The Hamptons has long been a hub for art, film and books, but few have based an entire business upon the stories this beautiful and uniquely diverse region inspires. Even fewer have built something successful with such stories, but sisters Elizabeth Doyle Carey and Carrie Doyle weren’t going to let a little thing like history stop them from doing exactly that.
Merging their love of the East End and years in publishing, the authors and lifelong East Hampton summer residents launched Dunemere Books in 2015, and quickly followed with more titles than anyone might think possible in two short years. It didn’t hurt that Carey and her younger sibling are true industry veterans who had years of publishing experience and many books between them before joining forces in the new venture they’re calling “destination fiction.”
Dunemere, of course, refers to Dunemere Lane, the famously posh street in East Hampton Village.
Carey started as a bookseller at the Harvard Bookstore, then went on to work as a book agent, editor, editorial director and senior editor for three children’s book publishers. Over the past 20-plus years, she’s written 27 published books for middle-grade readers, and now she’s used that history to inform “Junior Lifeguards,” a series she created for young readers under the Dunemere Books imprint.
Doyle became the founding editor-in-chief of Marie Claire’s Russian edition in 1996, at the age of 23, making her the world’s youngest person to hold such a position for an international magazine. She went on to co-author five books, including two national bestsellers, The Right Address and Wolves in Chic Clothing, under her married name, Carrie Karasyov, with childhood friend Jill Kargman. She’s written and published three “cozy” Hamptons murder mysteries for Dunemere.
Her first two books, Death on Windmill Way and Death on Lily Pond Lane, were published at the same time in September 2016, and the follow-up, Death on West End Road, hit shelves at the end of last month. Each installment of the “Death on” series follows sleuth Antonia Bingham, “a divorced gourmand and the vivacious proprietor of East Hampton’s Windmill Inn,” as she solves local murders in the small-town style of cozy mysteries such as Murder She Wrote or the UK’s Rosemary & Thyme.
“Picture if [Barefoot Contessa] Ina Garten owned an Inn,” Doyle says, explaining her heroine. “We worship Ina Garten.”
Carey’s four Junior Lifeguards books, include The Test, Oscar Season, Shark Bait and, released just this week (on July 25), Fireworks!. The series follows young, prospective lifeguards in Cape Cod with all the drama teens enjoy: boys, efforts to standout among their peers, and the clashes between locals and tourists.
In order to engage readers, Dunemere released the Junior Lifeguards books monthly between April and July of this year. Publishing multiple books at once, or in quick succession, is part of their strategy—and it’s the reason they already have so many publications. They also employed this strategy with Doyle’s first two mysteries. “[Readers] want a bunch right away,” the sisters explain. “They’re not willing to wait.”
Doyle will discuss Death on West End Road during a special author talk with Hamptons magazine editor-in-chief Samantha Yanks at the Southampton Arts Center (25 Jobs Lane) in Southampton Village this Thursday, July 27 at noon.
Learn more about Dunemere Books at dunemerebooks.com.