I’m really excited about my new book, The Handyman: A Chambre Noir Mystery, that is set in a small French village filled with troglos (cave dwellings). This book is the first in a new series. It’s unconnected to The Outsiders series, although the protagonist is definitely an outsider, too. Would you expect otherwise from me? He is 100% American, though.
When I write books, I get really involved with the characters and I like to study them–their personalities, their psychology. The Handyman has some of my most interesting characters and probably the most psychology of all my books. This is my favorite book that I’ve written. I’m very curious how readers will feel about it.
I expect the book will come out in early December, but don’t have a firm date yet. The book doesn’t even have a cover. I’ll be contacting the graphic designer soon.
Anyway, I thought you might be interested in a sneak peek . . . a teaser, of sorts. I’ve been working on the book blurb that will go on the back cover. Still don’t have the blurb/description finalized. The only person who has read the blurb is my daughter, who gave me a thumbs up along with a couple of suggestions.
Here’s the rough draft of the blurb/description for The Handyman:
Twenty-six-year-old American banker, Joshua Clayton, is on vacation in Paris with his fiancé and parents, when he discovers they’ve betrayed him. Wanting physical distance from them while he sorts through his emotions, he accepts a job over the phone as handyman for an elderly woman, Paulette Lapierre, in a French village.
Paulette doesn’t tell him until he arrives that she’s dying and hired him because she needs a caregiver who is strong and reliable. He’s not happy that she misled him, but he’s not ready to go home and deal with his troubles, so he reluctantly agrees to do double duty—as caregiver and handyman—and stay with her until the end.
The job isn’t easy, because of their age-and-cultural differences and because Paulette lives in a hilltop troglo—a cave home. But living in France brings unexpected friendships with two very different women: the free-spirited retired dancer Paulette and a young semi-reclusive baker, Isabelle Bernot, who help him heal.
As Josh gets to know Paulette better, he discovers she has secrets she’d hoped to take to her grave, but now those secrets are surfacing and drawing the three of them into an investigation that changes everything.
Now, if you want to learn more about my mysteries and about troglos, you can get a taste by downloading my first book, In the Shadows: An Outsiders Mystery, on Amazon. That book is available for free today and tomorrow.
Here’s a description of In the Shadows:
There is a stranger amongst the residents of the cave-riddled village of Reynier, France. Suspicious, they believe there’s only one reason Maurelle Dupre would be lurking in their small village—she’s a gypsy, a thief. But a former Chicago detective turned mystery author, Dave Martin, who happens to be visiting his French grandmother, isn’t so sure about the beautiful stranger when happenstance causes them to meet. He wonders why she seems so frightened and distrustful. He knows he shouldn’t get involved. The last time he trusted a woman in distress, the consequences resulted in the loss of his detective’s shield and his wife. But, as always, the detective in him can’t seem to leave well enough alone.
However, what Dave couldn’t know is how persuading Maurelle to reveal herself will ultimately unveil something far worse than mere theft.
In the Shadows is a story of trust, belonging, and murder.
BOOKS BY SUSAN FINLAY
The Outsiders Series:
In the Shadows
Where Secrets Reside
Project Chameleon Series:
The Bavarian Woods Series:
Inherit the Past