An intriguing mystery

says Lel Budge of The Bookwormery in her lovely review of No Mercy.

‘This is an intriguing murder mystery with a great character in Kent, his gentle humour brings a lightness to the tale. Great fun, an intriguing mystery and thoroughly entertaining.’

To read the review in full

To purchase a copy from Amazon

27-10-2019. Meet the author interview on Curled Up With A Good Book

Many thanks to Chelle for this interview on her terrific blog, Curled Up With a Good Book. She asked some terrific questions that forced me to think long and hard and delve deep into the past.

Click here to read the full interview.

Here’s a link to Chelle’s review of No More Lies earlier this year.

 

I Have a Secret by Cheryl Bradshaw

1st October 2019.  4 stars.

Another enjoyable book in the Sloane Monroe series finds her at a school reunion, where Doug Ward is brutally murdered. Determined to find out why, Sloane has to go back into the past to find who would want to kill him. As she stirs up old resentments, there are more murders and threats on her life.

Sloane is a resourceful and tenacious private detective with a direct approach that gets results, even if it ruffles a few feathers along the way. She cares about the people she represents and often puts herself in danger – though she’s helped by Giovanni, a mysterious gangster type with a soft spot for her. His help and protection mitigated most of the danger she faced and allowed her to get results with less effort than normal, which rather took the edge off the story for me.

But like the previous two books, which should be read first to get the most out of this one, the writing is smooth and confident, with a good pace, leading to an exciting climax, even though it was fairly straightforward to identify the killer and motive.

If you enjoy character driven murder mysteries by authors like Sue Grafton, the Sloane Monroe series should appeal to you.

Description

Doug Ward has been running from his past for twenty years.

But after his fourth whisky of the night, his steely resolve has started to crack, and he doesn’t want to keep quiet — not anymore.

When blood is found on the deck where Doug was last seen, private investigator Sloane Monroe goes in search of the truth and uncovers the biggest secret of them all.

I have a secret

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.

Black Diamond Death by Cheryl Bradshaw

21st April 2019 – 4 stars.

Having already read and thoroughly enjoyed #6 in the series, I was keen to go back to the beginning to see where it all started. (You can check out my review of Hush Now Baby here.)

I enjoy books narrated by the main character as you can get inside their heads and watch the story unfold through their eyes. You’re so close to the action you feel the suspense, tension and excitement with heightened senses.

In this case, private eye Sloane Monroe takes you on a journey from accidental death to murder, managing to antagonise the local police in her efforts to solve the crime. She’s feisty, determined, high principled and stubborn, but with a few problems of her own to contend with.

The story moved along at a good pace as the investigation got going and I liked the blend of action, introspection and humour, which kept me entertained. Best of all, Sloane reminded me of Sue Grafton’s, Kinsey Millhone, and proved a worthy equal.

I’m looking forward to reading the second book in the series.

Description

Charlotte Halliwell has a secret.

Before she has the chance to reveal it to her sister, Audrey, she’s found dead. At first glance, it appears to be nothing more than an accident, until the medical examiner finds poison coursing through Charlotte’s body.

Audrey hires Sloane Monroe, a sassy, headstrong private investigator. As Sloane works to solve the case, a second body is found. With the killer aware that Sloane will stop at nothing to find him, he tracks her every move. Will Sloane uncover the truth before he strikes again?

Black Diamond Death

Are your novels cosy mysteries?

When a reader first asked me this question, images of Miss Marple and tearooms in quaint country villages sprang into my head.

That’s okay, I thought, because I love Miss Marple and Agatha Christie. They’re one of the reasons I write traditional whodunit mysteries. When bestselling author, Tamara McKinley suggested that Agatha Christie fans would love my first novel, No Accident, I was delighted.

But I never envisaged the Kent Fisher mysteries as cosy. They deal with modern, serious issues that don’t feel cosy.

To settle any doubt, I turned to Google.

A quick check suggested cosies were crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in small, socially intimate communities. The person solving the crime is an amateur, usually but not exclusively a woman, with contacts in the police or other law enforcement agencies.

Well, that got me thinking. There’s no graphic sex in the Kent Fisher mysteries because I believe a reader’s imagination can do a much better job. Any violence is usually confrontational and targeted at Kent to stop him solving a case. The communities are not socially intimate, though most of the action takes place in the small towns and villages of the South Downs. Kent’s an amateur detective, sure, but as an environmental health officer, he’s a law enforcer and often works with the police, giving him certain detection skills.

His best friend is a retired Scenes of Crime Officer.

On balance, it looks like my novels fall into the cosy category.

As Kinsey Millhone, Morse and Miss Marple inspired and influenced me, why did I ever doubt this? After all, my goal has always been to entertain readers with absorbing, complex mysteries, engaging characters with their own stories and troubles, all laced with a healthy dash of irreverent humour.

I prefer to think of the Kent Fisher mysteries as the cosy end of the crime fiction spectrum, like LJ Ross or Dick Francis.

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.