This week saw the passing of an extraordinary woman. Queen Elizabeth’s reign as the longest serving monarch eclipsed Queen Victoria; her death ends the second Elizabethan age and changes history as King Charles lll takes his crown.

Watching the television of the events and her funeral, I couldn’t help but think of how I would weave this event into the next Nora Tierney English Mystery. Would I ignore the Queen’s passing, as I did with Covid in the last book, reasoning that readers wanted a break from that reality?

But this reality seems too large in scope to ignore. Elizabeth didn’t set out to be Queen, yet rose to the occasion when it was thrust upon her with grace and dignity. Early on she vowed to serve her nation until her death, a promise she kept for over seventy years.

Few of us can imagine living our entire adult lives in front of the news and television, with our every move dissected, and our family (and outfits) gossiped about. It seems Nora would be affected by the Queen’s passing, despite being an American living in the UK. And how would it affect her fiancé and friends? Things to ponder . . .

Many citizens who care nothing for the monarchy are yet united in their admiration of this woman. We have friends who waited on the queue to pay their respects along with thousands of others, and said it was a moving and wonderful experience, a moment to be a part of living history as they paid homage to the life this woman gave to her country.

So I will ponder how to address this loss as I imagine the next Nora book, far down the road. And in the meantime, bid a fond adieu to an amazing woman, a working mother who dined with heads of state and could still share a marmalade sandwich with Paddington Bear.