A fresh approach to crime fiction

Size matters

Size matters for those buying the paperback of No Accident. On flicking through the pages, everyone said, “That’s good, the print’s big.”

While it may say something about the average age of my readers, I’m more than happy. This isn’t a book for teenagers or those who prefer serial killers stalking the mean streets of the city. It’s not
another police procedural, featuring a stroppy detective with alcohol and marital problems and an
attractive, but argumentative sidekick. This is a story for those who appreciate a complex murder mystery with strong, interesting characters, a picturesque setting and some unexpected twists.

‘It’s a traditional murder mystery, but with a contemporary and irreverent twist’, according to Crime Fiction Lover. A reviewer on Amazon said No Accident was ‘a fresh voice that really offers something different’.

I wrote this book for people like me – for people who like Agatha Christie and Miss Marple, Morse and Midsomer Murders, Columbo and Kinsey Millhone from the alphabet series by Sue Grafton.

Runners and book

People like my running friends, who I met up with on Sunday morning at Butts Brow overlooking Eastbourne. We ran a gruelling 9.5 miles over some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve encountered on the South Downs. From the hills that offer views over Arlington Reservoir and the Cuckmere Valley, to the valleys and steep climbs of Lullington Heath, I loved every idyllic mile in the morning sun.

 

While I’ve explored a lot of the South Downs, much of this was new territory to me, doubling the pleasure. And though we probably talked too much about books and writing, it was great to share some of moments in my fledgling career. At the end of the month, I’ll be sharing a lot more at the Hawthorns.

Signing

After the run, it was lovely to sign some books, say thank you and feel like an author. You don’t get this contact with Kindle and electronic books.

 

 

 

Apart from running and signing paperbacks, I finished The Needle House by Robin Roughley. This was much better than some of the police procedurals I’ve read, with convincing characters I cared about and an interesting plot, deftly woven together into a good story.

XNow I’m reading X by Sue Grafton. It’s wonderful, like meeting up with an old friend you haven’t seen for a while.

 

 

 

 

Harvey04Size doesn’t matter to Harvey, who’s been known to frighten off German Shepherds and a Rottweiler called Roxy. His tenacity and determination meant I had to have a Westie in the novels. With a nod to my favourite TV detective, I named him Columbo. In the hope of some guest
appearances, Harvey was at Champooch Studios this
afternoon, having a much-needed trim. If only he would stay still enough for a photo.

 

 

 

No Bodies, the second Kent Fisher mystery, is also coming along with around three quarters of the first draft completed. Several times this week, while writing at the computer, I’ve had ideas for further surprises and twists to add even more depth to the story. Usually, I get my best ideas in the bathroom, while I’m shaving or showering. But when I’m at the computer, I don’t have to rush to my office to scribble the ideas down or remember them until my shower is over.

As I’m getting close to completing the first draft of the second novel, it’s time to start researching the third Kent Fisher mystery, provisionally entitled No Chance. Along with the usual baggage of personal problems Kent wrestles with, the action will involve a residential care home. Over the years as an EHO, I’ve inspected many care homes, looking at food hygiene and health and safety issues, including falls, scalding while bathing, and outbreaks of viral food poisoning. I’m also conscious that many
vulnerable residents have been taken advantage of by unscrupulous home owners and managers,
including local authority run homes.

From somewhere in all of this, a cracking murder mystery will emerge.

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