Preserving the mystery! Learn how author Victoria Weisfeld manages that in her debut novel, Architect of Courage.
Preserving the Mystery Guest Post + Book & Author Info
Don’t miss any blog tour books! Click the link here.
Architect of Courage
Ordinary Man, Extraordinary Situation
In June 2011, September was weeks away, and the full dread of the approaching anniversary hadn’t yet settled on New York City’s residents. But from One Police Plaza to the FBI’s grim headquarters in Washington, D.C., the top brass harbor a rumbling in the gut. Each person who works for them down the line shares their unease, from every rookie cop walking the beat to the lowliest surveillance specialist. And Archer Landis is about to get caught up in their fixation.
Landis is not one of his city’s guardians, and a different sort of electricity runs under his skin on this warm Thursday evening. A highly successful Manhattan architect—a man you’d say has his life totally, enviably, in order—Landis works the room at a Midtown reception, shaking hands, being seen, accompanying his cheerful greetings with the convivial clinking of ice in an untouched glass of scotch.
When the noisy crowd becomes sufficiently dense and everyone present can say they’ve seen him, he will slip away. Out on Fifth Avenue, he will grab a cab for the run south to Julia’s Chelsea apartment. It’s a trip that will hurtle him into deadly danger. Everyone and everything he cares about most will be threatened, and he will have to discover whether he has the courage to fight his way clear.
To purchase Architect of Courage, click the following link: Amazon
Genre: Crime / Murder Mystery
Published by: Black Opal Books
Publication Date: June 4, 2022
Number of Pages: 350
Guest Post by Victoria Weisfeld — Author of Architect of Courage
Preserving the Mystery
By Vicki Weisfeld
Mysteries and thrillers are the genres I most enjoy reading, so it seems natural to me that that’s what I’d want to write. If I’m going to spend a boatload of time with a project, through writing editing, revising, reediting, rererevising, it had better be one that holds my interest!
My first novel, Architect of Courage, is scheduled for publication June 2022. It’s a mystery, which means a number of things. The story’s told from a single point of view. There’s an occasional puzzle. People do things that are suspicious, or are they? The plot threads have to be gradually untangled so that by the end everything make sense, and the world is set right. Or, at least as right as it can be.
The protagonist of Architect of Courage, is a successful Manhattan architect, Archer Landis. But when it comes to dealing with bad guys, Arch has no extraordinary skills. He isn’t like the classic thriller hero trained in a dozen arcane martial arts, a crack shot, Formula One driver, Navy SEAL, and wine connoisseur. The dangerous situations he finds himself in are totally outside his experience and, as far as he knows, not of his making. When bad things start happening and keep happening, he’s not prepared to deal with them. Is he somehow putting everyone he cares about at deadly risk?
He may be smart and analytical, but that isn’t going to be enough.
The story begins when he visits the apartment of the woman he loves and finds her shot to death. Who would do this? Why? He cannot imagine. These are the first big story questions. When I write, I keep a running list of these questions—including all the little mysteries buried in the big ones. I make sure all those questions, large and small, are eventually answered, so that my readers aren’t left wondering “Whatever happened to . . .?”
TV is especially prone to leaving story questions on the table. No explanation. “But how did he know such-and-such?” I ask my husband as the credits roll. My readers should feel confident their questions have been answered. And if they can’t be answered, they should know the reason.
Before covid-19 (an era we should maybe call B.C.N.), my writing group met once a month. Several of us wrote mysteries, and the non-mystery writers would read our first few pages and start quizzing us. They wanted motives explained. They wanted actions justified. “Keep reading” was the reflexive response. “It’s a mystery. If I explain all that on the first page, there’s no story.”
There are a few actual puzzles in Architect of Courage, one a physical puzzle and the other a coded message. They had to be not immediately solvable, but not so arcane that the clues they held would seem unfair. I hope readers find them a bit of extra fun.
Arch manages to be pretty well grounded for someone with his accomplishments. His colleagues and staff like him. They trust him. And he returns that trust. Until . . . With all that has been happening, behavior of his key staff that he formerly wouldn’t have paid any attention to begins to look suspicious. Actions that might have been merely odd take on a sinister cast. He sees this in himself and doesn’t like it. What was really going on with them? More story questions.
While I suspect a great many readers may figure out at least part of what is behind Arch’s troubles, they will also want to know, I hope, whether he comes out of this terrible summer with his faith in himself on the mend. That’s a mystery of the human heart, always the hardest to solve.
Don’t miss my interview with Victoria about her debut! Click the link here.
Preserving the Mystery — Victoria Weisfeld, Author of Architect of Courage
Vicki Weisfeld’s short stories have appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Mystery Magazine, Sherlock Holmes MM, and Black Cat MM, among others, as well as in a number of highly competitive crime anthologies, including: Busted: Arresting Stories from the Beat, Seascapes: Best New England Crime Stories, Passport to Murder (Bouchercon), The Best Laid Plans, Quoth the Raven, and Sherlock Holmes in the Realms of Edgar Allan Poe. Her stories have won awards from the Short Mystery Fiction Society and the Public Safety Writers Association. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and other crime fiction organizations. For the past decade, she’s blogged several times a week at www.vweisfeld.com. She a frequent book reviewer for the UK website, crimefictionlover.com.
Catch Up With Victoria: Goodreads, Twitter – @vsk8s & Facebook
Don’t Miss Any Stops on the Tour!
06/21 Interview @ Quiet Fury Books
06/23 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
06/24 Podcast – Mysteries to Die For: Toe Tags
06/24 Showcase @ Brooke Blogs
06/25 Showcase @ Nesies Place
06/26 Interview @ I Read What You Write
06/29 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews
07/01 Review @ Novels Alive
07/02 Guest post @ The Mystery of Writing
07/02 Showcase @ nanasbookreviews
07/06 Showcase @ The Authors Harbor
07/09 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
07/13 Review @ Paws. Read. Repeat
07/14 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
07/15 Review @ Melissa As Blog
Elena Taylor/Elena Hartwell
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.