My next Radwinter novel which should be published in late spring early summer 2017, is called ‘Earthquake’; it won’t spoil anything to tell you that the main character Thomas Radwinter has been commissioned to find out about the deaths of two young girls, Marjory and Florence, in 1931 – yes, almost ninety years ago. Thomas has a diary written by Cynthia, a friend of the girls and has come across a reference to earthquakes which seems to have some relevance to the deaths. Thomas begins to investigate earthquakes in 1931:

Oh well… back to Marjorie and Florence, they’re not going anywhere… we were thirteen in the summer the earthquake came and we were eleven  What on earth did it mean?

The earthquake must have been metaphorical, the deaths of two girls, little Marjorie, and Florence… Florence Baxter was fourteen when she died, in the ghastly accident with the window. I had a shiver of memory… I had remembered this when I was researching my family history – John and I had been locked in a room by Sylvia, it was really hot and there were flies in the room which I didn’t like. John tried to open the window, one of those sash windows like the one which had killed Florence and it had fallen on his hand. I had screamed and screamed Mummy! Mummy! Mummy!’ but of course she didn’t come. John cried silently but didn’t say a word, I tried to comfort him… he would have been about eleven, I would have been about four…

I don’t believe in God, but thank God our children will never suffer as we did…

So… the earthquake… two deaths of their friends, that must have been pretty much like an earthquake in the lives of these children. So 1931… what else happened in 1931?

I looked through the events Wikipedia outlined for 1931…

  • in January, I was informed, the National Committee for Modification of the Volstead Act is formed to work for the repeal of prohibition in the United States… prohibition… that was when alcohol was illegal. I know it’s still illegal for people under twenty-one to drink or even go into a bar that serves alcohol, my brother Pauls’ sons had a problem when they went over to visit their mother; I remember Django aged eighteen complaining that American kids can buy guns but they can’t buy a beer! Oh well, I guess each country is different…
  • Ernest Lawrence invented the cyclotron, Albert Einstein worked with Edwin Hubble – he of the Hubble telescope I guess. Did he invent it? I have a vague memory that it was named after him and I wander off to look it up, and yes, the Hubble telescope is named after him… he died in 1953…
  • In 1931 Elly Beinhorn began her flight to Africa. I have no idea who she is, but she crashed on the way home and was rescued by Tuareg tribesmen
  • Gandhi
  • Charlie Chaplin
  • Earthquake! There’s an earthquake in February in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand!

The earthquake destroyed Napier and Hastings and killing 256 people… Were any of the thirteen girls orphaned by the earthquake? Can I find out who died?

  • Joseph Stalin
  • New Delhi
  • the first Dracula film is released!
  • Oswald Mosley… he was a fascist, wasn’t he? He founded the New Party but was that when he became anti-Semitic, was he racist against other people, against Chinese people? I have no idea…
  • Good grief on March 3rd The Star-Spangled Banner is adopted as the United States’ National anthem…
  • Oh good old Mr. Spock – Leonard Nimoyis born in 1931! Is he still alive?
  • Arnold Bennett– not sure I’ve ever heard of him, he was a writer apparently and he died of typhoid after  drinking local water in Paris to prove it was safe… well, silly him…
  • Another earthquake!

 In Nicaragua, this time, tragically it kills two thousand people… Was Nicaragua part of the British Empire, were any of the girls parents there? There certainly seems a lot of earthquake activity going on in 1931… but maybe it goes on all the time and isn’t mentioned much on the news…

  • Severino Digiovanni was executed in Argentina for being an anarchist… never heard of him but what a name…
  • Porsche is founded… I’ve heard of Porsche, obviously…
  • And another earthquake in the Dogger Bank but no-one injured…
  • Empire State Building…
  • The magnificently named Wiley Post and Harold Gatty become the first people to  complete a round the world flight in a single-engine plane… at least they didn’t crash and have to be rescued by Tuareg…
  • And in November the Panama Canal was closed for a couple of weeks because it was damaged by earthquakes
  • Haile Selassie…
  • And on August 10th a massive earthquake Xinjiang province… 10,000 die… good grief
  • And also in China, the Yangtze River floods and 4,000,000, that’s four million people drown…

Did the girls somehow find out that their real families had died in the earthquake or had drowned… or were safe? Oh goodness… maybe as many as four million Chinese people died…

1931 was a real year for earthquakes, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama Canal, and China… but has this anything to do with the comment Cynthia makes? I must find out more about earthquakes, but of course this might be a complete and utter red herring…

If you want to read my other Radwinter books, genealogical and family mysteries, here are the links:

Book 1: Radwinter – https://www.amazon.co.uk/RADWINTER-Lois-Elsden-ebook/dp/B00IFG1SNO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1483003646&sr=8-2&keywords=lois+elsden

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Book 2: Magick – https://www.amazon.co.uk/MAGICK-RADWINTER-Book-LOIS-ELSDEN-ebook/dp/B00OHV4MR0/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1483003646&sr=8-5&keywords=lois+elsden

Cover Magick

Book 3: Raddy and Syl – https://www.amazon.co.uk/RADDY-SYL-RADWINTER-Book-3-ebook/dp/B00WAN0YD8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1483003646&sr=8-3&keywords=lois+elsden

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Book 4: Earthquake – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Hope-Radwinter-Book-4-ebook/dp/B01AKU9XMK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1483003646&sr=8-4&keywords=lois+elsden

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2 thoughts on “Earthquakes…

  1. Leonard Nimoy died and William Shatner didn’t attend the funeral as too busy making more money. Now the trekkies call him Captain Jerk instead of Captain Kirk.

    Like

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