Sunday, December 30, 2012

7 Questions for Author R.T. Raichev

I've been thinking about doing this feature for a while and when R.T. Raichev happened to get in touch recently after reading my reviews of two of his books, I thought I'd see if he'd like to kick things off. He was kind enough to agree and so we present the first installment of the 7 Questions feature.

Though R.T. notes that The Riddle of Sphinx Island is his next book, what he doesn't mention is that it will be, as he put it in a recent email, "a take on Christie's And Then There Were None." Which sounds like it will be well worth the wait.

7 Questions for Author R.T. Raichev

What's your favorite (or most offbeat) murder method?
It's got to be the beheading with an ancient Samurai sword in Murder at the Villa Byzantine, though that's very much a one-off. I don't think I have a favourite murder method. I don't like blood at all. Looking at my books, published and  not-yet-published it goes like this: poison, gun, knitting needle, poison, manual strangulation, fruit knife, enforced drowning, gun, poison, knife, blunt instrument, gun, gun.

What's the first mystery book you ever read?
Doyle's The Sign of Four. I was about twelve, I think. I remember being haunted by the discovery of Sholto's hanging body.

Who would be your desert island mystery author?
Agatha Christie, as she stands the test of re-reading marvellously.

Who would you cast if your characters ever made it to the big screen?
Who should be cast as Antonia Darcy and Major Payne? If it is TV series, Emma Thompson and Nigel Havers. If for the big screen, perhaps, Demi Moore and Bill Nighy, or for a super-glamorous production, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, though they must acquire cut-glass English accents.

What would your readers find most surprising about you?
That I have completed five more Antonia Darcy mysteries, well ahead of schedule?

How did you come up with the your characters?
Antonia Darcy, bookish and introspective, was meant to act solo in The Hunt for Sonya Dufrette (my first published mystery), but in Chapter 1 she was teased by her son about having an admirer at the Military Club where she was a librarian. Her son had heard a certain widowed Major mentioned. Antonia had just divorced her husband and was unhappy. I needed a Watson for her and then decided that if I did introduce a retired Major who fancies Antonia, that would not only resolve the Dr. Watson problem, but would provide a touch of romance, which most readers -- especially the female readers -- like. That's how Major Payne was born. He courted Her in Sonya Dufrette and they were already married in The Death of Corinne. Antonia Darcy and Major Payne owe something to Hammett's Thin Man series, the Francis Durbridge mysteries, the screwball comedies of the 40s and of course Christie's Tommy and Tuppence.

What's next for R.T. Raichev?
My next Antonia Darcy and Major Payne mystery, The Riddle of Sphinx Island, will be published on 8/1/13 by the Mystery Press. The MP have also got my number 9, The Killing of Olga Klimt, which they are hoping to bring out in early 2014.

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