Sunday, October 9, 2022

Karen Odden's "Under a Veiled Moon"

Karen Odden earned her Ph.D. in English from New York University and subsequently taught literature at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has contributed essays to numerous books and journals, written introductions for Victorian novels in the Barnes & Noble classics series, and edited for the journal Victorian Literature and Culture. Her previous novels, also set in 1870s London, have won awards for historical fiction and mystery.

Here Odden dreamcasts an adaption of her new novel, Under a Veiled Moon, her second Inspector Corravan Mystery:
Inspector Michael Corravan is 31 years old, nearly six feet tall and fourteen stone, with dark hair and Irish blue eyes. A former thief, bare-knuckles boxer, and dockworker from seedy Whitechapel, he’s quick with his fists and his knife, and he came out of Whitechapel understanding that being strong, decisive, and a rescuer kept him alive. These are all excellent traits for a Scotland Yard Inspector. But as Corravan’s love interest Belinda Gale explains, a little empathy and vulnerability, a memory of what it was like to be powerless and furious in the face of unyielding and abusive power such as he experienced on the London docks, will make Corravan a better policeman. For Michael Corravan, I’d love a young Hugh Jackman, with a mix of self-reliance and passion for fair play that he creates for the role of Drover in Baz Luhrman’s Australia.

My heroine, Belinda Gale, is a playwright and novelist, who once made a promise to her father, on his deathbed, that she would thoroughly vet anyone before she married. She is poised (most definitely not “spunky”), intelligent, well-mannered and well-connected, with a house in Belgravia where she holds weekly soirées. She provides the EQ to Corravan’s street smarts, and she is not afraid to tell him when he is steering into dark waters. I’d love Emma Watson for this part, or perhaps a younger Jennifer Connelly. (I’m thinking of her performance in A Beautiful Mind, which was spot on.)

Corravan’s superior, Sir Howard C. E. Vincent, the new director of Scotland Yard, is (like Corravan) in his early 30s, the second son of a baronet, a former newspaperman, well-heeled and well-educated. In the aftermath of a scandal involving four Yard inspectors who were convicted of taking bribes from con men, Vincent was brought in to sweep the Yard clean of corruption, which he did, despite never having served in uniform or solved a case. (Needless to say, his appointment initially didn’t go over so well with the Yard men who’d come up through the tough uniformed divisions like Lambeth.) Fair-haired Vincent can appear a bit stiff and proper, with his emotions tucked away, but he is deeply ethical and truly wants to make the Yard the best it can be. Dan Stevens (Matthew, Downton Abbey) might be a good fit for him.
Visit Karen Odden's website.

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My Book, The Movie: A Dangerous Duet.

Q&A with Karen Odden.

My Book, The Movie: Down a Dark River..

--Marshal Zeringue