If you are looking for a book that will keep you enthralled from beginning to end, and keep the world at bay then you must check out Betrayal at Ravenswick A Fiona Figg Mystery, by bestselling author Kelly Oliver. This book packs a punch when it comes to plot and characters, both of which draw readers into a world of Oliver’s creation, a world harking back to World War 1, where Fiona Figg, the book’s heroine, breakouts of her day to day life to become a spy. While this book comes along with lots of mystery and intrigue, it also dishes up a serving or two of humor, so readers get their money’s worth and more. Recently we had a chance to ask one of our favorite writers some questions to find out more about her and her rather epic work.
Betrayal at Ravenswick, A Fiona Figg Mystery is your first historical novel what made you want to switch genres? Will you be writing another book in this genre?
I love reading historical novels, especially multigenerational epic sorts. One day, I’d like to try my hand at something like that. Betrayal at Ravenswick is my sticking my toe into the historical waters. It’s a traditional mystery wrapped in a spy story set in WW1 London. So, it’s still a mystery novel. Unlike my Jessica James Mysteries, which are very suspenseful and more plot driven, the Fiona Figg Mysteries are more character driven. Ironically perhaps, although Jessica James is a philosophy student, and Fiona is a file clerk, Fiona is more introspective.
Doing the research for the novel was really fun. I enjoyed poking around in the past. And I found so many nuggets to sprinkle throughout the novel. I’m writing the second Fiona Figg Mystery now. And I plan to write a third. Hopefully, if folks like Fiona, I will write more.
After reading this book and some of your others it occurs to me that if you weren’t a teacher you would be a detective. Is that the case?
When I was a kid, I wanted to be either a teacher or a spy. I ended up being a teacher.
Well, in my imagination I would be a detective! Being a philosophy professor is sort of like being a detective. But instead of looking for clues in grimy bathrooms or broom closets, I look for clues in books. And instead of trying to figure out who dunnit or why, I’m trying to figure out the meaning of life…and why.
What is one of the secrets to writing one epic page-turner after another?
Gosh, that’s nice of you to say! Hopefully they’re page-turners. I usually have to slow myself down. I tend to always want to go fast…too fast…especially with Fiona. I have to concentrate on slowing way down to get the pacing right for a satisfying read.
While I love Fiona Figg, your heroine, Fredrick Fredricks is amazing, what was the inspiration behind this character’s creation?
I’m glad you like Fredrick Fredricks because, like Fiona, he is a recurring character.
Fredrick Fredricks is based on a real life spy named Fritz Duquesne, who went by the alias Fredrick Fredricks. I’ve taken a lot of liberties with the character, so while there are some true bits, a lot is also fiction. But the life of Fritz Duquesne already reads like a novel.
Are you writing another book you can tell us about?
As I mentioned, I’m writing the second Fiona Figg mystery. This summer, I hope to write another Jessica James Mystery. And then in the fall, I will write another middle grade Kassy O’Roarke Pet Detective Mystery. And then rinse and repeat.
You can find Betrayal at Ravenswick A Fiona Figg Mystery where ever books are sold online, and more information about Kelly Oliver on her website.