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Pitch Wars Showcase

Please note: These are the entries for the Pitch Wars season beginning in 2021 and continuing through 2022. Please note that our Agent Showcase ends at 9:00 p.m. ET on Monday, February 14, 2022. Agents will not be able to leave comments requesting material after that time.
Adult #23: A DEADLY FORTUNE (Historical Mystery)
Stacie Murphy
Mentored by:
Carolyne Topdjian
Book Title:
2018 Adult Entries
Historical Mystery
Word Count:


THE ALIENIST with a paranormal twist.

In Gilded Age New York City, Amelia Matthew uses her modest psychic talent to make a living. After a head injury leaves her with overwhelming new abilities, she’s imprisoned in the notorious insane asylum on Blackwell’s Island. Each day brings her closer to true madness—especially after she stumbles into a deadly conspiracy: someone in the asylum is helping rich men eliminate unwanted wives. Permanently. It’s no longer just her sanity and freedom at stake. Amelia must master her gift and find the killer before more women die—or she may be next.



February 1893

She had him. She was sure of it. Amelia studied the young man from beneath her eyelashes. He perched on the edge of his seat, hunched forward and eyeing the deck of cards as though it were a coiled serpent. She let the weight of the moment hang for another breath, then slid the stack across the table with an abrupt little movement. He flinched. The corner of her mouth twitched, but she smothered the smile before it could emerge.

“We might try again,” Amelia said, her tone warm and encouraging. “Perhaps the second card will reveal what the first could not.”

He swallowed hard and reached to cut the deck with a hand that did not quite tremble.

Amelia gave the cards a final shuffle. Their worn edges, full of tiny nicks and creases, were readable as labels. With the barest glance, she chose the card she wanted. A practiced flick of her fingers floated it to the top.

She drew and turned: the Chariot, reversed. She sighed, a hint of regret in the sound.

His head jerked up. “What do you see?”

23 responses to “Adult #23: A DEADLY FORTUNE (Historical Mystery)”

  1. Kim Lionetti says:

    This sounds great. I’d love to take a look. Please upload the synopsis and full manuscript here: QueryMe.online/KimLionetti/PitchWars

  2. Ann Leslie Tuttle says:

    Dear Ms. Murphy,

    You certainly have a captivating premise for A DEADLY FORTUNE. Please do send the first 50 pages and a query letter to me at atuttle@dystel.com. I’d also appreciate your indicating that this is a Pitch Wars request. Good luck.


    Ann Leslie Tuttle

  3. Amy Elizabeth Bishop says:

    Hi Stacie,

    The Gilded Age is right up my alley — I actually have a book coming out this year that takes place in that time period and mentions an insane asylum (briefly), and I would LOVE to take a look at your full for A DEADLY FORTUNE!

    Could you send it along to abishop@dystel.com as a Microsoft Word attachment with your query and #PitchWars in the subject line?

    Thanks so much and I look forward to reading!



  4. Michelle Richter says:

    I’d love to see the full manuscript. Please include Pitch Wars in your subject line and send the manuscript and query letter to me at querymichelle@fuseliterary.com. Ms can be an attachment.

  5. Colleen Oefelein says:

    Dear Stacie,
    I’m super intrigued! I badly want a mystery! Please see my bio at JDLit.com, and if you’d like, send your query + synopsis pasted into the body of an email with your full attached to colleen@adventurewrite.com with the subject: #PitchWars – A DEADLY FORTUNE.

    If more than one JDLA agent requests your manuscript, please feel free to submit to the best fit.
    Thank you,
    Colleen Oefelein

  6. Melissa Danaczko says:

    Hi Stacie, I would love the opportunity to read more. Can you please email me (mdquery@skagency.com) the query letter and full manuscript? Thanks!

  7. Jennifer Unter says:

    I’d like to read more. Please forward the first 50 pages as a Word attachment to assistant@theunteragency.com. Thanks!

  8. Kiana Nguyen says:

    Hi Stacie! I’m so intrigued by the pitch and sample. I’d love to see a full in a Word doc at query.knguyen@maassagency.com. Please use the subject – Pitch Wars 19: TITLE. Thank you!

  9. Jess Dallow says:

    Hi Stacie,

    This sounds awesome. I’d love to see the full manuscript. Please send it to me in a word document with the query in the body of the email to jess@browerliterary.com with the title of your manuscript and PITCH WARS in the subject. Can’t wait to read it!

  10. Kaitlyn Johnson says:

    Hi Stacie,

    Ooo The Alienist comp gives me chills. I’d love to see the first 50 pages! Please submit your query, synopsis, and first 50 to http://QueryMe.Online/KaitlynJohnson/Contests. Looking forward to the read!

    Kaitlyn Johnson
    Corvisiero Literary Agency

  11. Marlo Berliner says:

    Mystery with a paranormal twist?! This is right up my alley! Please submit your query and first 30 pages via my Query Manager: http://QueryMe.Online/marloberliner
    If more than one JDLA agent requests, simply submit to the agent you feel would be the best fit. Be sure to only submit to one JDLA agent at a time. If the first agent passes, you are welcome to try the next.

  12. Natalie Grazian says:

    I want to know what’s on that card! Please send a query letter to natalie@martinlit.com with the first 10 pages of your MS attached as a Word document. Include “PITCH WARS REQUEST” in the subject line. Thank you–I look forward to reviewing.

  13. Suzie Townsend says:

    Gilded Age! Psychic talents! An insane asylum conspiracy! This has it all! I’m so excited to read on.
    Please send the query and full manuscript to me at suzie (at) newleafliterary (dot) com.

  14. Shannon Hassan says:

    I’m intrigued! Please send a query letter + 50 pages to shannon@marsallyonliteraryagency.com. Thanks, Shannon

  15. Jessica Errera says:

    Hi Stacie! I’d really like to read the full manuscript of A DEADLY FORTUNE if you would send it along to jerrera(at)janerotrosen(dot)com with Pitchwars in the subject line–as an attachment is great. And feel free to include a synopsis/bio if you have them. Thanks!

  16. Kelly Peterson says:

    Hi Stacie!

    This premise is right down my alley, and your voice is seriously on point! I’d love to see your first 50 pages of this manuscript. If you’d like to send, please paste your query and attach your synopsis and 50 pages to an e-mail to Kelly@corvisieroagency.com. Make sure to include Pitch Wars in the e-mail title, and I look forward to reading more!

    Wishing you the best of luck,

    Kelly Peterson

  17. Penelope Burns says:

    Hi Stacie,

    I’m really intrigued here and would love to see more. Can you send your query and full manuscript to penelope@gelfmanschneider.com, with #PitchWars in the subject line? Thanks so much!

    All best,

  18. Laura Bradford says:

    I love everything about this! THE ALIENIST is one of my long-time favorite books so you had me from the first word. Gilded Age NY is a fabulous time period and setting and it is a particular type of catnip for me. 🙂 I’d LOVE to read this one! Please email me the full ms + synopsis at laura@bradfordlit.com and put Pitch Wars in the subject line. Can’t wait to read it!

  19. Aimee Ashcraft says:

    Hi! Very intrigued by your pitch and would love to read more. Could you send the the full manuscript to aimee@browerliteray.com in Word format, along with “PITCH WARS Request” in the subject heading? Thank you!

  20. Hillary Jacobson says:

    Hi Stacie,

    I would love to read this! Please send the full manuscript as a word document to hjacobson@icmpartners.com.

    My best,

  21. Stefanie Lieberman says:

    I’m eager to read more!
    Please send the pitch and the full manuscript in an email addressed to submissions(at)Janklow.com with the following subject line: For Stefanie Lieberman – requested Pitch Wars material.

  22. Eddie Schneider says:

    Dear Stacie,

    Your query sounds interesting—I’d be happy to look at the first 50-75 pages of A DEADLY FORTUNE, along with a 1-2 page synopsis. A .rtf file for the former is preferred, and the body of your e-mail is perfect for the latter.

    Thanks so much! I look forward to reading your work.


  23. Sandy Lu says:

    Hi Stacie, I love the Alienist and historical mysteries in general. Please send the full manuscript with complete synopsis and author bio (all in one Word document) to sandy@lperkinsagency.com. Looking forward to reading!