I’m delighted to be able to welcome crime author Danielle Zinn to my blog today. Danielle has joined me to discuss her first crime novel, Snow Light.
Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Jo, and to talk about Snow Light – my debut crime novel.
Now let me take you to the magical world of Snow Light… or how a Detective Inspector became entangled in the Christmas traditions and the past of a tucked away little village…
The story of Snow Light is set in the pre-Christmas season in the beautiful Ore Mountains, which are located in the south of Saxony (Germany), and border on Bohemia (Czech Republic). The highest mountain is 1,215m in altitude, so we do have quite a bit of snow as well as long, harsh winters (often enough with sunshine!)
All of the places mentioned in Snow Light are real, starting from the house DI Thomas is living in, which is my family home, to the little lakeside cabin the victim owned.
This is the village of Crottendorf where my main protagonist, Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas only moved to half a year ago and is experiencing its Christmas traditions, which are unique to this area, for the very first time.
Mineral resources such as silver, tin, and copper, have been found in the Ore Mountains since the fourteenth century. Working long shifts meant that the miners entered their workplace early in the morning, when it was still dark outside, and left late in the evening, when the sun had long settled on the horizon. But to allow them at least some light, fellow citizens crafted wooden arches with candles on top and put them in their windows to illuminate the miners’ journeys home.
The arch is both a symbol for the entrance to the mine as well as a source of comfort and light in the dark season of the year. The tradition has been kept alive and all citizens of the Ore Mountains proudly put light arches in every window of their houses from the beginning of December until the end of January, immersing the villages in a soft orange glow, which also calms the troubled mind of DI Nathaniel Thomas.
Another relic from Ore Mountain history is a wooden, turning object – a Christmas pyramid. Pyramids come in all sizes – large ones made to withstand the biting cold are placed in the middle of the market squares of the small villages and smaller wooden versions receive a special place in the living rooms of each home.
Often, they are more than a hundred years old and carefully crafted by our great-grandfathers.
This is the pyramid from Crottendorf and the exact place where the murder victim was found sitting on. What should be a source of comfort and light was so cruelly abused by the murderer.
You can find various animals of the forest, miner figurines carrying hammers, mallets, and ores, as well as different other occupational groups from a bygone era on its storeys.
Every Advent weekend there are mountain tattoos in various towns where members are dressed up as miners, play music and remember the hardships these people had to endure.
Maybe you want to experience this mystical place yourself with its magical Christmas markets offering mulled wine, its soothing lights and welcoming people?
If you’re not one for the cold and wet weather – it is equally picturesque in spring, summer and autumn:
About the book:
When Detective Inspector Nathaniel Thomas encounters a man attacking a young woman in a local park, the DI is unable to save her. Out of guilt, Thomas quits his job at Homicide Headquarters and relocates to the tiny village of Crottendorf, where he regains control of himself and begins to enjoy life again.
However, a year later, all the guilt and shame of the park incident re-emerges when a local hermit, Ethan Wright, is murdered with an unusual weapon and left on display in the centre of the village.
For Thomas, the situation gets worse when Detective Sergeant Ann Collins, a colleague from his past, appears to help with the case. But things become complicated when the victim’s identity is put into question.
Who is the victim? And why was he murdered?
Whilst Thomas and Collins find themselves trying to solve the unusual case, they may have more in common than they could have ever imagined.
About the author: Danielle Zinn
Danielle holds a BA (Hons) degree in Business and Management from New College Durham/UK and has settled down in Leipzig/Germany, where she works as a Financial Controller at an IT Consultancy.
Born and raised in a small village in the Ore Mountains/Germany Danielle was introduced to the world of English literature and writing from an early age on through her mother – an English teacher.
Her passion for sports, especially skiing and fencing, stems from her father’s side. Danielle draws her inspiration for writing from long walks in the country with her partner as well as circumnavigating the globe and visiting friends scattered all over the world.
Mix everything together and you get “Snow Light”, a detective mystery combining a stunning wintry setting in the Ore Mountains with unique traditions, some sporty action and lots of suspense.
Find Danielle Zinn on:
Twitter: @DanielleZinn4 https://twitter.com/daniellezinn4
Facebook: Danielle.zinn.7 https://www.facebook.com/danielle.zinn.7
Snow Light is available on: