Today, as I re-read two new lovely reviews of Grey Zone, I have a confession: I did not think I'd made this book, the third Dulcie Schwartz, a very good mystery. My reasons were good: Last spring, my mother was declining through a series of illnesses and health crises that were rapidly building on each other. By the middle of March last year, it was pretty clear she was dying, and she passed away before Grey Zone was finished. Those last days – and for the weeks after – the last thing I wanted to write about was more death. I loved spending time with Dulcie and her friends (and her cats). But murder? I had lost my taste for it. This made finishing this book difficult, and before I did, I went back and forth several times – changing the murder to something else, and back again. When I turned it in, I thought, "well, it's a decent book about Dulcie. I'll do better on the murder mystery aspect next time.
And today I get these two lovely reviews. PW calls Grey Zone, "the best in the series so far." I'm overwhelmed. It is the first anniversary of my mother's death. There's a candle burning on our mantelpiece to recall her. I've been feeling her loss freshly for a while now – that St. Patrick's day trip to the ER. The calls from the doctors. The rushed trips over... the decisions. And yet... good reviews. I guess the book came out better than I had thought. My mom would have been proud, I know that. Bittersweet.