by Julia Buckley
It's officially spring, and the weather in Chicagoland today was so sublime, with its alluring breezes and warm sun, that I wondered why I have yet to set a mystery novel in the spring.
My first book, THE DARK BACKWARD, is set in the fall, as is my first series mystery, MADELINE MANN, which comes out in August. I suppose I figured that the symbolism we attach to fall events works well with the idea of murder and death. Things die in autumn.
Because my first Madeline mystery happens in the fall, the next one is a natural progression, a couple of months later in Madeline's story, and therefore is set in winter. Lots of great mystery imagery in snow, too. The third, which is still waiting at the publisher (keep your fingers crossed), happens in the summer. Therefore, if I'm going in order, the next book will be in the fall again.
Somehow I skipped spring, and now that spring is here I am reminded anew of its wonders: the warmer air, still cool in frequent breezes; the scent of flowers which will suddenly be blooming everywhere; the chirping of birds who were silent all through the cold months.
In my own yard I inherited, years ago, another woman's garden treasures: lily-of-the-valley, peony bushes, tulips, day lilies, lilacs, and honeysuckle vines twining over the fence. They are wonderful, free gifts that came with our house and return every spring, and I enjoy strolling in my yard each morning before work (something I never care to do in any other season) so that I can breathe in the loveliness before I march off to school.
I'm not sure which flowers I've photographed here, but I snapped the shot last spring when we visited Brookfield Zoo.
In any case, I'm hoping to write a spring story soon. For you readers, do you like books to be set in a particular season?
Writers, what season do you set your novels in? Do you lean toward a particular time of year?