Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of Object Lessons! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired you to tell this story?
Stephanie Kane: Object Lessons was inspired by Frances Glessner Lee, an eccentric Chicago heiress who channeled her talents and thwarted personal ambitions in an unlikely direction. In the 1940s, Lee designed 18 miniature models of crime scenes, built to a perfect 1:12 scale, complete with tiny corpses and all-too-realistic clues. Her crime scene dioramas are still used to train police officers.
The question in Object Lessons is, can little crimes inspire big ones? When Adam and Eve Castle, a husband-and-wife forensic team, bring their miniature crime-scene dioramas to Denver to train cops in crime-scene investigation, a string of baffling murders soon follows.
Each diorama seems to parallel a real crime. Is the murderer using the dioramas as roadmaps, or targeting victims based on what their houses say about them and their lifestyles? When paintings conservator Lily Sparks enters the case, the connections she sees between the murders and the dioramas draw her into the orbit of a killer intent on going from master of a tiny universe to playing God.
BD: You have penned seven critically acclaimed crime novels, and readers are always intrigued by the creative process. What insights can you share with us about your approach to weaving a captivating “whodunit” story?
SK: A good whodunit balances plot, setting, characters and sleuthing, and then makes it all pay off at the end. To move things along, I keep description and dialogue lean. With a quirky heroine like Lily Sparks, her “perfect eye” needs to be a curse as well as a gift. And in an art whodunit, the crime must involve art.
BD: For both returning fans and readers who may be new to Lily Sparks’ adventures, what do you find to be most impactful about her experiences and what tends to resonate most?
SK: The art resonates. Lily’s adventures aren’t heists; they’re about real artists, the passions that drive art and crime, and the unexpected ways they intersect.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
SK: True Crime Redux is coming out in November 2022. It’s the true story of a 50-year-old murder in which I played more than one role.
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Object Lessons and your other work?
SK: Readers can reach me through www.writerkane.com, the Stephanie Kane Amazon Author Central page, and on Facebook at @AuthorStephanieKane.