A fresh approach to crime fiction

Graveyard Shift

There’s nothing quite like creeping around a graveyard as the light fades and dusk descends – unless it’s two graveyards.

I should explain that I was taking photographs at the time, hoping to capture some moody shots and fabulous sunsets that I could use as book covers. While the rush of cloud that filled the darkening sky killed off any fiery sunset, I managed a few good photographs.

One typified the South Downs I know and love, so I had to try it out as a potential cover for No Bodies, my second Kent Fisher mystery novel.

Let me know what you think? Would the cover catch your interest or make you want to take a closer look at the book?

I have another photograph that might work for the third novel, No Remorse, which is coming along nicely as I’ll explain later.

And talking of graveyards, there’s a humorous incident at an exhumation I attended in my Case Files, which you can get for free by completing the form at the end of this post.

Second not always best

Back at Crouch Corner, I finished The Killing of Polly Carter, by Robert Thorogood, creator of Death in Paradise, one of my favourite TV shows. I enjoyed the complex story and plot, but it didn’t quite live up to the previous novel, A Meditation on Murder. I’m not sure why, as both books are entertaining and faithful to the Richard Poole series of the TV programme, but maybe I’m a little weary of crime stories.

Do you ever get tired of reading the same genre?

So, I’m taking a break from crime novels and my Kindle to read a couple of paperbacks for a change. First on the list is A Greater World by Clare Flynn, a lovely local author I met recently.

 

A fresh approach to crime

Clare also allowed me to guest on her blog to explain how an environmental health officer (EHO) could become a detective. While writing the piece, it was interesting to recall that Kent Fisher was created out of frustration. Determined to improve my chances of attracting a publisher, and inspired by Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple and Jonathan Creek, I wrote something with a fresh and different approach to the traditional crime story.

While Kent Fisher would never call himself a detective, he uses the skills and local relationships he has as an environmental health officer to solve murders.

While it took over13 years from creation to finding a publisher interested in Kent Fisher, I’m hoping the public won’t take as long to discover and enjoy his investigations.

If you’d like to find out a little more about the work EHOs do, then take a look at the No Accident. No Bodies, which comes out later this year, will show you more of the important and varied work we do.

Or get your FREE copy of my Case Files when you sign up to my newsletter, using the form at the end of this post.

The files contain details of the more humorous cases and incidents from my early career, including ‘The Case of the quick-witted undertaker’ I mentioned earlier.

 

After last week’s jaw-dropping moment when the main plot of No Remorse tumbled out of my head, it was back to the mundanity of turning those ideas into words on a page.

Fortunately, despite a few of those doubts that seem to trouble writers, the story’s moving along well at the moment. I know Kent much better after two novels, though he still surprises me occasionally with an unexpected remark or reaction, which makes writing such fun.

It also gives me more time to think about the other characters, both old and new, so I can hopefully write them more vividly. The same applies to the setting for the story, which is in lovely East Dean, a small village in the South Downs about a mile from the Seven Sisters cliffs and coast.

That’s also why I was in the graveyard at the church in East Dean last Tuesday. I wanted to refresh my memories of the village and absorb the atmosphere to make sure I could capture everything in my writing.

I don’t think I’ve enjoyed writing a story as much I have with No Remorse, which is already throwing up surprises and more ideas to complicate the storyline. Here’s hoping I can do all these ideas justice.


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