Miranda and the D-Day Caper

Book Cover

CRIME DETECTIVE MYSTERY SUSPENSE/THRILLER POLITICAL

Contemporary

Shelly Frome

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Logline

A small town duo takes on a dire political conspiracy. In effect, this is a modern day mystery with WWII tactics, old-time heroes and values, and the efforts of two amateur cousin sleuths from the Heartland.

Genre

Crime,Detective,Mystery,Suspense/Thriller,Political

Short Summary

Small-town realtor Miranda Davis confronts her whimsical cousin Skip’s unexpected arrival from New York. It turns out he is on the run after deciphering the machinations of a right-wing conspiracy. Miranda’s efforts to intervene places them both on a collision course with the powers that be.


The crux of the mystery centers on thwarting a backwoods psychopath's mission to create havoc detonating concealed plastic explosives at a diversity festival in Asheville. Can Miranda and Skip uncover this plot before the U.S. Senate's vote on Homeland Security at the very same time?

Setting

Western Carolina including Asheville, New York

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Quest,Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Other

Mature Audience Themes

Information not completed

Main Character Details

Name: Miranda

Age: 35

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Adventurous,Decisive,Empathetic,Engaging,Selfless,Outspoken

Additional Character Details

Name: Skip

Age: 40

Gender: Male

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Desperate,Empathetic,Engaging,Faithful,Underdog,Funny

Additional Character Details

Name: Vin Dupre

Age: 35

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Charming,Criminal,Masculine,Narcisstic,Secretive,Adventurous

Additional Character Details

Name: Harry

Age: 45

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Decisive,Educated,Confident,Sophisticated

Development Pitch

Given my background as an actor, director and storyteller and the overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly, this tale lends itself to what could be called a Ron Howard approach. The main two characters, Miranda and Skip straight out of Americana, should be easy to relate to; Vin, the backwoods psychopath should also be relatable, perhaps the spitting image of Matthew McConaughey in his early Linklater roles. In other words, in the current political climate with the outlandish use of conspiracy theories and plotting by the far right, it should be fairly easy to cast and adapt with little or no concerns about subplots and hidden meanings. It's all there for a fun, fast and provocative ride. .

About The Author

Shelly Frome is a member of Mystery Writers of America, a professor of dramatic arts emeritus at UConn, a former professional actor, and a writer of crime novels and books on theater and film. His fiction includes Sun Dance for Andy Horn, Lilac Moon, Twilight of the Drifter, Tinseltown Riff, Murder Run, Moon Games and The Secluded Village Murders. Among his works of non-fiction is The Actors Studio: A History. Miranda and the D-Day Caper is his latest foray into the world of crime and the amateur sleuth. He lives in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Target Audiences

Age: 35-54

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: BQB Publisng

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available

Yes

ISBN

Information not completed

Genre

SUSPENSE, ACTION, DRAMA

Brief

Miranda's writer cousin, Skip, rolls into town looking for her help. A reporter, he seems to have uncovered a right-wing conspiracy plot that could shake up Asheville. The pair investigate a bombing plot that is set to happen at a local diversity festival following a slew of church fires. They are successful in stopping the attack, but not at finding the source.

Overall Rating

FAIR

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: FAIR

Characterization: FAIR

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR

Premise: GOOD

Structure: FAIR

Theme: FAIR

Accuracy of Book Profile

The book profile's short summary, character profiles and logline are spot on in reflecting the narrative. The development pitch talks about the quality of the writing more so than the content and thus could benefit from either changing or adding more about the content such as themes and plot details. The repetition of information such as the protagonists and antagonist in the development pitch can be removed to conserve room for new information.

Draw of Story

Miranda and Skips unusual reunion was intriguing in its open secrecy. Cousins with a long history, reunited as if they are playing spies only to have to later use the investigative skills like real spies to uncover a conspiracy plot is good foreshadowing and presents an interesting dynamic for cousins.

Possible Drawbacks

The gum-shoe dialogue can be zippy and fun, but it tends to create cyclical banter than can delay the pacing of the plot development. It is a bit unclear how politics plays a role in initiative of backwoods psychopath, Vin. Making sure the scenes add to character or plot development and making the suspicious acts more clearly linked to a bigger picture may help increase tension in a easy to follow manner.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that two cousins have to uncover a conspiracy plot that threatens one of them and the national security of the others hometown. They have to lay low in order to keep Skip safe, but they also have to move fast enough to stop the bombing from happening. It is often a struggle to balance personal safety with professional survival and community peace.

Fanbase Potential

Depending on the time period, this could potentially appeal to a medium fanbase of mysteries. The detective pulp fiction quality could either enhance the audience numbers or dissuade some groups due to its unique stylistic dialogue.

Awards Potential

This is unlikely to have awards potential as the core of the antagonist is simplified to a psychopath rather than an exploration of societal themes that would gain nomination notice. The characters internal development does not have an emotional range that would garner notice either.

Envisioned Budget

LOW BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

HARPER, THE GREEN ROOM, BRICK, KISS KISS BANG BANG, THE MALTESE FALCON, VERTIGO, BLACKHAT

What’s New About the Story

The dialogue is very distinct and the character dynamic between the protagonists as cousins with a noticeable age gap is unusual, so making the dialogue purposeful and giving the characters more depth will help make them shine as both memorable and functional.

Lead Characters

Miranda is hopeful, skilled and loyal. Skip is cunning, resourceful and sentimental.

Uniqueness of Story

The premise is distinct, but the two stakes aren't all the way intertwined. Getting to the exposition faster in scenes could help quicken the pacing of the plot and provide room for a stronger connection between dangers.

Possible Formats

Film - Streaming, Film - Indie

Analyst Recommendation

WORK IN PROGRESS

Justification

While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

Utilizing the fast paced dialogue for both plot and character development would help make the scene pacing more smooth. For example the dialogue can be quick although the actual progression of the investigation is not because they are mainly telling about what they found rather than actively seeking it. Giving Miranda and Skip internal conflict would also help them transform and thus be less static.