HH Com 116

Meinwen Jones is a modern-day witch. When she moves from her native Wales to Brimmington, a town in Buckinghamshire, she is asked by the parish priest, Father Simon Brande, to help him investigate the murder of his good friend Robert Markham.

During the week long investigation, Meinwen uncovers a host of suspects living in a polyamorous community and the fetishistic sex that they are all a part of. She and Simon undergo a love/hate relationship in their contrasting faiths, culminating in the Catholic priest admitting that the perpetrators of these unusual bedroom practices aren’t hurting anyone and are, in fact, pillars of the community.

Except that someone is a murderer.

This is from Letters to Penthouse -the Vatican edition, right?

You're focused on prurience not plot. I'd say get your head out of your ass but that might be misconstrued here.

You've also written this so it sounds like you have a moral agenda to communicate. blech.

Start over.


December Quinn said...

Hey, I know the parish priest in my town is always seeking out us pagans to help him solve mysteries.

Anonymous said...

Miss Snark is so right about the moral agenda. I doubt that even polyamorous people want to read a book about how a Catholic priest learns how to be stop being a hater. Why don't you try focusing on the actual mystery? Or the sex if it's erotica.

What kind of witch is she? Is she a pagan or "real" witch who can do magic? You need to specify if the book is just mystery or if it's paranormal mystery.

And why would the priest ask a the new woman in town to help solve the murder? What possible qualifications does she have?

Also, if you plan on shopping this book in America, you might to want mention what country Buckinghamshire is in. I assume England but I'm not really up on my UK geography.

Anonymous said...

I'm getting flashbacks to The Wicker Man!

If this has a sense of humor and isn't preachy, I think it could be interesting. Some of the writing in the hook could be smoothed out: phrases like "fetishistic sex they are all a part of," "undergo a love/hate relationship," and "culminating in the Catholic priest admitting..." could be replaced by simpler, more active constructions.

Also, are you implying at the end that someone in the polyamorous community is a murderer, or just that someone in town is, in which case the polyamorous community is just there to spice up the book and force the priest to become more tolerant? Which might be a problem.

If this Catholic priest is a love interest, he's in for some major trouble. If this is England and not Ireland, wouldn't he more likely be Anglican?

Kit Whitfield said...

Who is Robert Markham? How was he killed? Does the polyamory have anything to do with the crime?

If you want to write a novel defending polyamory, go right ahead, but the point of a murder mystery is solving a murder. From your hook, you seem more interested in the sexual politics - which isn't the plot. The plot is who killed Robert Markham. If you're less interested in that than in polyamory, you need to change focus.

And if the entire community is polyamorous, what's Father Simon doing there? It doesn't sound as if he'd have much of a congregation. Remember, Catholics have to make regular confesssions, and to get absolution you have to make a full confession, be genuinely sorry and determined not to do it again. On those terms, there's no way a polyamorist could be a practising Catholic. So if the whole community is poly, Father Simon has no flock. And if there's no flock, the Church would send him elsewhere.

Either you need to have some members of the community be Catholic and non-poly (which could make for a divided town), or you need to make him, say, a failed priest who went to live in Brimmington hoping for some spiritual rest, only to find the place riddled with sin ... or something like that. A Catholic priest gets to ask his flock about their private lives, and if they're all polyamorous, the priest is going to be saying Mass in an empty church.

A polyamorous community could be used to excellent advantage in a murder story, in that there are going to be a lot of tangled relationships and motives, but you need to be clear what your priorities are, and think about the logic of everyone's religion.

Anonymous said...

You've also got way too many names (of both people and places) in the first paragraph, which made my eyes glaze over.