[Note from Frolic: We’re so excited to welcome author Elka Ray to the site today. She’s sharing why mystery and romance make a perfect match. Take it away, Elka!]
The great 19th century author Oscar Wilde is remembered for his stories, his wit, and his then-scandalous love life (he was gay). One of his most famous quotes holds that: “The mystery of love is greater than the mystery of death.” His stories dealt with both topics.
I’ve always loved crime stories and murder mysteries. It’s satisfying to unravel a puzzle. Yet it’s never the whodunnit that intrigues me but the why. I’m fascinated by motivation. At least on the surface, so much of human behavior seems illogical, if not downright counterproductive. Many crimes defy logic.
It’s the same story for love. Most of us have – at some time or other – been attracted to incompatible partners. We might know we want different things. We might sense they’re no good for us. Yet we get a thrill in their presence! That’s a mystery.
Then there are those people who should be perfect for us – they’re kind, funny, handsome, charming, share your interest in X, Y and Z – and yet… Ho hum. You’d rather stay home and wash your hair. Even when it all comes together and you feel that spark and suit each other to a T, you can’t really explain why you’re in love. You just are. They make your heart hopscotch.
Given that I read mostly crime fiction, it was no surprise I’d write a mystery series. What did surprise me was that romance crept in. My main character, Toby Wong, is a divorce lawyer. She’s used to dealing with people whose love stories are ending. Yet she’s still hoping for her own happily-ever-after.
Toby keeps finding trouble – in the form of people she feels compelled to help, and situations that put her in danger. Her love life is also precarious, with two potential suitors. I didn’t plan to write romantic suspense, but have fallen in, er, love with it… Why? It’s a mystery… Who will she choose? And will they be happy?
I’m going to leave you with another Oscar Wilde quote, which is my all-time favorite: “Never love anybody who treats you like you’re ordinary.”
About the Author:
Elka Ray is the Canadian author of The Toby Wong Novels. Born in the UK and raised in Canada, Elka divides her time between Central Vietnam and Canada’s Vancouver Island and sets her fiction in both locales, to include Saigon Dark, Hanoi Jane, a short-story collection, What You Don’t Know: Ten Tales of Obsession, Mystery & Murder in Southeast Asia and a series of children’s picture books published in Vietnam.
Elka is also a freelance editor for Heritage, Vietnam Airlines’ inflight magazine, based in Hanoi, Vietnam; a designer and editor for MaiGuppy, a producer of picture books, greeting cards, and souvenirs in Hanoi; and a freelance writer and copywriter, whose clients include Vietnam Tourism Administration and the Four Seasons Resort.
When she’s not writing, drawing or reading, Elka is in the ocean.
Killer Coin by Elka Ray, out now!
Part cozy mystery and part family drama, the second novel in Elka Ray’s Vancouver Island mystery series will keep you up late with a twisty tale of love, money, and murder.
While divorce lawyer Toby Wong spends her days helping couples split up, she’s still hoping for her own love story. The second novel in Elka Ray’s Vancouver Island mystery series finds Toby settling back into island life and looking forward to getting to know two attractive men better–charismatic Josh Barton, whom Toby first fell for as a teen, and the newly-met Detective Colin Destin.
Unfortunately, Toby’s romantic prospects take a hit when she’s sucked into a family drama. Toby’s mom, Ivy, is distraught when her best friend–wealthy socialite Daphne Dane–goes missing. Is Daphne’s new boyfriend behind her disappearance? And is he a conman, like his betrayed wife–who’s also Toby’s client–alleges?
Things get worse when Toby finds a battered body. As well as threatening her relationships with Josh and Colin, Toby’s involvement with the Danes puts her in danger.