Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Milkcases, candy stores, little old ladies and murder? What could they possibly have in common? They’re all inhabitants of a street called Spyglass Lane in a town called Mystery.
I first moved to Mystery when I was about ten, and discovered a wonderful series of books about a girl name Nancy Drew. I loved the town of Mystery and as I grew older, I met many good friends. Agatha Christy, Arthur Conan Doyle, Dickson Carr and his alter ego, Carter Dixon. Sometimes I ventured to the outskirts of town and met strange, new friends such as Mary Stewart and Victoria Holt. At first I was a little unsure of whether or not they belonged in Mystery, but soon the whole town welcomed them.
One day a new street was constructed or whatever they do to make streets. The signpost said Spyglass Lane. Being of a curious nature, I checked it out and found just what I’d been looking for.
I’m Frances Devine and I’m an author who loves to write, among other genres, cozy mysteries. One day as I was having lunch at my local senior center, I had a call from my daughter. She gave me news that would change my life. A new cozy mystery line was being formed by a well known faith-based publishing house.
I was pre-published at the time, although I did have one historical romance proposal out there on a publisher’s desk. But the chance to write a mystery? I didn’t have to be told twice. I went home and wrote a chapter by chapter synopsis and three sample chapters over the weekend and sent it off, breathless with fear and hope. God is good. Soon, I received an email from the editor with an offer for a contract. This was the beginning of a couple of years of extreme joy as I wrote my three Miss Aggie mysteries with one of  the best editors in the world.
Sadly, the joy didn’t last forever. The new line couldn’t withstand the sinking economy. Although the first two books of my series, The Misadventures of Miss Aggie had made it to print, book three didn’t. At least not in its original form. Some of the authors in the line didn’t see their contracted books published at all.
But you simply can’t keep a good mystery writer down. Last year, we had the opportunity to be part of a new e-book venture sponsored by MacGregory Literary Agency, and since the rights to our cozies had reverted back to us, many of us jumped at the chance to see a new home for our mysteries. So Spyglass Lane Mysteries was formed. Our books are thriving in their new home and can be found on Amazon, Smashwords, and Barnes and Noble. In fact, they’ve done well enough that our fearless leaders have given the go ahead for new books.
You can find out about the books and their authors at www.spyglasslanemysteries.com with links for purchasing depending upon your type of electronic reader.
If you love mysteries with humor and romance, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I’ve read nearly all of them and intend to grab the ones I’ve missed. Fortunately for my insatiable appetite for more cozies, most of them are priced at 99 cents and occasionally a freebie is offered. My three titles are Miss Aggie’s Gone Missing,Miss Aggie Cries Murder, and Rest in Peace, Miss Aggie.
Oh yes, besides authors and readers, we also allow editors, publishers, designers and agents on Spyglass Lane. We all get along quite nicely.


Frances Devine, author of ten published novels and three novellas, grew up in Texas, where she wrote her first story at the age of nine. She moved to Southwest Missouri more than twenty-five years ago and fell in love with the people, the hills, the fall colors, snow, and Silver Dollar City. Frances attended Ozark Technical College and Southwest Missouri State University when she was in her fifties. She is the mother of seven adult children, has fourteen wonderful grandchildren, and is eagerly awaiting her fifth great-grandchild. Frances has always loved to read and considers herself blessed to write in one of her favorite genres, cozy mysteries, of which three have been published in both print and electronic versions.

6 comments:

  1. Anyone who is a friend of Nancy Drew and Victoria Holt is a friend of mine! Thank you for sharing about your journey writing cozies. There will always be an audience for this genre as long as readers desire great stories without vulgarity.

    ~Nancy Jill Thames, Author
    "The Jillian Bradley Mystery Series"

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  2. Spyglass Lane sounds like the best street in town! What a great idea at the right time. I'm proud of the founders for venturing forth into the brave new publishing world and so please for all of you that it has been a success! Thanks for sharing about it.

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    1. Thanks Traci. I know I'm enjoying the new cozy mystery home.

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  3. Frances it was so good to see you featured! And we do have Nancy Drew and Victoria Holt in common! (Besides Spyglass:)

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  4. Where you ever into Judy Bolton? I know she wasn't as well known as Nancy Drew but she was good too.

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