Ghosting while ghosting

I’m waiting on edits on two books I’m ghosting for other people, so I’m using the lull to get a good first draft together of my new novel, “The Marshal of the Borgo.”

The book’s set in an unnamed nation that’s suspiciously very much like Italy. “Borgo” is Italian for burg, as in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Clevesburg. The anglicized version of the word is borough. Americans also use that term. I grew up in a town in New Jersey that used the abbreviation boro on their official stationery and town seal.

Until this week, I was having trouble describing the book’s genre. Then I ran across this post by mystery writer Elizabeth Zelvin, who talks about the stigma of introducing elements of magic into otherwise straight mysteries. She describes a recent short she did of this type as a “paranormal whodunit.” I’ve never heard the term before, but Google tells me that it certainly is out there.

I don’t know if I’m writing one these books yet. I’ll see how it turns out. I do know that I’m playing straight with the murder investigation in the book. It’s just that the detective has some unresolved issues in his past that can only be dealt with via the paranormal route. You might well ask, “Why can’t you just drop that magic crap and give us a straight mystery?”

Two answers to that: One is, the book doesn’t want to be a straight mystery. The second is, straight mysteries just don’t interest me much anymore. 

More later as I sort this out.



* My short short story, “Even,” should be running Monday on Shotgun Honey, barring last-minute schedule changes. I’ll post a link when I have it. I hope you’ll check it out.

* The domain of this website is now officially Your RSS feeds will continue to work, no problem, because it’s still a Tumblr blog under the skin. If you’re a stickler, you might want to save the new address to your reader: feed://