My latest Molly Murphy mystery, The Family Way, has been out for a month now and I've been gettins some flak about Daniel and the high handed way he behaves toward Molly. I agree, I wouldn't want to be married to him and be ordered around like that....
however, this is a historical novel. I'm writing about 1905, a time when women had no rights. They could not vote. Not be heard as a voice in the community. In the state of New York, where my stories take place, they could not own property, their husbands could beat them with a stick no thicker around than their thumb (hence the rule of thumb. Who knew?) AND it only took the husband plus one doctor to have them certified as insane and committed to an asylum.
The woman was at the mercy of her husband in all ways. No wonder Molly thought long and hard before agreeing to marry a man she knew she loved. He loves her too, which makes it all right. For a man of his time he is quite understanding, and when there is hitting involved it is interesting to see who does the hitting.
But one doesn't need to go too far back to see the same blueprint for marriage. Look at all those TV shows from the 1950s. I Love Lucy, father Knows Best, Leave It To Beaver. Mom wore the apron, baked the cookies and left the decisions to the dad. Lucy is terrified if she bought a new hat without Ricky's permission.
It is only when women come into the workplace that the playing field evens out. With money comes power. So don't be too hard on Daniel. In the end he really wants to protect Molly, and being a sleuth is really a silly idea for a woman, isn't it? Not that it will ever stop her...
The next book is written and being sent to the publisher this week. it's called City of Darkness and Light and it takes place in Paris. And yes, Molly is again called upon to do a spot of detecting.
This week i'm off to Malice Domestic, the convention in Bethesda, MD celebrating the traditional mystery, and again I'm nominated for an Agatha Award (making my 11th nomination). After that it's over to England for a reunion of college friends and then on to Istanbul for...for much needed R and R.