I've always loved old graveyards. That's why the protagonist of my Sweeney St. George mystery series is an art historian specializing in funerary art and gravestone iconography. Like me, Sweeney finds cemeteries beautiful, intriguing, peaceful, melancholy, and . . . full of stories.
Everywhere you turn in a graveyard you can find a story, or part of one.
Who was Belinda? Besides the wife of Arad Evans, that is? Graveyards are full of questions and mysteries.
On the slate and granite and marble faces of gravestones, you can also see the evolving attitudes towards death of the people who would visit them and then be buried beneath them. The urn and willow trees on this slate stone from the early 19th century were common images that signified peace and eternal life. They were a shift from earlier images of the death's heads and then soul's head that made people think of death and what might come with more direct images.
And of course, cemeteries remind us of history, of wars fought and lives lost.
When was the last time you visited a cemetery? Take a stroll sometime, and think about all those stories hidden amongst the stones, all those lives and loves and tales.
Sarah's Sweeney St. George mysteries feature a young art historian who specializes in "the art of death." The first book in the series, O' Artful Death, was nominated for an Agatha Award for best first mystery.
You can find more information about the series here at Macmillan.com.
Praise for Sweeney St. George
"Taylor does a lovely job of setting an atmospheric scene and luring us inside."
-Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review
"A strikingly atmospheric debut. The writing is crisp and the characters all quite forcefully alive, especially Sweeney." -Denver Post
"[O' Artful Death] rings subtle--and enormously satisfying--changes on the venerable tried-and-true." -Newsday
"An elegantly wrought first mystery with layers within layers like carved ivory balls...Rich and rewarding reading."-Booklist