Qualicum Beach author Sydney Preston says she would like readers of her Britannia Bay Mystery series “to feel like the victim sort of deserved it.”
Preston has just finished her second book in the series, Tone Dead, a sequel to her first book Too Late for Redemption which launched in June 2018.
The first book, Preston said, was about establishing characters and setting, and involved a more complex storyline. Tone Dead does includes several of the same characters, but familiar readers will find it “a bit simplier” than the first.
For the second book she’s listed the characters and intends to list ongoing characters that will reappear in every book. According to Preston, they’ll be mostly members of the police department and the two protagonists. Her website, sydneypreston.com, lists the characters of her murder mystery series along with their relations to the main characters and Britannia Bay.
The setting of Britannia Bay was closely modled after Qualicum Beach, as Preston said she found it to be a “fascinating little town.”
“Readers are sure to recognize a lot of places.”
The plot of Tone Dead starts with the unexpected death of a choir director from evidently natural causes. An arts reporter is implicated for the director’s death, until she herself is killed. Recurring characters detective sergeant Ray Rossini and partner Jimmy Tan are on the case to figure out if there’s a connection between the two deaths and the supposed link to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service.
Still a fairly new author to the scene, Preston said she’s tried to write other genres but isn’t as “inspired by them” as she is with murder mystery. The local author has been writing since childhood but didn’t have the time to “sit down and write a book” until retirement.
After graduating from Simon Fraser University, Preston has lived and travelled across the globe. Her journey has taken her to places such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Rome, London and Sendai, Japan, until she finally moved to Qualicum Beach in 2014.
Throughout her life, Preston, a member of the Federation of B.C. Writers, has worked as a flight attendant, advertising copywriter, TV production assistant, ESL teacher, copy editor and webmaster. When not writing, she likes to spend her time singing and gardening.
Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, Preston will be unable to officially launch Tone Dead until stipulations on gatherings have relaxed.
“I’m hoping to, as soon as the library (Qualicum Beach) is open full-time. I’d like to launch it there,” she said.
In the meantime, paperback copies of both Tone Dead and Too Late for Redemption are available to purchse directly from Preston. She’s said she’s willing to have people do pickups from her residence or do home deliveries as well.
Preston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.