Jun 21, 2009

Query - The Braidwood Circle

(Note: In the UK, we don't use query letters as such, but a covering letter that travels with a synopsis and the first 30 pages. You still need to give a brief overview of the work in two paragraphs, which is what I am seeking feedback on. Thanks.)

In Elizabethan England death comes often, but when a body found in the woods is that of a wealthy merchant's wife, constable John Rowntree is sent to investigate. The people of Braidwood are keen to assist, and to tell him their secrets, but regardless of the evidence they claim to have, he does not believe their allegations. He especially scoffs when they involve frail old ladies committing murder and practicing witchcraft.

Close to solving the case, Rowntree is confronted by further deaths. More gruesome and brutal, they fuel a frenzy of accusations and threats among the townsfolk. Rowntree's fight to maintain order and stop any further murders leads him to a shocking revelation. One that means he must accept that the town's mid-wife is not only capable of killing, but that she practices sorcery. To stop her from claiming more victims, he must face his strongest childhood fear and break the witch's ever growing circle of power.


Anonymous said...

Apologies Rick, the genre is Mystery.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...


... but when the body found in woodland is a wealthy merchant's wife,

... are eager to assist, revealing long-kept??? secrets

disreguarding evidence he cannot/will not/? believe their ...

Do you need ESPECIALLY?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments Elaine - I'm really grateful to you for your time.

Laura Martone said...

Hi, Anonymous!

I was definitely sucked into your story... creepy, historical mysteries (like "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow") are definitely up my alley.

But an active voice (and less awkward sentence structure) might help to make this even more enticing... For instance, the first paragraph would be stronger like this: "In Elizabethan England, death happens often, but when someone (who?) discovers the body of a wealthy merchant's wife in the woods near Braidwood, constable John Rowntree is sent to investigate. Although the townspeople, keen to assist, freely divulge their long-kept secrets, he dismisses their allegations, despite the evidence they claim to have. He especially scoffs when they accuse frail old ladies of committing murder and practicing witchcraft."

Or something like that. I'm curious, too, about their secrets... could you call out a few?

As a side note, I'm beginning to wish that I'd stayed in the U.K. (I lived there long ago) - how awesome that query letters aren't necessary. They're impossible!

Anyway, good luck with your novel. I really like the premise. :-)

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much Laura - I can see exactly what you are saying. I will have a go at rewriting it.
Cheers for your time.