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An Exclusive Interview with Mary Ann Trail, Bestselling Author of ‘Their Chilling Fall: A Historical Mystery of 1804’

Mary Ann Trail: Bestselling Author of 'Their Chilling Fall: A Historical Mystery of 1804'
Photo Courtesy: Mary Ann Trail

By: Michael Beas – Atlas Elite Publishing

In Mary Ann Trail’s novel, ‘Their Chilling Fall: A Historical Mystery of 1804,’ readers embark on a thrilling and intriguing adventure. Trail draws on her experiences as an academic librarian, her fascination with history, and her extensive travels to bring this brilliant world to life. She vividly tells the story of Georgina and Jeffrey Chadwick, whose expectations for a fresh start are shattered by a fatal shipwreck on the untamed shores of Cape Breton. They come upon a horrifying discovery among the wreckage—a murder victim. The Chadwicks are thrown into dangerous times as the harsh realities of colonial frontier life kick in, and they must solve the murder before there is another one. 

Readers are transported to another time by Trail’s narrative mastery and attention to historical detail, where each turn draws them closer to the heart-pounding truth that lurks in the shadows. Recently, we had a chance to ask her about everything from her love of history and weaving thrilling mysteries to her recent rise to the bestseller list.

 ‘Their Chilling Fall’ is a very compelling read, and the protagonists are a married couple, how did you decide to add marriage into the mystery mix?

I am very tired of ‘enemy to lover’ books. I find the lack of communication between such characters to be tiresome when their issues could be solved with a simple conversation. I wanted my main characters to be in sync and working together, not against each other.

Jeffrey and Georgina Chadwick made their first appearance in my second novel, Facing Enemies. At the end of that book, they got married. When they decided to immigrate to Boston, their marital status was already set. But they haven’t been married long which allows me to remind readers that newlyweds are still strongly attracted to each other and can still solve mysteries. 

In general, your books bring together history and mystery, what is one of your keys for blending historical accuracy with the elements of mystery in your work?

I have done a lot of research into the early 19th century in England, the States, and now Cape Breton. I keep my books in the same time period so I can reuse the research. 

But I try very hard to balance history with the storyline and not overwhelm the reader with historical facts, like lists of books popular at the time. In practice, this means the characters will have a discussion of the mystery while having a meal. During the meal, someone might be scraping sugar from a cone or someone else is toasting bread over the fireplace. Or during a snowball fight, Chadwick will talk about a “forlorn hope”, a military maneuver of the time.

If you could travel back in time and meet one of the characters from ‘Their Chilling Fall’ who would choose and why? What would you all do for fun?

Ok, this question stopped me in my tracks. This is like picking a favorite child. I know this is sort of a cop-out but I have to say I would like to spend time with the Chadwicks as a group. 

There wasn’t a lot of ‘fun’ in 1804 Cape Breton, but I think I would enjoy a trip to the beach by the remains of Fort Louisbourg. 

Do you have a favorite moment or scene in this book, and if so, why does it resonate so much with you?

I was struggling to make Georgina seem more than just a clinging vine to Jeffrey. I really like the moment Georgina stands up for herself during the Governor’s dinner. It still makes me laugh.

You recently became a bestselling author. What was that like on a personal and professional level?

It never occurred to me that Amazon Bestseller was a goal that I could achieve.  Then I saw an immediate effect on sales. This weekend, while tabling at an event, people were very interested in hearing about it.  I ended up selling all the copies I brought with me.

You are a rather prolific writer, having written five books. Will you be writing more historical mysteries? Is there a new one you can tell us about?

I recently received a small grant from a local historical society to set my next novel in their township. I am about halfway through Paddy’s adventure trying to find the missing wine shipment (end of Their Winter Burn) and expect it to be finished in June.

Download Their Chilling Fall: A Historical Mystery of 1804 today!


Published By: Aize Perez

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