Friday, May 8, 2009

Kate Kingsbury's Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries

Kate Kingsbury's many books include the Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries.

Here she shares her casting ideas for the two main characters should the series be adapted for the big screen:
I dream about seeing my books made into movies. I’ve rehearsed my Academy Awards speech so many times I know it off by heart. You’d think out of fifty-some books at least one would make it to the screen, right? So it’s not surprising that I know exactly who I’d pick to star as the main characters in the stupendous, the outstanding, the extraordinary Pennyfoot Hotel Mysteries movie.

For instance, take Cecily Sinclair. She’s the middle-aged manager of a country club. Feisty, independent to a fault, a little reckless at times, outspoken when needs be, especially when her role as a woman is challenged. Intelligent enough to solve murders, yet constantly drawn into dire peril because of her blind loyalty to her family, friends and staff, as well as the eclectic and often eccentric guests who pass through the doors of the renowned and infamous Pennyfoot Hotel.

Nothing really remarkable there, unless you take into account that this is the turn-of-the-century England, when working women were regarded as something less than respectable. Imagine the horror of a woman who chases all over the countryside tracking down murderers, while her husband appears helpless to restrain the reprobate.

Trapped in an era of aggressive suffragettes, rebellious hotel staff and philandering aristocratic guests, the long suffering Baxter is often forced to turn a blind eye toward his wife’s escapades. Even when he is compelled to voice his displeasure, he is usually sweetly yet firmly disarmed by his determined spouse. In spite of their disagreements, however, they care deeply about each other, and can always be counted upon to be there for each other when needed.

Emma Thompson is the epitome of Cecily Sinclair. I can imagine her striding around the halls of the Pennyfoot, deftly dealing with the whims and worries of her guests, while mentally working out clues that will lead her to the latest dastardly killer lurking in the shadows. The faithful, if sometimes intolerant Baxter, would be admirably played by Victor Garber, who always looks as if he’s harboring a simmering resentment behind that genteel smile.

Then there’s the staff of the Pennyfoot - the belligerent, foul-mouthed maid, the phony French chef, the bossy housekeeper - as well as the addle-brained colonel and his prissy wife. Now who should play them? Decisions, decisions...ah, what fun are dreams.
Visit Kate Kingsbury's website.

--Marshal Zeringue