A fresh approach to crime fiction

Rest and review

One of the joys of being on holiday is the chance to visit new places, read more books, and take a break from the latest novel. Oh, and accepting you’re useless at maths.

We spent the first week in the Peak District in Derbyshire, starting with a Kent Fisher moment when we arrived in Bakewell to be confronted by ‘Road Closed’ signs for the local carnival. Our cottage was on a slip road 100 yards beyond the signs, nowhere near the procession. Not that the marshal had any sympathy. “I’ve been given my instructions by the police,” he said, refusing to let us through. “No one is allowed to pass until 4.30.”

Unhappy about hanging about for 1.5 hours, I said, “If I choose to ignore your instructions and drive on that won’t be your fault, will it?”

Before he could answer, I drove between the barriers and our holiday began.

We started with a walk along the River Wye

Bakewell (19)









Or in Harvey’s case, a paddle

Bakewell (79)









With more time to read, I completed the cleverly plotted Dead on Demand, by Sean and Dan Campbell, followed by the highly entertaining murder mystery, Blood and Chocolate, by Judith Cranswick, and then the fascinating and touching Who Killed Little Johnny Gill, by Kathryn McMaster. While all are crime novels, they’re very different and great reads in their own right.

Knowing how much hard work and perseverance go into producing a novel, I always post a review for those books I enjoy. I like to share my appreciation with the author and hopefully help readers who may be considering whether to buy the books or not.

Not that review writing is easy. It’s a struggle to capture the essence of a novel in a few short paragraphs because they’re complex and involved by nature, so, I write a list of the things I liked about the book and why. It could be the characters, the plot, a clever twist, or humour – or all of these. The list helps to organise my thoughts and words. Once written, I leave the review for a day, then tweak it if needed, before posting it on Amazon.

Talking about reviews, I’m delighted with the three No Accident has recevied in its first four weeks on sale. It’s great to know that readers enjoyed my story and wanted to say so. After all, I’m an unknown author among millions on Amazon, struggling to get to grips with the promotion and marketing needed to lift my status to ‘marginally less unknown than last week.’

Every good review is a boost, but I’m told that above a certain number of good reviews, Amazon will promote your book to potential readers, rather than leaving it for them to find. Here’s hoping for a few more reviews over the weeks …

While I enjoyed the two week break, I didn’t stop thinking about writing. Away from my desk, I found it easier to come up with promotional and marketing ideas I can try, including some additions to my website. I’m trying to make it as interesting and informative as possible for visitors, so I hope people will give me some feedback from time to time to let me know if there’s anything I can do to make the site better. I’m preparing to send out my second email newsletter, which you can subscribe to on the website, so I’m happy to consider any ideas.

So, it’s back to work on No Bodies now, reading what I’ve written to get up to speed. After seven chapters, I stopped, having edited out around 2,000 words.

The holiday’s a memory now, and several hundred photographs of some beautiful scenery and lovely walks, worthy of a five star review, I think.

Please let me know what you think