Robert Crouch – Author Interview

Colin Garrow is one of my favourite authors with his irreverent Sherlock Holmes spoof, The Watson Letters.

He recently interviewed me for his blog, asking some interesting and searching questions about my writing and the Kent Fisher series. Please click here to read the interview and let me know what you think. If you have any questions, please ask away.

No More Lies Blog Tour – Day Seven

15th May 2019.

Another terrific review today with Lacy Ace Book Reviews saying No More Lies is ‘a fabulous ‘whodunit’ read to enjoy, with secrets to uncover, laughter, passion and some lovely creatures to add to the mix, this is definitely one story to read!’

Click here to read the full review.

The Tattooed Book Geek has also joined the party with a guest post, Avoiding Jessica Fletcher Syndrome’, about my attempts to keep the Kent Fisher mysteries fresh and not formulaic.

Click here to read the post.

Hush Now Baby by Cheryl Bradshaw

14th September 2018 – 5/5 stars.

Sometimes, you come across a book that grabs you from the first line, connecting on a deeper level than most books. Hush Now Baby was one of those books with a slick, but friendly style that took you into its confidence and promised a memorable journey.

Sloane Monroe, a Private Investigator who’s questioning her choice of career after several people she cared about suffered during recent investigations. Not having read the first five books in the series, I can only guess at what happened, but that didn’t spoil my enjoyment as this reads well as a standalone.

Then there’s Cade, a local law enforcement officer who could be more than a friend if only Sloane could overcome her fears and doubts and open up. Their relationship was beautifully portrayed through each tentative step as the investigation into his cousin’s murder gathered pace.

Yes, the investigation is personal, adding another layer to the story.

There’s lots of introspection and anxiety, but this doesn’t stop Sloane from being a gutsy and witty PI, with more than a nod or three to Kinsey Millhone, Sue Grafton’s iconic heroine. But Sloane’s no carbon copy.

The pace is steady, building the suspense in small increments. There’s a heavy accent on the characters and their relationships, all skilfully observed and drawn, creating a rich backstory that runs like silk through the story. But this is as much a story about people as it is a murder investigation and better for it, in my opinion.

And having visited Jackson Hole in Wyoming, where the story takes place, it brought back some happy memories.

I will definitely be reading more of the series as I love the author’s distinctive style and rich array of characters.

Description

On a crisp, fall night, Serena Westwood wakes to the faint stirs of her crying baby.

Bottle in hand, she tiptoes to the other side of the house, sneaks up to the crib, looks in. A wave of panic grips her as her real nightmare begins. Inside the crib, there is no baby.

If you’re a fan of Sue Grafton and Mary Higgins Clark, you’ll love these suspenseful mysteries.

Hush Now Baby

A home from Holmes

Environmental health officer turned sleuth, Kent Fisher, faces his most baffling and challenging mystery to date in No Remorse, due for release next Monday, 7th May 2018. The mystery centres on the picturesque village of East Dean. Kent’s faithful assistant and West Highland Terrier, Columbo, has already sniffed out the first clue.

Sherlock Holmes Cottage

Nestled in a valley of the South Downs, a mile inland from Birling Gap on the coast, East Dean once had a famous resident. If you look closely at the left hand side of the flint cottage in the photograph above, you’ll notice a blue plaque on the wall.

Sherlock Holmes plaque

I wanted to pay tribute to one of my favourite detectives in No Remorse, and set Nightingales, the luxury care home at the centre of the mystery, in East Dean. Its owner is Kieran Sherlock, who runs Sherlock’s Homes, a company providing residential care for the well-heeled. It sounds corny, I know, but the links to the fictional detective continue with receptionist, Louise Watson, who soon catches Kent’s eye.

Nightingales is a fictional home, set above the village on the slopes of the South Downs, close to the house you can see in the photo below.

No visit to East Dean would be complete without a stop at the Tiger Inn on the village green. While Kent interviews Miss Watson inside, Columbo sniffs out yet another clue to solve the baffling mystery surrounding Anthony Trimble’s death at Nightingales.

‘No Remorse echoes more modern crime novels, such as the alphabet mysteries of Sue Grafton and Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks books.’
Will Hatchett, editor of Environmental Health News.

Click here to read the full review.

No Remorse is available for pre-order on Amazon and published on 7th May 2018.

Y is for Yesterday by Sue Grafton

4/5 stars. It’s sad that this will be Kinsey’s last adventure, but she bows out with her head held high at the end of a remarkable series.

Description

The darkest and most disturbing case report from the files of Kinsey Millhone, Y is for Yesterday begins in 1979, when four teenage boys from an elite private school sexually assault a fourteen-year-old classmate–and film the attack. Not long after, the tape goes missing and the suspected thief, a fellow classmate, is murdered. In the investigation that follows, one boy turns state’s evidence and two of his peers are convicted. But the ringleader escapes without a trace.

Now, it’s 1989 and one of the perpetrators, Fritz McCabe, has been released from prison. Moody, unrepentant, and angry, he is a virtual prisoner of his ever-watchful parents–until a copy of the missing tape arrives with a ransom demand. That’s when the McCabes call Kinsey Millhone for help.

As she is drawn into their family drama, she keeps a watchful eye on Fritz. But he’s not the only one being haunted by the past. A vicious sociopath with a grudge against Millhone may be leaving traces of himself for her to find…

My thoughts

In what has sadly turned out to be Kinsey’s last investigation, she’s given a hot potato of a case where all the participants have plenty to hide. As she digs into the details with her usual tenacity, flashbacks to events ten years earlier show what really happened.

Meanwhile, lurking in the shadows is Ned Lowe, a violent killer with a score to settle. Add in a few domestic issues with Kinsey’s cousin and some unexpected visitors who take advantage of her landlord, Henry’s, hospitality, and there’s plenty to occupy my favourite private detective.

Reading Sue Grafton is always like meeting up with an old friend, catching up on events, revisiting familiar settings and the characters that bring such colour to the novels. Granted, the pace is often gentle (until the fireworks commence), but the stories are filled with intrigue and danger, laced with Kinsey’ sardonic observations and one-liners.

There was still time for a couple of neat twists to the story and a range of vivid characters to keep the story moving on to its exciting climax.

It’s sad that this will be Kinsey’s last adventure, but she bows out with her head held high at the end of a remarkable series. I tip my hat to anyone who can write a series of 25 novels, maintaining a consistently high standard of stories that entertain, intrigue and satisfy her fans.

I shall miss Kinsey Millhone, but I’m so glad I discovered Sue Grafton’s books 30 years ago. Something tells me I’ll be reading them again soon and for many years to come.

4/5 stars.

Y is for Yesterday