to me in my head before I can write about them, and for some reason, no one from the Medieval or Renaissance eras has talked to me yet.

There may also be my preference for from my own cultural background. That’s why, when Maddie Wilcox (of the Old Los Angeles series) started coming to life for me, I set her stories in the Los Angeles of the 1870s, not the Mexican era. I’m not Hispanic, and I did not want to tell someone else’s story. I do include characters from other cultures – don’t get me wrong. It wouldn’t be historically accurate not to. But the stories are from the perspective of someone who shares my ancestry.

Of course, the Old Los Angeles series has as much to do with my husband being the Archivist for the City of Los Angeles as anything. I’ve told the story so many times of how his talk on the zanja system of irrigating L.A. in the years before Mulholland and the California Aqueduct inspired Death of the Zanjero, the first book in the series. But it was delving into the rest of L.A. history that got the next three books written, with book four, Death of an Heiress, now available.

I have written a couple contemporaries since then. Rage Issues came out last fall. Not to mention the fact that I really hate calling the Operation Quickline series historical, even though I left it in its original 1980s setting. As for my next historical? I still have some Freddie and Kathy stories left to tell, so I’ll be re-reading up on the 1920s really soon. And Maddie isn’t letting go of me, and I’ll be writing another Old Los Angeles book probably this summer. I’ll also keep listening for whatever monk, nun, or lady from Medieval or Renaissance Europe who wants to talk to me.

Anne Louise Bannon

Death of an HeiressAnne Louise Bannon is an author and journalist who wrote her first novel at age 15.

Her journalistic work has appeared in Ladies’ Home Journal, the Los Angeles Times, Wines and Vines, and in newspapers across the country. She was a TV critic for over 10 years, founded the YourFamilyViewer blog, and created the wine education blog with her husband, Michael Holland.

She is the co-author of Howdunit: Book of Poisons, with Serita Stevens, as well as author of the Freddie and Kathy mystery series, set in the 1920s,  the Operation Quickline series and the Old Los Angeles series, set in the 1870s.

Her most recent title is the current stand-alone, Rage Issues. She and her husband live in Southern California with an assortment of critters.

To learn more about Anne, click on her name, photo, or any of the following links: Blog, Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads & Library Thing

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Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell

All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio.

Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator 2020

Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020



The Foundation of Plot, a Wait, Wait, Don’t Query (Yet!) guidebook. Out July 19.

Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

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