Saturday, October 11, 2014

More on that mystery novel

I'm still doing research on monastic life for my mystery novel. I've developed more of the makeup of the monastery and its income and products - honey. bee hives, jellies and preserves. Right now researching the monastic life and schedule.

I have more of the back story of the protagonist - Brother Francis: divorced, former radio and print journalist, alcoholic and former street person who now lives as an oblate at the monastery, doing all the errands, driving the monks to appointments, helping to sell the monastery products, whatever is needed.

I have some ideas about one of the main monks - Father Barney, a holy, gentle but wise soul who has a way with bees - and how the monastery gained some income and fame - a former punk rocker (from the band Black Hornets?) who after a scandal and drug problems finds peace at the monastery and in the company of Father Barney. When the musician dies, it draws attention to the monastery - that's how Brother Francis, back when he was a journalist, first had contact with it - bringing visitors. The musician also left part of his estate to the monastery.

In addition, the abbot is a former social worker who allowed Brother Francis to move to the monastery as a way to help him.

I also have an idea about how the monastery was created, and the neighbor woman who helped to create the products, and who was in love with the founding abbot. Maybe her daughter/granddaughter still helps?

In the city, the protagonist has contact with the police through a former friend who is on the police force. In addition, he still has contact with the director of the shelter who helped him get sober, and who now runs a neighborhood center. He also has some journalistic connections who help. And he will have some kind of contact with his ex-wife, now serving as a communication director for the mayor.

The first crime involves a deranged mass murderer.

Still working out how Brother Frank gets drawn into the case, and how his insights will help solve it. Something about his days on the streets? Ah - perhaps the shelter director asks for help with a troubled young man, through whom Brother Francis will have contact with the killer?

I'm also looking for ways to incorporate bees and the monastery products into the plot. Searching for a way one of them can help give Brother Francis a clue to help solve the crime.

Pax et bonum

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