Go behind the scenes of the new mystery series with author Marlene Chase.
- Posted on May 15, 2020
"There's a lot of this marvelous history of the early days of Savannah," Chase says.
Chase, who lived in the Midwest for most of her life, said one of her favorite parts of the series is the setting. "Readers will feel like they're really there, smelling the magnolias and seeing some of these great historical places."
The series follows Meredith Bellefontaine, the head of the Savannah Historical Society as she re-opens her deceased husband's detective agency with her college roommate, Julia.
Chase's careers as a Salvation Army officer and ordained minister have given her plenty of material to draw on for her contribution to the series.
"[The series] is about two women who have had careers in other areas of society," Chase explains.
In the first book in the series, The Hidden Gate, Meredith Bellefontaine, who has run the Savannah Historical Society for years, changes her life after a health scare. She is looking for a way to serve when she runs into her college roommate Julia Foley in a diner. Together, the pair decides to re-open the agency.
Soon after they discover a forgotten garden and a mysterious key. The case revolves around a close childhood friendship that ended with one of the girls disappearing 70 years before
"It's a story about a 70-year-old mystery," Chase says."It's a very cold case. It's icy.
In addition to the setting and the unfolding mystery, Chase also loves the friendships at the heart of the story.
"My favorite part was dissecting history in a personal way between the friendship of these two little girls," Chase says. "Later one of them becomes very important in the contemporary story. She's now a grandmother and everything that she is has been sort of framed by this friendship she had as a child."
The second book in the series is well underway, and Chase can't wait to see where the story goes.
"It's full of color and light and mystery," Chase says. "The series is very exciting. There's just so much to offer, not only in history, but in contemporary life now and how history has informed it."