J.J. Murphy (conshyhonky on QT) has signed with agent John Talbot of Talbot Fortune Agency, LLC.
The inspiration for the book actually started with the title. Every writer has heard that advice: murder your darlings. It occurred to me that it would be a great title for a murder mystery set among writers and editors. And somehow I got it into my head that one of the members of the Round Table originally coined the phrase. So I simply put the two together. I’ve been a fan of Dorothy Parker since college, and I’m a member of the Dorothy Parker Society. I love her sharp wit, her cynical humor, and her piercing eye for emotional insight. She’s a natural to be the detective in the story and, by contrast, Robert Benchley makes the perfect happy-go-lucky sidekick. (There’s an element of romantic tension there, as well.)
Mr. A. Gent,
Dorothy Parker said, “I don’t care what is written about me, so long as it isn’t true.” My humorous historical whodunit, MURDER YOUR DARLINGS, takes Mrs. Parker at her word.
In the Roaring 20s, Mrs. Parker and the rest of Manhattan’s literary libertines gathered around the Algonquin Round Table. Now there’s a dead body beneath it.
All the clues point to young William Faulkner, and only the wisecracking wits of the Round Table can save him. Mrs. Parker and Robert Benchley, armed with dry martinis and drier wit, turn detective to exonerate the young bookstore clerk and aspiring author.
But when Faulkner goes missing, the police, the press, and even bootlegging gangsters begin to incriminate all the members of the Round Table. Now, Mrs. Parker and Mr. Benchley have a real killer deadline: They must find Faulkner, clear the reputation of the Round Table, save their favorite speakeasy, and uncover the actual murderer--all before the murderer puts an end to their party for good.
For my part, I’m a successful magazine editor with a long list of writing credits and awards in health care publishing. I’m also a member of the Delaware Valley Sisters in Crime and the Dorothy Parker Society.
I’m writing to you because MURDER YOUR DARLINGS seems somewhat similar to other mysteries you represent. It has been professionally edited and is complete at 85,000 words. The first chapter is included below.