Saturday, July 13, 2024

Summer catch up!

Summer seems to be flying by at a rate of knots! I was ill for two weeks with a severe respiraory infection which knocked me off my stride. Now I'm busy catching myself back up as I write the next Miss Underhay - working title - Murder in Central Park, and the second in my new series. The secret detective agency book 2 - snappy title huh? The new series will start next year so I'm editing, writing, polishing and all kinds of crazy right now! I'm also going to Theakston Crime Festival this year in Harrogate, Yorkshire. I'm going on Thursday and returning Sunday. I'm meeting my youngest daughter and her partner there for dinner on Friday too! Attending something this big is a challenge for me. I'm fine if I'm going with a purpose to something - like being on a panel or moderating but when it's a new experience just going as an attendee it brings a lot of challenges for me. The first is physical, I can't stand for any period and my walking and balance isn't great so queueing and not knowing if there will be seats is scary. I also struggle to hear properly in crowds. The second is because of my dyscalculia the website to navigate what is on where and when is tricky. It's like being given a complicated jigsaw without the picture on the lid. Everything seems to be in different places and clashes with gaps and I can't find information. I'm so grateful to those author friends who have offered me help and patiently explained things to me. I'm sure once I get there it will be clearer and Mr Nell is coming with me so at least I have help to save me from getting lost and having a nervous breakdown. My nail artist, Keelie, has painted brilliant crime themed nails for me so hopefully that might break the ice when I'm talking to people. Several of my fabulous readers have also said they are hoping to meet me there as are lovely Saskia and Francesca from my agency. So if you see me wombling about looking lost or confused please come and say hello! I'd love to meet you.

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Returning guest! Verity Bright

A warm welcome back to one of our favourite guests - Verity Bright who has a new title, Murder in Mayfair, out today!
Tea and cake at The Ritz, a stolen pearl necklace and a missing dead body… Lady Swift is back on the case! Lady Eleanor Swift has been eagerly awaiting her trip in a hot air balloon to take in London’s amazing sights. But what she witnesses instead is a murder! From way up high she sees man in a dark coat shoot another man dead, but by the time she arrives back on the ground, Eleanor can find no trace of the body. Just the broken piece of a pearl necklace clasp, trodden into the dirt. Back at The Ritz hotel, over afternoon tea, Eleanor’s old friend Lady Philomena Chadwick confides in her about a scandalous theft. Lady Chadwick is certain someone on her staff has stolen her priceless pink pearl necklace. Eleanor is immediately suspicious when the description matches the jewellery she spotted at the crime scene. Much to her butler Clifford’s amusement, Eleanor goes undercover as a governess in the Chadwick’s sparkling Mayfair mansion. As she sets about questioning the disgruntled staff, she uncovers a treasure trove of gossip. But how do a secret love affair, a flirty footman with a fondness for spying, and a housemaid hiding a nightly visitor connect to the murder? And when Eleanor’s beau, Detective Hugh Seldon, is brought in to investigate a string of further robberies in Park Lane, Eleanor is certain that Chadwick House is hiding the unlikeliest gang of jewel thieves below stairs… This sounds like great fun! You can get your copy HERE

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Guest Author - Helen Hollick

For my first guest this month I'm delighted to introduce you to my lovely friend, Helen Hollick. She has a wonderful series of books -The Jan Christopher Mysteries, which you all might like to try! Here's Helen to tell you more!
A Memory of Murder – a new cosy murder mystery to solve – along with library assistant Jan Christopher, her fiancĂ©, Detective Sergeant Laurie Walker and her uncle, Detective Chief Inspector Toby Christopher. Set in the 1970s this easy-read cosy mystery series is based around the years when Helen was a north-east London library assistant, using many of her remembered anecdotes, some hilarious – like the boy who wanted a book on Copper Knickers. (You’ll have to read the first book, A Mirror Murder to find our more!) The mysteries alternate between Jan’s home town, and where Laurie’s parents live – North Devon, (where Helen now lives.) In this fifth episode, there’s a missing girl, annoying decorators, circus performers, and a wanna-be rock star to deal with. But who remembers the brutal, cold case murder of a policeman?
Easter 1973. The North London library where Jan Christopher works is in upheaval because the decorators are in to spruce the place up, but there is more for her policeman uncle, DCI Toby Christopher and her fiancĂ©, DS Laurie Walker, to worry about than a few inconvenient pots of paint. An eleven-year-old girl has not returned home after school, and strange ‘gifts’ are being surreptitiously left for the detective chief inspector’s family to find. Could these items have anything to do with the unsolved murder, fifteen years ago, of Jan’s policeman father? Buy Link: Amazon universal: HERE (e-book available for pre-order: published on 18th May - paperback release to follow) Or order from any bookstore (cheaper on Amazon) Reader’s comments: "Can I say this is the best one (of the series) yet? YES! For the depth of the writing, the maturity of the main character, and the complexity of the premise. It's cosy...with a few chills for good measure!" Elizabeth St John, author "I sank into this gentle cosy mystery story with the same enthusiasm and relish as I approach a hot bubble bath, (in fact this would be a great book to relax in the bath with!), and really enjoyed getting to know the central character..." Debbie Young bestselling cosy mystery author "Jan is a charming heroine. You feel you get to know her and her love of books and her interest in the people in the library where she works. She's also funny, and her Aunt Madge bursts with character - the sort of aunt I would love to have had. I remember the 70s very well and Ms Hollick certainly gives a good flavour of the period." Denise Barnes (bestselling romance author Molly Green) “A delightful read about an unexpected murder in North East London. Told from the viewpoint of a young library assistant, the author draws on her own experience to weave an intriguing tale” Richard Ashen (South Chingford Community Library) "Every sentence pulls you back into the early 1970s... The Darling Buds of May, but Devon not Kent. The countryside itself is a character and Hollick imbues it with plenty of emotion" Alison Morton, author “An enjoyable novella with a twist in who done it. I spent the entire read trying to decide what was a clue and what wasn’t ... Kept me thinking the entire time. I call that a success.” Reader's Review ABOUT HELEN First accepted for traditional publication in 1993, Helen became a USA Today Bestseller with her historical novel, The Forever Queen (titled A Hollow Crown in the UK) with the sequel, Harold the King (US: I Am The Chosen King) being novels that explore the events that led to the Battle of Hastings in 1066. Her Pendragon’s Banner Trilogy is a fifth-century version of the Arthurian legend, and she writes a nautical adventure/supernatural series, The Sea Witch Voyages. She has also branched out into the quick read novella, 'Cosy Mystery' genre with her Jan Christopher Mysteries, set in the 1970s. Her non-fiction books are Pirates: Truth and Tales and Life of A Smuggler. She is currently writing about the ghosts of North Devon for Amberley Press, and another, Jamaica Gold for her Sea Witch Voyages. She lives with her family in an eighteenth-century farmhouse in North Devon with their dogs and cats, while on the farm there are showjumper horses, fat Exmoor ponies, an elderly Welsh pony, geese, ducks and hens. And several resident ghosts. Find Helen here: Website: HERE Facebook: HERE Blog: promoting good authors & good reads HERE

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Release day!!!

Murder on the French Riviera is out in the big, wide world! I hope you all enjoy it. You can grab a copy HERE

Saturday, May 18, 2024

Watch this space!

It's been a busy few weeks! The next Miss Underhay book is now with my editor and is being titled Murder in the Countryside! Edits have been done on the first of the Secret Detective Agency books and I'm thrilled to say that I've agreed to do a few more signings and lit fest appearances so keep your eyes peeled for announcements on those closer to the time. Murder on the French Riviera is out in 10 days time! eek! The day before my middle daughter's wedding, so if I seem very scattered around then you'll know why.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Almost May!!!

Wow! This month has shot past! My editor loves book 1 of the Secret Detective Agency and I'm getting stuck in to writing the second book. The series will launch early next year and I am so excited for you to meet Jane, Arthur, Benson and Marmaduke the cat. For my Miss Underhay fans, have no fears, there are lots more Matt and Kitty stories in the pipeline. Murder on the French Riviera is live on Netgalley for advance readers and getting great reviews! Phew! I'm almost done on the first draft of Murder in the apple orchard which is possibly the title we're getting for the next book in the series. May will be a busy month for me as Murder on the French Riviera releases the day before my middle daughter's wedding! May is also mine and Mr Nell's 39th wedding anniversary (On Star wars day lol) and my youngest daughters birthday. So if I seem a bit frazzled around then you'll know why!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Going out out!

Yesterday I had a lovely time meeting writerly people. First in Exeter with a fab lunch talking to friends old and new about everything writing and publishing. Then on the evening out to Totnes to meet more locally based writing friends old and new! Now though it's back to work as these books won't write themselves! The first in my new series, The Secret Detective Agency which will be out next year is sitting with my agent and my editor so I'm diving into writing book 2. The next Miss Underhy book, Murder on the French Riviera is out May 28th - the day before my middle daughters wedding! And I'm halfway through writing the next Miss Underhay, Murder at the apple orchard. So I'm a busy bee. Remember you can preorder Murder on the French Riviera now and you can always catch up with me on Twitter, Instagram and my Facebook author page.

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Book signing

Such fun today to visit my lovely chum Lesley at First Draft books in Bovey Tracey for a book signing for Murder at The Island Hotel! She has a few signed copies left and a couple of signed copies of Murder at The Dolphin Hotel too! So if you are outthat way pop in and treat yourself!

Thursday, March 07, 2024

The Secret Detective Agency

Huge, bigly announcement from me today!!! The Friday Night Project has been contracted and is now called The Secret Detective Agency. Here is what my publisher had to say!!!! We’re over the moon to announce that commissioning editor Maisie Lawrence has acquired a world rights in a brand-new cosy crime series by Helena Dixon from Kate Nash of Kate Nash Literary Agency. Dixon is the author of the bestselling Miss Underhay mystery series, which has delighted fans worldwide with over 95 million Kindle Unlimited pages read and over 250,000 copies sold. Bookouture are also thrilled to be publishing four new Miss Underhay mysteries with Dixon in 2025. The first book in her new series, The Secret Detective Agency, will publish in March 2025. The book opens in 1941 at the house of Arthur Cilento, an asthmatic academic, who finds a woman’s body in the gardens of his manor house. Miss Jane Treen, a government officer from London who manages an elite group of spies, knows exactly who the mystery woman was and why she was there. Forced to work together, the race is on to solve a deadly puzzle that Arthur and Jane were not anticipating. Maisie said, ‘Helena Dixon is a cosy crime master and totally brilliant at crafting twisty, gripping plots, combined with tantalising settings that are an utter joy to read. In this new series, she has created two truly unforgettable characters – and an excellent cat – who will solve tricky crimes together. She’s a joy to work with, always going above and beyond to delight her readers and I can’t wait for them to fall in love with The Secret Detective Agency.’ Helena said, ‘I am so excited to bring The Secret Detective Agency to readers. Maisie and the team at Bookouture are so great to work with that I know Jane, Arthur and Marmaduke the one-eyed cat couldn’t be in better hands.’

Monday, March 04, 2024

Murder at the Island Hotel out today!

A gorgeous island off the English coast, a beautiful hotel perched on the cliffs, a group of glamourous friends… and a suspicious death? Kitty Underhay’s invitation didn’t mention murder! Spring, 1936. As the boat draws into the harbour of Bird Island, Kitty is absolutely delighted to see the stunning hotel for the first time. She and her friend Alice have been asked to join the distinguished guests before the hotel officially opens its doors, but they have barely unpacked when the owner is found dead in his own study… Sir Norman’s death looks like suicide. But Kitty isn’t convinced – she cannot find a note, and he is left-handed but was shot on the right side of his head. Kitty tries to reach the police, but a violent storm engulfs the island and the power goes out. Kitty and Alice need to move quickly before anyone else finds death on their dinner menu! With several old friends amongst their suspects, Kitty decides the investigation should stay secret. But it’s not until Kitty uncovers Sir Norman’s financial difficulties that she’s on the killer’s trail. Can Kitty and Alice catch the culprit in time for tea, or will they become the next guests on the murderer’s list? Fans of T.E. Kinsey, Agatha Christie or Lee Strauss will adore this warm and witty whodunnit. An utter delight to read! Get your copy HERE

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Cover reveal!

Yay! The cover and preorder are now up for Murder on the French Riviera! Ooh la la! PREORDER
A grand old hotel, fresh coffee on the balcony, a perfect view of the sparkling ocean and… surely not another murder? Thank heavens Kitty Underhay is on the case! Late spring, 1936. As Kitty Underhay steps onto the sun-drenched station platform in Nice, on orders from Whitehall to track down a missing man, she hopes there will still be time to lie by the pool, preferably with a cocktail in hand. But when she and her husband Matt take a brief evening stroll, instead of finding a perfect croissant, they stumble across a body… Kitty and Matt quickly realise it is Fred Bennett, the man from Whitehall they were hoping to find. Had he simply drunk too much fabulous French wine, or is something fishy going on in this seaside city? When Kitty and Matt uncover a casino matchbook in Fred’s pocket, they head to the glamorous waterfront establishment where a wealthy widow, a disreputable aristocrat and a cash-strapped reporter swiftly make their suspect list. But with more questions than cards in a pack, can Kitty and Matt nail the killer before he comes after them too? Or will they realise that everything isn’t always nice in Nice?

Thursday, February 22, 2024

Guest Blogger - Eva Glyn

A very warm welcome to a new guest blogger, Eva Glyn talking about her new book: The Dubrovnik Book Club
'The perfect summer escape, I adored it!’ USA Today Bestseller, Faith Hogan In a tiny bookshop in Dubrovnik’s historic Old Town, a book club begins... Newly arrived on the sun-drenched shores of Croatia, Claire Thomson’s life is about to change forever when she starts working at a local bookshop. With her cousin Vedran, employee Luna and Karmela, a professor, they form an unlikely book club. But when their first book club pick – an engrossing cosy crime – inspires them to embark upon an investigation that is close to the group’s heart, they quickly learn the value of keeping their new-found friends close as lives and stories begin to entwine... The Dubrovnik Book Club is published by One More Chapter on 8th March. I asked Eva to tell us about what she enjoyed about writing the book and her inspiration for the story. One of the most fun things about writing The Dubrovnik Book Club was actually choosing the books. They all had to fit into the story somehow (well, one is a bit tenuous but the title worked!), and each character needed to have a book which would help them along their journey in one way or another. So what would the new English shop manager choose as the very first read for a book club in an international bookshop in Dubrovnik? At the beginning of the story in particular Claire is not an especially brave soul, so my guess was that she’d play it safe. And there’s little safer than the bestselling British book of the previous year; Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club. Reading it also inspired bookshop assistant Luna to suggest they tried to solve a mystery for themselves. Claire’s cousin Vedran’s girlfriend had disappeared under suspicious circumstances a few months before, leaving social media firmly pointing the finger of blame in his direction. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could clear his name? And so Luna (enthusiastically) and Claire (reluctantly) decide to give it a go. But when Vedran asks Claire to pick a sporting biography for his book club choice, things begin to go horribly wrong. It sounds fabulous! You cn get your copy HERE Eva Glyn writes escapist relationship-driven fiction with a kernel of truth at its heart. She loves to travel and finds inspiration in beautiful places and the stories they hide.Her love affair with Croatia began in 2019, and since then the country’s haunting histories and gorgeous scenery have proved fertile ground for her books, driven by her friendship with a tour guide she met there. His wartime story provided the inspiration for The Olive Grove and his help in creating a realistic portrayal of Croatian life has proved invaluable for all her books. ​ Eva lives in Cornwall, although she considers herself Welsh, and is lucky enough to be married to the love of her life, who she’s been with for almost thirty years. She also writes as Jane Cable.

Saturday, February 03, 2024

Guest Blogger - Morton S Gray

A warm welcome to this weeks guest - Morton S Gray Morton is a dear friend and the author of the fabulous Borteen Bay series. I asked her to tell us more about herself and her books, especially her new release, A New Arrival In Borteen Bay Morton lives in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors. Morton worked for many years in the electricity industry in staff development and training. She is a qualified hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.
Skye knows it’s now or never. It’s time for her to reveal herself to the father she’s never met. So she hops on a plane from Dublin to the English seaside town of Borteen. But between the father she’s just getting to know and her worried mother, Skye realizes thatthe past is never that simple as a whirlwind of secrets turns their world upside down. And now Skye has Adam, the hunky guy next door, to contend with. He’s determined to showher there’s room in her life for love. Skye thinks they’re better off as friends, but Adam has other ideas. Even when she reveals a secret of her own. Will Skye allow history to repeat itself? Or will she let go of the secrets of the past and open herself up to the future? Perfect for romance lovers! I asked Morton to tell us the inspiration behind writing seaside set books... My seven published novels have all been set in my fictional seaside town of Borteen. I am now so familiar with the place that I can easily walk along the streets and go into the shops, pubs and cafes in my mind. It is often as if I am actually there. However, I have lived for all of my life in the UK West Midlands, I even went to university inLoughborough in the East Midlands and yet I love the sea – the sound of the waves, the smellof the air and walking on a beach hunting for sea glass is my idea of heaven. The beach features quite heavily in this new book, A New Arrival in Borteen Bay, as one of my characters, Buzz regularly makes labyrinth walking paths on the beach and asks people todonate money for a homeless charity to walk them. It is on the beach that Buzz first catches sight of another main character, Skye, although at that point he is convinced she is actually her mother, Wynn. As I have never managed to live on the coast, I guess my writing being based in Borteen allows me to indulge my love of the seaside in between holidays. I always said that I’d move to a seaside place when I retired, but now we have our grandson, to whom my new book is dedicated, I’m not sure that I want to move away. I guess I’d better write another book in Borteen! You can get your copy of A New Arrival In Borteen Bay HERE And there are six other books in the series for you to catch up with too!!! You can find Morton on Twitter on Instagram and on Facebook

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Guest Blogger - Nicky Peacock

A warm welcome to my guest today - Nicky Peacock.
Nicky is here to tell us about her fabulous new book! The 13th Girl and the motivations that lay behind it. Here's what she had to say! I’ve always had quite a few motives for writing my books, but my main one for The 13th Girl was very close to my heart. Mental health is something that, for a long time, has been overlooked by society. I remember the days when, if you felt down, unhelpful people would tell you to just to ‘cheer up’ or ‘look on the bright side’; generally showing zero understanding as to the lack of choice that person has over these dark feelings and when they come knocking. No one wants to feel lonely, sad, or that their presence doesn’t matter in the world, so simply telling them to ‘belt up’ really doesn’t help. Then there’s the people who have gone through traumas, (like The 13 th Girl’s protagonist Dee) who are victims of someone else’s actions and are seeking help, yet instead of being accepted, or even celebrated, for doing something about their psychological and physical issues, they are shunned and made to feel like outsiders – whether that is on purpose or not. So I guess that’s a long winded way of saying that I wanted to shine a light on those with mental health issues, how society treats them and how hard it is for them to ever be considered ‘normal’ again. I also really wanted to write about a serial killer too – but I always want to do that. That sounds quite a motivation for the book. To whet your appetite even further here is the blurb! 12 girls gone. Can she save The 13th Girl? After decades in a mental health hospital, Dee knows that people find her creepy – because they tell her so. Once the reluctant star of an infamous documentary, she is trying to blend back into the outside world. But when a string of local girls disappear, only to be found dead days later, she becomes fixated on the case and decides to film her own True Crime documentary. There is a serial killer on the loose - The Righteous Wraith. Girls are being found one by one, their bodies gruesomely staged in the most innocent public spaces. With the killer taunting the police and public fear mounting, online armchair detectives begin pointing fingers at one suspect – ruining his life. But for Dee, something isn’t adding up. She knows what it’s like to be accused of something that you didn’t do, so resolves to prove his innocence, unmask the real killer, and save The 13th Girl. But who will believe her? A dark, inventive thriller perfect for fans of Chris Carter, Alice Feeney and C.J. Skuse. You can buy Nicky's book The 13th Girl HERE You can also follow her on Facebook or find her on Twitter Thanks Nicky for visiting and it sounds a great read for anyone who likes a good murderous thriller!

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Guest blogger - Rachel Wells

A warm welcome to todays guest blogger, lovely Rachel Wells. Rachel and her co-author Jessica Adams are the creators of Leo Moon, the astrologer detective! This sounded like enormous fun so I asked Rachel to tell us about how she and Jessica came up with the idea. Jessica and I came up with the idea for Leo Moon, astrologer Detective, during one of our weekly zoom calls in Lockdown. I, Rachel wrote the series, Alfie The Doorstep Cat (seven books), and Jessica is an author and an astrologer, currently based in Australia.​ We were coming up with new ideas and from cats to crime (for me), Leo Moon was born. The main character, Leo is the son of famous astrologer, Helena Moon, he is alsoher manager and knows as much about astrology as her. Helena Moon is an astrologerthe star, she’s a bit stuck in the ‘80s which was her heyday and has a penchant for wine and younger men. Karen Penn completes the trio, she’s a journalist from Brooklyn and Leo’s friend. They all live in Brighton although the first story - Aries Billionaire - takes place on an island off the Irish coast. Mainly through Helena’s clients, they get drawn into mysteries, or murders and Leo uses Astrology to solve them. It’s fun rather than dark, in the vein of the old fashioned whodunnit and it’s brilliant to write. Working with Jessica who is such a brilliant astrologer is amazing and of course with Aries being the first zodiac sign, (born late March/April), we have another eleven mysteries up our sleeves! I now many of you love listening to audio books so I was very excited to learn that Aries Billionaire was going to be available in that format. You can get your copy HERE
Here's the blurb just to whet your appetite!! Aries billionaire Mike Kirby is celebrating his 50th birthday on his remote island with his unhappy wife, handpicked guests, a Blood Moon Eclipse and...a rocket launch. A coma and a murder later, it’s down to astrologer Leo Moon to uncover the truth. Join Mike, his wife Renee, her sister Rachel and Rachel’s husband Neil in their glamorous world of swimming pools, horoscopes and deadly secrets. You can follow Rachel on facebook acatcalledalfie (Rachel Wells) on Instagram rachelwellsauthor on Twitter/X @ACatCalledAlfie and TikTok @rachelwellsauthor You can find Jessica on Twitter/X @Jessicacadams

Monday, January 15, 2024

January Update

Wow! This year is already racing away. Miss Underhay book 16 is at 42k already and the proofs have just arrived for Murder at The Island Hotel. I can't wait for you all to read that one! I've some lovely guest authors lined up for you in the next few weeks too. It's been rather cold here in Devon with a north easterly blowing in but at the moment the sun is out and the sea is calm. The seals are in the harbour and my snowdrops are poking their heads out of the ground.