Five Reasons To Love The 1920s

We love a bit of glamour at Mills & Boon and this week HQ Digital author Vivian Conroy visits the blog to share why she loves that most glamarous of eras, the 1920s.

Five Reasons To Love The 1920s

Writing a mystery series set in the 1920s is a dream come true. The era is so inspirational and has a natural secretive vibe that lends itself perfectly to mysteries. So why should you love the 1920s too?


1)       The fashion.

When I saw my covers for the first time, I was like: I want those clothes and especially those hats. Lady Alkmene’s wardrobe is a constant source of inspiration to me while writing, as Alkmene can consciously underdress (to be able to get into places she normally doesn’t go) or dress to impress and secure information by use of her title and connections. The current Jazz Age exposition at the Fashion Textile Museum in London shows wonderful pieces from the period, including an Egyptian themed robe inspired by the find of King Tuth’s tomb in 1922.


2)       A time of inventions.

Lady Alkmene is part of an exciting time in which new inventions made their way into everyday life, whether it was the automobile (often still open!) or the plane (first daredevils crossing the Atlantic with a passenger or two on board). It helps to get Alkmene around (into mysterious Dartmoor or rugged Cornwall) but also to exude this atmosphere of expectancy in which almost everything is possible, also for clever killers.


3)       Gallant men.

Lady Alkmene is surrounded by men who vie for her attention, whether with an ulterior motive or not. Her acquaintance with the investigative journalist Jake Dubois – half French! – is the start of a golden sleuthing partnership and even a tentative trust between two people who couldn’t have been more different. Jake may not always agree with Alkmene and even shake his head at her ideas of helping people, but whenever she runs into danger, he doesn’t hesitate to risk his own life to help her.


4)       The plots.

The 1920s have everything a mystery writer can wish for in terms of plot possibilities: remote manors to send Alkmene to, snooping servants who know too much, precious gems with a bloody history attached. Many modern devices that would lessen tension – a cell phone to call for help, anyone? – are not there yet and forensics are far less developed so crime solving has many more hurdles (no DNA, limited use of fingerprints, limited identification possibilities). Alkmene and Jake have to rely on their instincts, common sense and eye witness testimony to piece things together and unravel even the most tangled webs of deceit.


5)       The world building within a series scope.

Because I was accepted to write a series, I have a lot of scope to develop the characters’ world. The different settings give me an opportunity to explore the particular appeal of that place at the time and provide a colourful background for the adventure Alkmene and Jake embark upon. But they themselves as characters also grow and develop, giving the reader more insight into their personalities, their pasts and the challenges of their developing friendship that might become more.


Intrigued? Then now is the time to start the series as book 1, A PROPOSAL TO DIE FOR, set in magnificent London, is currently only 99p!

In book 2, DIAMONDS OF DEATH, Lady Alkmene unravels sinister family secrets concerning precious gems in the countryside, while in book 3, DEADLY TREASURES, Lady Alkmene visits a Cornish excavation site to discover that its legendary treasure has led to murder.

For all the latest give me a follow on Twitter via @VivWrites. You can also find the series on Goodreads and leave your ratings and reviews there.