• Covers of NO Accident by Robert Crouch
    Murder, Rob Wrote

    Do you know what your book’s about?

    I thought I did. There I was, at the front of the church hall, being introduced by the chairperson, looking forward to my first public event as an author. My appearance in the local paper the week before seems to have drawn a good number of people. They look keen, friendly and welcoming, laughing as I recount some of the strange and amusing incidents from my time as an environmental health officer (EHO). I should tell them more about my work. Instead I launch into my talk. Holding up a copy of my first published book, No Accident, I tell my audience to feel free to ask questions at any…

  • Kent Fisher logo

    An Accidental Detective

    How do you create something familiar, but different and less formulaic? Do you go for something original and distinctive – unique even? Perhaps, but you run the risk of alienating the readers you want to attract. They read certain books because they know what they want and what to expect. They might not take to kindly to you messing around with this. Murder mystery readers are pretty savvy when it comes to the classic whodunit. But they still want you to give them something they’ll enjoy and remember. For me, the desire to create a murder mystery readers would love held me in a vice-like grip. I had to start…

  • Frustrated writer
    Murder, Rob Wrote

    A funny thing happened on the way to publication

    You’ll never believe what happened when I wrote my first murder mystery novel. That’s right, I couldn’t solve the murder. Now, I don’t want you to think I’m jinxed or far too clever for my own good. All I did was set out to create a different kind of detective. That’s what all crime writers want to do, isn’t it? The trouble is, my detective wasn’t a detective or a police officer. I couldn’t have someone walk into his office and hire him to investigate. As he wasn’t a police officer, he couldn’t go out and investigate a murder. Equally, he wasn’t some older woman in a village who solves…

  • Write

    Love is up in the air

    (With apologies to John Paul Young for corrupting his song.) In my Valentine’s Day email to my Readers Group, I gave them a look under the bonnet of Kent Fisher’s turbulent love life. From the outset, I gave Kent a fear of commitment. It offered the chance to have people come and go from his life as the series developed, keeping the stories fresh. But the characteristic isn’t restricted to his romantic encounters. It goes to the core of him, rooted in childhood disappointments and the wise words of a teacher, who wanted to lift his spirits. There’s always something better around the corner. This gives him a restless nature.…

  • Boy reading a book

    When you’re different (Part One)

    Is being different a blessing or a curse? I guess it depends on your viewpoint and your experiences. In my case, the sense I was not the same as others began when I started school at the age of four.  My sin was that I could already read a little. I wasn’t trying to show off or be better than anyone else, but that’s not how I felt after the dressing down I received from the teacher. It left me with a sense of injustice I still feel today, especially when I see others treated unfairly. [bctt tweet=”It left me with a sense of injustice I still feel today, especially…

  • Write

    More than a Murder Mystery

    Isn’t it lovely when readers surprise you? Here I am, writing murder mysteries for crime fiction lovers, doing my best to create the most baffling and convoluted plots possible. Being a huge fan and admirer of Agatha Christie, I’ve studied her approach and techniques, determined to learn from the best-selling crime writer of all time. When the reviews and feedback come in, I’m delighted when readers enjoy the plots, the complexity and the unexpected twists that lead to an exciting climax. But many of them love the characters and the backstory. They want Kent Fisher to find the woman of his dreams, to deal with his boss and the bureaucracy…

  • Sue Grafton

    A hero for today’s murder mysteries

    Have you ever read a book or watched a TV programme and wished you could write something as good? Neither had I until I saw the original Inspector Morse series. The superb characterisation, complex and intriguing plots, and the beautiful Oxford settings captivated me. About the same time, BBC 1 aired the Miss Marple series, adapted from Agatha Christie’s books. Both programmes evoked the same emotion and desire to write a complex murder mystery. At this point, I should tell you I was already a writer. Not a successful one, unless you include the national short story competition I won at the age of 12. That early enthusiasm and promise…

  • Crime Scene - No sex please

    No Sex Please We’re Crime Writers

    Have you ever wondered why there’s so little sex in crime fiction? Maybe there is and I’m reading the wrong books. Maybe sex and murder are not good bedfellows. Some categories of crime fiction, such as cosy mysteries, exclude explicit sex, graphic violence and excessive swearing. In my book, literally and metaphorically, this doesn’t exclude romance, sexual tension and people sleeping together. It simply frowns on graphic description. But sex scenes should only be in a story if they are essential to the plot or character development. This should be the case in any book in any category. If a killer, for instance, seduces his or her victims before killing…

  • Interview

    An interview with author Paula Williams

    I’m delighted to welcome crime novelist Paula Williams to Robservations. The third novel in her Much Winchmoor series, Burying Bad News, is published on 17th March 2020. Having enjoyed the first book in the series, Murder Served Cold, I thought it would be interesting and fun to learn more about Paula and her writing. Paula, please tell me a little about yourself and your writing. I began my writing career writing short stories and serials for women’s magazines, which I still do sometimes, although it’s now a sadly shrinking market.  So I started thinking of a change of direction and decided to dip my toe in the murky waters of…

  • Interview

    An interview with author, Colin Garrow

    I’m delighted to welcome author, Colin Garrow, who writes the entertaining Terry Bell murder mysteries and a glorious spoof of Sherlock Holmes, The Watson Letters. He’s also written plays, books for young adults and always has several projects on the go. Colin grew up in a former mining town in Northumberland. He has worked in a plethora of professions including: taxi driver, antiques dealer, drama facilitator, theatre director and fish processor, and has occasionally masqueraded as a pirate. His short stories have appeared in several literary mags, including: SN Review, Flash Fiction Magazine, Word Bohemia, Every Day Fiction, The Grind, A3 Review, 1,000 Words, Inkapture and Scribble Magazine. He currently…