#authorinterview with William Turner #book A Murder in Our Midst
About the Author:
William Turner spent his formative years in New England. He was educated in the private, parochial school system, and is presently retired from State service (State of California), as a supervisor. He has one son (Ontonio), and three grandchildren. His grandson is serving in the United States Air Force. His daughter-in-law, Bridgette, is a practicing pediatrician. William had aspired–so long ago–to be a priest, but felt at the time he had not been exposed enough to life to walk away and close the monastery door. His subsequent exposure to life sullied him beyond any aspiration to the priesthood. William now lives in Lancaster, California, spending much of his time doing penance, reflecting on his countless errors in judgment. William’s penchant for writing mysteries stems from his exposure to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories and those of Agatha Christie. His mentor was Sister Agnes Bernard–his high school English teacher.
About the Book:
Theirs was a friendship-a viable friendship that transcended race, culture, and economic backgrounds. It was forged during the most contentious period in American history… a friendship that could be shattered by one thing, one thing only-MURDER!
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Can you tell us more about your book “A Murder in Our Midst”, what is it about?
A Murder in Our Midst is a historical mystery, an 80,000 words 1950’s era novel that blends period flavor with the race-related themes of Walter Mosley as well as the classic twists and turns of Agatha Christie.
A handwritten letter arrives on the desk of decorated Scotland Yard detective Sir Robert Winchell. It’s from renowned oil magnate Raymond Beevant, claiming that somebody is trying to kill him. As a confidant of the Queen, knighted for his service, Winchell has grown accustomed to powerful people seeking his council.
Except this is different.
Winchell always knew that to have a friend was to be one. But back when he entered Harvard as man of color in the 1950’s, he wasn’t sure how many friends he’d make – if any. It was Raymond Beevant who proved him wrong in more ways than he could imagine. Rushing to Beevant’s estate, Winchell discovers that Raymond has suddenly passed away. His demise is about to test how far Winchell will go for his dearest friend.
Though the doctors rule Beevant’s death a suicide, Winchell begins to investigate and soon learns that even one’s closest companions keep secrets. As Raymond’s share of the vast Beevant empire is hotly contested, Winchell discovers that Raymond’s own father unwittingly set the stage for his son’s murder and that somebody has been using the family’s influence in the Middle East to acquire and leak sensitive U.S. defense documents.
With the military leaning on him hard, the police doubting his skill despite his credentials, and more suspicious killings at every turn, Winchell uncovers an illegitimate child as well as duplicitous land leases that will unravel his friend’s family yet tie up the mystery of Beevant’s death. Winchell must decide what Raymond’s dying wish would have been – to solve his murder or save his name. For the sake of his friend, Winchell must try to do both.
Tense race relations, a clash of classes, and international intrigue collide in this taut mystery, which will keep readers guessing. “A Murder in Our Midst is the first in a proposed series
following Sir Robert Winchell and the cases that will challenge his intellect along with his
Who do you think would be interested in this book, is it directed at any particular market?
I think mystery buffs would be interested in A Murder in Our Midst. It is therefore geared toward the mystery genre.
Tell us a bit more about the different characters in “A Murder in Our Midst” particularly about those involved in the friendship.
Raymond Beevant and Robert Winchell came from a totally different racial, social, and economic background. Having come from California, as that was all they had in common, they both matriculated in Harvard. They met, and they eventually became the best of friends. Despite the turbulent time in America’s history, they forged an enviable friendship that transcended racial, social, and economic differences.
A Murder in Our Midst is set in the 1950’s what was important about this time that you used it in the setting of the story.
The time period poignantly enhances the relevance and significance of the friendship forged between a Caucasian and African-American, for it was during the most turbulent period in American history.
“A Murder in Our Midst” blends the race-related themes of Walter Mosley as well as the classic twists and turns of an Agatha Christie novel. What would be your elevator pitch for the book for someone who may not know these authors or have read a Historical Mystery before?
Given the media’s persistence that there are radical differences between the races, specifically that they are at each other’s throats, A Murder in Our Midst clearly shows that friendships can be forged even during the most contentious of times.
Alongside “A Murder in Our Midst” do you have any other books, or plans to write more?
I am near finished with Death Comes for the President.
Tell us more about you? What else do you do when you are not writing?
I was raised Catholic by Baptist parent, and I attended private, parochial schools. I have one son who’s married to a pediatrician, and I have three grandchildren. I attend church on Sundays, for I am an usher. Since retiring from the State of California as a supervisor, I spend most, if not all, of my time perfecting my craft.
You have mentioned that you had once wanted to be a priest, I suppose as an author you are sharing a different sort of message. What led you on the new path to become a writer?
My experiences gave me a realistic point of view of and perspective on life. When I look back, as I do now, I realize my character, personality, and dealing with mankind have been enhanced. I recall it having been said, “Presume not to scan, because the best judge of man is man.” I initially found this saying somewhat odd, but I began to realize that man, who has walked in the footsteps of other men, are indeed the best judge, for man can explain cogently why a man does the things he does. Interacting with mankind can and does make man a better person. I have a better insight into the nature of man,
What inspires you to write, are there people, authors, books or world events that encourage you to share your words?
I am inspired by interaction with my friends and others. I recall sitting through a sermon, and the priest was rather long-winded; I was somewhat irritated. This was also a time when priests were being arrested, convicted, and sentenced to prison for pedophilia. Oddly enough, and somewhat embarrassed to admit it, I was inspired to draft Death Comes to the Vicarage. I will immediately begin to write it as soon as I finish Death Comes for the President.
Where can our readers find out more about you, do you have a website, or a way to be contacted?
I have a bio on Amazon.com. Readers can type in the subject bar A Murder in Our Midst. The readers can view the reviews as well as my bio.