Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Why I Write Historical Mysteries - M. E. Kemp

Editor's Note: Welcome to M. E. Kemp, who writes an unusual historical murder mystery series set in Puritan-era America. Enjoy!

Why I Writ
e Historical Mysteries


I write a series of historical mysteries set in Colonial days with two nosy Puritans as detectives. Well, Puritans were supposed to be nosy, to keep watch on their wayward neighbors. And a detective has to be nosy, so...

Actually, I decided upon Puritans as a reaction to all the medieval mysteries featuring monks, nuns, sisters, brothers, etc. Increase ‘Creasy’ Cotton is a member of the famous Mather family who led the largest and richest church in al of the colonies. Except that Creasy’s congregation is made up of poor widows and sailors in Boston’s south end. The Mathers were community as well as religious leaders and were very busy people, father and son, so they delegate ‘Cousin Creasy’ to do the dirty work for them in such mundane matters as murder.

Assisting him is Hetty Henry, a wealthy widow with connections to high and low society. Hetty is such a pushy broad she took over the first book, MURDER, MATHER AND MAYHEM, and then the series. The two are always quarreling, which helps to show humor in Puritan life. The poor Puritans have gotten “bad press” over the centuries. They were quite progressive in matters of education, style of dress and enjoyment of food, drink, and yes, SEX.

They were a lusty peoples – how do you think we got here? I believe American history is just as bloody and colorful as medieval Britain, so that’s what I try to convey in my books, which include DEATH OF A DUTCH UNCLE (set in Albany,) DEATH OF A BAWDY BELLE (the Salem witch trials,) and in my fourth book due out in ’10; DEATH OF A DANCING MASTER. My books are based upon historical incidents but are works of fiction.

Email M. E. Kemp at: mekemp at nycap.rr.com

Visit M. E. Kemp at: http://www.mekempmysteries.com


  1. This sounds cool - nicely different from the books my kids read in school.

  2. M.E., your books sound interesting. I agree American history is just as bloody and colorful as medieval Britain. I especially like the book on the Salem witch trials, that could be really interesting.

    Thanks Donna for introducing me to an interesting author and some great new books.

  3. Don't they sound interesting? Love the titles.