Many of our local Bay Area readers and writers were lucky enough to attend a fascinating evening with Sally Wright, author of the Ben Reese mysteries. What a terrific evening. Not only did Wright talk about her series featuring a university archivist and ex-WWII scout, but she talked about her research. Sally Wright, a Renaissance woman, has written music, poetry, academic articles and fiction. Clearly not all research takes place in the library, she regaled us with stories of hawking. One of the Ben Reese books involves hawking, and Sally Wright went to Scotland where she went into the field with different types of hawks--and ferrets.
Sally Wright takes the academic mystery to a whole new level. Her books, set in the 1960s, are 'historical' as well as academic. Writing a series so close in time to Ben's military service keeps them topical and relevant in techniques and situations. Sally Wright told us she started writing the Ben Reese books after she badgered an archivist she knew into telling her what he'd done in the war. The contrast between what that was, and what he did when she knew him, made her want to create a fictional character with those internal contrasts.
Watches Of The Night is book 5 in the Ben Reese series (published by Severn House Publishers in hardback in the UK in March 2008 and in the US in June 2008). Code of Silence, book 6, is a 1957 prequel to the series, to be published by Severn House Publishers in hardback in 2008. Read an excerpt.
Sally Wright has created an original niche in themed mystery fiction. Add to that some great writing, and I can only advise you to go out and read the entire series. You won't be disappointed.