A few years ago, a fin de siècle serial killer mystery hit the bestseller list, Caleb Carr’s The Alienist. The book was written from a male point-of-view and set in New York City. I admired the book and, being conversant in the period, I wanted to write my own Fin de Siècle murder mystery from a woman’s point-of-view and set in the West.

My book, The Gilded Age is set partly in 1895 and partly in the far future just like Summer of Love is set partly in 1967 and partly in that same far future. Both books, then, have this complex plot structure with two major plotlines to follow and with which I could comment on 1895 and 1967, respectively, and extrapolate to the far future. Both books were well received by most of the science fiction and fantasy community and sold well in print.

But I wanted more. I wanted to immerse myself in the fin de siècle period and structure a plot more like The Alienist. Issues affecting women were very much on the minds of educated women like Lily Modjeska, only this wasn’t called feminism, it was called suffragism. The American struggle to win the women’s vote, and the ramifications of political empowerment affecting pervasive laws and policies that denied women educational, social, and economic opportunities, was a decades’-long, bitter fight. I find it instructive to review history and realize just how far we as women have come in this great country of America.

But I didn’t want the new book to be as polemical as Summer of Love and The Gilded Age, I wanted a murder mystery grounded in the period. And I wanted a book more like Diana Gabaldon’s long historical romances (minus her time travel theme!), hot and passionate, while never losing sight of the realities of life for women in the 1890s.

I found an exciting social context for my murder mystery: 19th century U.S. immigration policy.

What I needed next was a Fin De Siècle Heroine and Hero.

Next: #Writing Celestial Girl, Part 3: A Fin de Siècle Heroine

Celestial Girl (A Lily Modjeska Mystery)

Lily is not quite a typical woman in Toledo, Ohio, 1896. She may be repressed and dependent on her husband, but she supports the vote for women and has a mind of her own. But when Johnny Pentland is found dead at a notorious brothel, Lily discovers her husband is not the man she thought he was.

Pursued by Pentland’s enemies, Lily embarks on a journey that will take her across the country to San Francisco and across the ocean to Imperial China as she unravels a web of murder and corruption reaching from the opium dens of Chinatown to the mansions of Nob Hill.

Her journey becomes one of the heart when she crosses paths with Jackson Tremaine, a debonair, worldly-wise physician. Lily and Jackson begin a conflicted, passionate relationship as they encounter the mysterious Celestial Girl and her dangerous entourage.

Celestial Girl, Book 1: The Heartland (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily flees Toledo on the Overland train. She must share a seat with Jackson Tremaine and befriends the Celestial Girl, the daughter of a Chinese dignitary. But appearances are not what they seem.

New! Celestial Girl, Book 2: Jewel of the Golden West (A Lily Modjeska Mystery) is on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle! Lily and Jackson arrive in San Francisco and discover the murder of an immigration official connected with the Celestial Girl. She and Jackson are compelled into a dangerous murder investigation and a contract for murder is taken out on Lily’s life.

Coming soon! Celestial Girl, Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, which will include Book 3: The Celestial Kingdom, and Book 4: Terminus. The Omnibus Edition will include all three books.

Of The Gilded Age, the New York Times Book Review said, “A winning mixture of intelligence and passion.”

From the author of The Garden of Abracadabra, Volume 1 of the Abracadabra Series, on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, Summer of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle, and The Gilded Age, A Time Travel (a New York Times Notable Book and New York Public Library Recommended Book) on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Visit me at Lisa Mason’s Official Website for books, ebooks, stories, and screenplays, forthcoming projects and more. And on my Facebook Author Page, on Amazon, on my Facebook Profile Page, on Goodreads, on LinkedIn, on Twitter at @lisaSmason, and at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

If you enjoy a work, please “Like” it, add some stars, write a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, and spread the word to your friends. Your response really matters.

More bargains for your reading enjoyment:

Urban fantasy! The Garden of Abracadabra is available in three affordable installments. Begin with Book 1: Life’s Journey on Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

The Bantam classic, Summer of Love is available in seven affordable installments. Begin at the beginning on Nook, Kindle, or UK Kindle

Suspense! Don’t miss SHAKEN, my sexy thriller, an ebook adaptation of “Deus Ex Machina” published in Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, republished in Transcendental Tales (Donning Press), and translated and republished worldwide, is on Nook, Kindle. and UK Kindle.

Literary science fiction! And don’t miss TOMORROW’S CHILD, The Story That Sold To The Movies. This began as a medical documentary, then got published in Omni Magazine as a lead story, and finally sold to Universal Pictures, where the project is now in development. On Nook, Kindle, and UK Kindle.

Thank you for your readership!