Wilhemina is a coloured detective in 1950s Atlanta, Georgia. She is married to Charles, an Anglo-Brit. Lieutenant Carmichael sends her and Detective Arthur Dobson undercover at the Society’s annual baking competition to investigate a murder committed during the preliminaries. There is more at stake for than a blue ribbon prize. Wilhemina presents herself as a baker. Arthur is a judge. Dorothy is an associate of the Society and a contestant. She uses allegations of Communism to progress her way through the competition until she realizes that she has been socially disposed of by the Society. Dankworth notices that the baker Marceline plays with ‘light’. A vagrant outside the Society’s building is stabbed. He is more important than most would think. One baker is poisoned the first day of the competition. Another dies after engaging in a fight with a competitor. Wilhemina learns of this light and is able to communicate with Charles while he is at work. She realizes that the method of death in her cases is atypical. The detectives seem to be no closer to solving the case, until the winner of the competition is announced.
Targeted Age Group:: 16+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
After writing my first mystery/detective novel, The Speakeasy Murders, I decided that if I were to continue in this genre, I would choose a different time period. The Speakeasy Murders is set in the 1920s. My second standalone mystery/detective novel, Murder By Dissent, is set in the 1960s. The 1950s was the following era that I inclined to. The time period where women were expected to be solely dutiful housewives was the backdrop I wanted to juxtaposed to a 'coloured' female detective married to an Anglo-Brit. In this novel, the female detective has to interact in a setting she is not accustomed to: 1) Wilhemina Dankworth is no baker. She is a working woman who, other than not really being a cook, cares for her husband and their home; 2) She is the only female detective at the local station house. To place her in a setting where she must experience the idle tongues of women who seek to defeat their competitors by nefarious means is quite foreign to her socialization and the way she carries herself. In spite of this, she realizes that the competition has more at stake than the blue ribbon prize. I wanted to add another detour in her (and the readers' ) attempt to solve the murders–a bit of magical realism.
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