The feast of Saint Valentine of Rome was designated in the year 496. The date? February 14th, of course. About 900 years later, Saint Valentine and his feast day (already celebrated with food, drink, jousting, poetry, singing, and dancing) somehow became associated with romance, passion, and love. And so began the need to send Saint… Read More
A native of California, Ana Brazil lived in the south for many years. She earned her MA in American history from Florida State University and traveled her way through Mississippi as an architectural historian. Ana loves fried mullet, Greek Revival colonnades, and Miss Welty’s garden. She has a weakness for almost all things New Orleans. (Although she’s not sure just how it happened…but she favors bluegrass over jazz.)
The Fanny Newcomb stories celebrate the tenacity, intelligence, and wisdom of the dozens of courageous and outrageous southern women that Ana is proud to call friends.
Although Ana, her husband, and their dog Traveller live in the beautiful Oakland foothills, she is forever drawn to the lush mystique of New Orleans, where Fanny Newcomb and her friends are ever prepared to seek a certain justice.
Let’s play a short word association game. When I say “New Orleans” I’m guessing that you’ll say “Mardi Gras parades! Streetcars! Beignets! Hurricanes! The French Quarter! Jazz!” When I say “Gilded Age New Orleans” I’m guessing that you’ll say “Wait. What?” Or “What’s the Gilded Age?” Fair questions, both of them. The short answer is:… Read More
It’s November, which means it’s NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth! Every November, anyone who has ever wanted to write a novel (which seems to be just about everyone at some time in their life) can join a free, online community dedicated to writing 50,000 words of a novel in 31 days. It can be your first… Read More
Of course you do! Whenever I meet people and tell them that I write historical mysteries, they often say “I’ve always wanted to write a mystery!” or “I have a great idea for a mystery; if only I knew how to write it all down!” Here’s the good news about all that…if you want to… Read More
One of the joys of writing historical mysteries is the research. I love it! And as I write the sequel to my award-winning FANNY NEWCOMB AND THE IRISH CHANNEL RIPPER, I’m still on the hunt for unsavory snippets about barroom brawls, riverboat rivalries, and Canal Street cutthroats in Gilded Age New Orleans. In addition, I’m… Read More
Spring seems to be the season for historical fiction and mystery writing awards: the Lefty (awarded at Left Coast Crime), the Agatha (Malice Domestic), the Edgar (Mystery Writers of America), and my new favorite, the Benjamin Franklin (Independent Book Publishers Association, aka IBPA). I’m excited to share the news that FANNY NEWCOMB AND THE IRISH… Read More
I’m back from a very-fun-and-very-exhausting Left Coast Crime mystery con in Sparks, Nevada. Although I’ve attended lots of mystery cons as a reader and fan, this was my first time as a published author. So now I get to introduce myself as “Mystery Author, Reader, and Fan.” WHOO-HOO! Left Coast Crime had something for everyone…a… Read More
I’m head over heels in research for my second Fanny Newcomb historical mystery (working title…FANNY NEWCOMB AND THE FRENCH QUARTER LAUDANUM LOVER). And I’m loving it! I’m investigating historic poisons, studying Italian immigration to New Orleans, and inspecting French Quarter Sanborn Fire maps online (courtesy of the fabulous Library of Congress). And here are some… Read More
I’ve spent way too many hours reading books about Jack the Ripper. And watching movies, documentaries, and docudramas about Jack the Ripper. And searching contemporary newspapers from around-the-world for Jack the Ripper insights. And months after the publication of my novel Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper (which builds on the Ripper mythology and… Read More
Greetings! During the frosty, dark nights of December, I always crave killer sweets. Sweets like chocolate marshmallow fudge. And glazed gingerbread. And cinnamon-sugared crullers. And as I write the sequel to Fanny Newcomb and the Irish Channel Ripper—which takes place in 1889 New Orleans—I’ve been lusting after that city’s most popular killer sweet: creamy pecan… Read More
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“Marshmallow World” is what my daughter used to describe the northwoods of Wisconsin last week after five feet of snow landed on us in just the month of February. Before that, we barely had enough to cover the ground! Very unusual. The snowman photo is one of the ways I try to “cheer up” winter…. Read More