The Study of Silence by Malia Zaidi ** Blog Tour Review and Author Interview**

It is great to welcome Malia Zaidi to Books, Life and Everything today to answer some of my questions. The Study of Silence was published on February 28th 2018 and is the third in the Lady Evelyn Mystery Series.

Lady Evelyn Carlisle has returned home to England, where she is completing her degree at St. Hugh's, a women's college in Oxford. Her days are spent poring over ancient texts and rushing to tutorials. All is well until a fateful morning, when her peaceful student life is turned on its head. Stumbling upon the gruesome killing of someone she thought she knew, Evelyn is plunged into a murder investigation once more, much to the chagrin of her friends and family, as well as the intriguing Detective Lucas Stanton. The dreaming spires of Oxford begin to appear decidedly less romantic as she gathers clues, and learns far more than she ever wished to know about the darkness lurking beyond the polished veneer. Can she solve the crime before the killer strikes once more, this time to Evelyn's own detriment?

Welcome to Books, Life and Everything. Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions on my blog about your writing. 

Would you like to start by telling us a little about yourself and how you started as a writer?

Thank you for having me! Before I actually set to the task of writing the first book in the Lady Evelyn Series, the character had been on my mind for some time. I always liked to make up stories and, to my slight embarrassment, wrote two YA books after high school, which thankfully I never tried to publish! The Lady Evelyn books are a culmination of my love for reading, writing, travel and history, and I hope people with similar passions will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing tem.

This is the third in the Lady Evelyn mystery series. Do you plan it as a standalone story, a continuation of the first two or a bridge to a possible fourth book featuring Lady Evelyn?

Though each book can be read as a standalone, there are certain strands in the characters’ personal lives and development which continue from one book to the other. There will definitely be more books in the series, and I have just started working on book six. I love these characters and can’t see myself letting go of them any time soon.

The Study of Silence is set in Oxford. Why did you decide to set it there and how did you go about researching the locations?

Oxford is one of my favorite places, and I was lucky to have the opportunity to live and study there for some time. Living there and learning about the history of the city, in particular the lives of female students during the 1920s, gave me a strong sense of what I wanted the story to be. I think when people read this book, it will become evident that I have a great fondness for the setting and I hope that translates to the slightly lighter atmosphere of this book (insofar as a murder mystery can be light;-)

If your book became a film, who would you like to play Lady Evelyn and why would you choose them?

That’s a very good question. I have thought about it before, as I am sure every author does, and have a little cast in my mind. While I would love to hear who other readers think should play Lady Evelyn, I have always viewed her as someone who resembles Keira Knightly in appearance.

What are your writing routines and where do you do most of your writing?

I do almost all of my writing at my home desk. I tried working in coffee shops, but I get so distracted people watching, I get nothing done. I need quiet and minimal outside stimulation to mentally place myself in the scenes I am trying to write.

Do you base any of your characters on people you know?

If I do, it is unintentional. I am sure I pick up certain habits I observe, or mannerisms that I notice in the people around me. That being said, there is no one specific person on whom any of the characters is based.

Finally, have you three words which sum up The Study of Silence?

History, mystery, love

Thanks Malia for your thoughts. Interested to hear that youo think of Lady Evelyn as a Keira Knightley type. I think I visualise her as a young Susan Hampshire.

                                                                  My Thoughts

Set in 1928 Oxford, The Study of Silence is a great cozy mystery with a recipe for a good read: rounded characters, period detail and a well written plot. Lady Evelyn is of course central and we see the story through her eyes. I enjoyed her thoughts on life in the 1920's for women in particular and how academia worked in Oxford at that time. She has a wry way of looking at how people behave and there were some gentle humorous touches. 

     This is a book with a very firm sense of place which is intrinsic to the plot. It takes you around the town and there are several landmarks mentioned and described such as The Randolph Hotel and The Bodleian Library. You can visualise walking round with Lady Evelyn and sense what you would see. This historical mystery keeps you guessing as secrets are slowly uncovered and I am sure that there is a lot more to learn about Lady Evelyn et al in this series.

In short:  A character led mystery with a great sense of place.


                                                              About the Author 

Malia Zaidi is a writer and painter, who grew up in Germany and lives in the US. An avid reader and traveler, she decided to combine these passions, and turn her long-time ambition of writing into a reality. The Study of Silence is the third book in The Lady Evelyn Mysteries.

You can follow Malia here: Facebook   |  Goodreads   |  Twitter 
   |  Instagram   | Website   |  Blog

Book links: Amazon UK   |  Amazon US   |  Barnes and Noble 
Thanks to Malia and Jenny of Neverland Blog Tours for a copy of the book and a place on the tour.


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