Every Tuesday, get to know a bit about the stories behind the books you love, and discover your next favourite novel.
Sabitha: We’ve got the wonderful Edale Lane with us again. This time, she’s sharing her lesbian Victorian detective novel, Daunting Dilemmas, with us. Edale, tell us about your novel!
Edale: Sometimes one must lie to live her truth.
Stetson has been fooling London for ten years while her fictitious alter-ego solves crimes. But could a criminal mastermind put her carefree days of sleuthing in jeopardy?
Evelyn longs to be recognized for her talent; will her music prove to be the key in helping Stetson solve a mystery?
While Jack the Ripper terrorizes London, Stetson closes in on the art thief she has been after for months; however, will catching him place her in an impossible position which threatens to expose her?
Daunting Dilemmas: The Wellington Mysteries, Vol. 3, Adventures of a Lesbian Victorian Detective is a collection of five sequential novellas, each encompassing its own exciting mystery while furthering the story of Stetson’s life in London. If you enjoy crime dramas, Victorian era fiction, or a sweet lesbian romance, then you’ll love award-winning author Edale Lane’s Daunting Dilemmas.
Sabitha: What a delightful story! What inspired you to write this?
Edale: Years ago, before my debut novel, Heart of Sherwood, I saw a call for submissions for Private Dicks Packing Heat, an LGBTQ mystery anthology. Being a historian and fan of Sherlock Holmes, I set my work in Victorian London. Mr. X and the Blackmailed Female became the published result. I always wanted to go back and do more with my protagonist, Stetson Goody (AKA Xavier Wellington), and when I hit a snag working on Walks with Spirits in 2021, I turned all my attention to expanding one novella into 5 in Daring Duplicity. It did well and readers liked the Holmes-like Stetson, so I expanded the series with Perilous Passages and now Daunting Dilemmas.
Sabitha: You clearly love alliteration. How did you choose the titles?
Edale: Daring Duplicity got its name due to the double-life my bold heroine has undertaken. Perilous Passages was so titled because Stetson and her partner head out for a “road trip” on steamships and trains, meeting with dangerous criminals along the way. But in the third installment written against the backdrop of Jack the Ripper’s “Fall of terror” in 1888, Stetson faces her most daunting dilemma thus far. (I can’t tell you what it is without a spoiler.)
Sabitha: No spoilers! If you could pick any author to read your book, who would you want to read it? Why them?
Edale: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, of course, as he was a foundation master of the genre and the creator of Sherlock Holmes. I’d love his opinion on how I could make Volume 4 the most compelling yet.
Sabitha: What’s your writing process?
Edale: It varies depending on what manuscript I am working on. For this series, tons of research is required to recreate an accurate portrayal of 1880s London and meticulous planning to create and solve fresh, engaging enigmas. Not much “pantsing” here, except in some personal scenes between Stetson and her partner Evelyn. After all, an exceptional locked-door mystery doesn’t just solve itself!
Sabitha: Thanks for sharing your story and your process. We’re looking forward to reading! Where can the Night Beats community find you and your book?
Edale: I have a website with a newsletter. You can also check out my Goodreads and my Bookbub. You can find Daunting Dilemmas on Amazon, and the rest of my novels on my Amazon page.