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A Most Malicious Murder by Melanie Fletcher

@Archaeolibrary, @Bethb19861, @MelanieMF,

#HistoricalFiction, #AlternateHistory, #Mystery,

Not all monsters are fictional.

In an alternate 1851, Edgar Allan Poe has finally overcome his demons. Married to his childhood sweetheart Elmira and with a successful writing career, he's now touring England with his popular lecture series. But Poe's notoriously bad luck returns with a vengeance during a stop in Oxford, leaving him implicated in the gory murder of a chambermaid.

Alone and desperate, Poe must recruit a shy young undergraduate named Charles Dodgson (soon to be known as Lewis Carroll) to help him clear his name. Can this most unlikely pair of detectives track down the killer before Poe hangs for a crime he didn’t commit?

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5 out of 5 (exceptional)

Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

Edgar Allen Poe is on a tour of the universities of England. His first stop Oxford. He's worried about his wife who's had a rough time on the journey over. He has a bit too much to drink to celebrate his success he then wakes up in what he thinks is his room with a very sore head and a dead chambermaid at the bottom of his bed on the floor! He must do everything he can to clear his name so he can continue with his tour.

It is an absolutely encapsulating story it did remind me a bit of sherlock and Watson. It's very well written and captures your imagination from the start!

The murder scenes are rather gruesome but then murders aren't meant to be pretty are they! The air of mystery through out the novel keeps you wanting to read through to the end and find out whodunnit and why?!

A fantastic mystery to keep you captivated

** same worded review will appear elsewhere **

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *


Can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m Gen X, living in a blue bubble in a red state, and I’ve been writing since I was a kid. My favorite genres are SF and urban fantasy, and I’ve also been writing SF/fantasy/paranormal romance since 2012.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

Taking care of five cats and an engineer. I also knit, crochet, quilt, and make jewelry. Oh, and I love The Great British Bake Off.

What was your favourite book as a child?

That’s a tossup between Have Spacesuit--Will Travel and A Wrinkle in Time.


Do you ever experience writer’s block?

Whenever I’m not on the right path for the story. If I’m hitting a block, I know it’s because I’m going in the wrong direction. Once I stop and figure out where I’m supposed to be going, the block evaporates.

Are you a planner or a pantser?

Planner because it allows me to jump around in the story.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

I am a huge admirer of the late and very much lamented Sir Terry Pratchett, who combined fantasy with utterly brilliant examinations of social issues. I try to do that in my own work, but I’m nowhere near as good as he is.

Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?

Not since I started self-publishing. And yes, they sell. :-D

Can you tell us about your upcoming book?

My newest book is A Most Malicious Murder, an alternate history mystery that posits what might have happened if Edgar Allan Poe hadn’t died in 1849 and went on to meet Lewis Carroll while visiting Oxford in 1851. The boys quickly wind up on the track of a serial killer and have to catch him themselves before Poe gets bunged up for the murders.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?

Writing is like any craft – you only get better if you work at it.

Would he or she want to hang out with you, the author, his creator?

I would like to think that Eddy would find me amusing and possibly want to discuss writing with me. Charles, however, would be horrified at my habit of wearing trousers and swearing, poor lamb.

What sort of writing environment do you create? I.e. music or not? Pen and paper or laptop/PC?

I often create soundtracks for each book, and I usually work on my laptop because I can take it out to the patio and work there when the weather is nice.

If you could cast your characters in a Hollywood adaptation – who would you choose for which character?

Andrew Scott as Poe, Angus Imrie as Dodgson, Pip Torrens as Lord Dunford, Freddie Fox as Stiles, Daisy Edgar-Jones as Lady Georgiana Gardner, and Hannah Murray as Jane Billings.

Do you read your reviews?

Yes. I know you’re not supposed to, but I do.

Do you respond to them, good or bad?

Nope. Every reader is entitled to their opinion.

Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Every writer, including famous and successful ones, has gotten bad reviews. It’s just part of the job. Try not to take it personally, and if there’s some truth in the review then work on that and try to improve.

Melanie Fletcher is an expatriate Chicagoan who currently lives in North Dallas with her husband the Bodacious Brit™ and their fabulous furbags JJ, Jessica, Jeremy, Jemma, and Jasmine (yes, they were following a theme, moving along now).

When not herding cats, she turns into Specfic Writer Girl, and has the SFWA membership card to prove it. She also works as a technical writer, web designer and graphic artist. When she refers to herself as a Renaissance Broad, she's not kidding.

More information on Melanie is available at

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