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Why I write Historical Mystery by Mary Kendall

It is a treat to have bestselling American author, Mary Kendall visit the blog today to explain why she writes historical mysteries.

My chosen genre, historical mystery, was really chosen for me by my upbringing. From an early age, I lived in old historic houses and farms that my family worked on restoring. These were places that were filled with things that went bump in the night and were rife with mysterious stories of Revolutionary War chapel rooms and Civil War hospitals. One even came with its own family graveyard. My imagination became primed and ready.

When choosing a career path, this upbringing made me veer towards history because I wanted an interesting (to me) job. Along that path was research: Research is finding an answer to a question or really just solving a mystery. Plus, I am a naturally curious (okay nosey) person so matching research skills with history was an ideal fit. I rolled architecture into that mix and became an architectural historian/historic sites surveyor.

I had a number of positions along the way but my most memorable stints were when I was tracking down and documenting historic properties in rural areas. One time, it led me down a long dirt road in a mountainous area where I found a one story frame dwelling with smoke furling from a stone chimney. A little elderly woman came out on the porch to greet me wearing a longish dress, an apron and a cap. As we talked, I discovered she had to be close to a hundred years of age and had only three little nubs of teeth left in her mouth on the bottom half. The place had been an orchard run by her family and she was all that was left. It felt as though I had fallen into a magical black hole of time. That was just one story I happened upon which fueled the imagination fire already ignited in childhood.

I love reading historical mystery as a genre and I love writing it too. My only wish is for more time to do both!

The Author

Mary Kendall lived in old (and haunted) houses growing up which sparked a life-long interest in history and story-telling. She earned degrees in history related fields and worked as an historian for many years. Her fiction writing is heavily influenced by the past which she believes is never really dead and buried. Fueled by black coffee and a possible sprinkling of Celtic fairy dust, she tends to find inspiration in odd places and sometimes while kneading bread dough. The author resides in Maryland with her family (husband, three kids, barn cat and the occasional backyard hen) who put up with her mad scribbling at inconvenient hours. The Spinster’s Fortune, her debut novel, is twisty tale of family deception murky with gothic undertones recently released on 6 April 2021.

Find out more on Mary’s website at or Instagram (, Facebook (@Mary.kendall.3152) and Twitter (@MaryLavin49).

Or purchase The Spinster’s Fortune at

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