Barbara Peters and Patrick Millikin tag teamed to talk with Dame Denise Mina. Her new books are Three Fires and The Second Murderer. You can order them through the Webstore. https://tinyurl.com/2p835rvm
Denise Mina is the New York Times bestselling author of The End of the Wasp Season and Gods and Beasts. Her recent novel Conviction was chosen as a Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick. Rizzio is her latest novel published by Pegasus Crime. She is a regular contributor on the subject of crime fiction for television and radio. Denise lives in Glasgow.
Here’s the summary of Three Fires.
From the award-winning master of crime fiction, Denise Mina re-imagines the “Bonfire of the Vanities,” a series of fires lit throughout Florence at the end of the fifteenth century—inspired by the fanatical Girolamo Savonarola.
Girolamo Savonarola was a Dominican friar living in Florence at the end of the fifteenth century. An anti-corruption campaigner, his hellfire preaching increasingly spilled over into tirades against all luxuries that tempted his followers toward sin. These sermons led to the infamous “Bonfire of the Vanities”—a series of fires lit throughout Florence for the incineration of everything from books, extravagant clothing, playing cards, musical instruments, make-up, and mirrors to paintings, tapestries, and sculptures.
Railing against the vice and avarice of the ruling Medici family, he was instrumental in their removal from power—and for a short time became the puritanical leader of the city. After turning his attention to corruption within the Catholic Church, he was first excommunicated and then executed by a combination of hanging and being burned at the stake.
Just as in Rizzio—her latest novel with Pegasus Crime—Denise Mina brings a modern take to this fascinating historical story, drawing parallels between the febrile atmosphere of medieval Florence and the culture wars of the present day. In dramatizing the life and last days of Savonarola, she explores the downfall of the original architect of cancel culture and, in the process, explores the never-ending tensions between wealth, inequality, and freedom of speech that so dominate our modern world.
Here’s the description of Mina’s The Second Murderer.
Philip Marlowe is on the hunt for a missing heiress—and up against a rival PI—in this smart and atmospheric authorized mystery from acclaimed crime writer and “one-of-a-kind storyteller” Denise Mina (James Patterson), the first woman to recreate Raymond Chandler’s infamous detective.
Has Philip Marlowe finally met his match?
It’s early fall when a heatwave descends on Los Angeles. Private Detective Philip Marlowe is called to the Montgomery estate, an almost mythic place sitting high on top of Beverly Hills. Wealthy socialite Chrissie Montgomery is missing. Young, naïve, and set to inherit an enormous fortune, she’s a walking target, ripe for someone to get their claws into. Her dying father and his sultry bottle-blonde girlfriend want her found before that happens. To make sure, they’ve got Anne Riordan—now head of her own all-female detective agency—on the case, too.
The search for Chrissie takes the two investigators from the Montgomery mansion to the roughest neighborhoods of LA, through dive bars and boarding houses and out to Skid Row. And that’s all before they find the body at The Brody Hotel. Who will get to Chrissie first? And what happens when a woman doesn’t want to be found?
In The Second Murderer, Denise Mina becomes the first woman to recreate Raymond Chandler’s infamous detective, delivering a clever and timely new take on Philip Marlowe, as well as a propulsive, dark, and witty mystery all its own.
Enjoy the conversation with Denise Mina.