“Covers are always a surprise for the author—seeing how someone else will envision your characters. My agent leaked the news that Brett Helquist (cover artist for A Series of Unfortunate Events and so many other great works) might be working on Premeditated Myrtle, so I had to pretend for months that I didn’t know! I knew his work, of course, but what really sold me were his illustrations for A Christmas Carol. There are no ghosts in my Victorian mystery, but Brett did an amazing job capturing Myrtle’s determined energy—and even more importantly, Peony the cat! We went back and forth on a couple of sketches for hair and clothing, but what never changed was Myrtle’s perfect expression. The scene he chose to illustrate was one of my favorites to write, so it’s been great fun watching it come to life in full color.”
~ Elizabeth C. Bunce
Twelve-year-old Myrtle Hardcastle has a passion for justice and a Highly Unconventional obsession with criminal science. Armed with her father’s law books and her mum’s microscope, Myrtle studies toxicology, keeps abreast of the latest developments in crime scene analysis, and Observes her neighbors in the quiet village of Swinburne, England.
When her next-door neighbor, a wealthy spinster and eccentric breeder of rare flowers, dies under Mysterious Circumstances, Myrtle seizes her chance. With her unflappable governess, Miss Ada Judson, by her side, Myrtle takes it upon herself to prove Miss Wodehouse was murdered and find the killer, even if nobody else believes her — not even her father, the town prosecutor.
With sparkling wit and a tight, twisty plot, Premeditated Myrtle, the first in a series from an award-winning author, introduces a brilliant young investigator ready to take on hard cases and maddening Victorian rules for Young Ladies of Quality in order to earn her place among the most daring and acclaimed amateur detectives of her time or any other.
Elizabeth C. Bunce grew up on a steady diet of Sherlock Holmes, Trixie Belden, and Quincy, M.E., and always played the lead prosecutor in mock trial. She has never had a governess, and no one has ever accused her of being irrepressible, but a teacher did once call her “argumentative”—which was entirely untrue, and she can prove it. She lives in Kansas City with her husband and their cats. Premeditated Myrtle is her first book for middle-grade readers. You can find her online at elizabethcbunce.com.