A month has gone by since Christmas (it doesn’t seem that long) and I’ve been working hard (I’m afraid Dry January would never work for me – I look forward to my glass of red wine at the end of the working day!) Not only have I made a start on Wesley Peterson’s next case but I’ve finished my editor’s revisions on The House of the Hanged Woman, the final mystery in the Albert Lincoln trilogy set in the aftermath of the First World War. The House of the Hanged Woman sees Albert return to Wenfield in Derbyshire to investigate the disappearance of a Member of Parliament. An unrecognisable body has been found in a cave in the Peak District but is it the absent politician – or is something more sinister going on? I’ve really loved writing about Albert and that fascinating period of history and I confess that I’ll miss him. The House of the Hanged Woman will be due out in time for next Christmas.
One of my presents this Christmas was a trip to a vineyard for a wine tasting. To my surprise that vineyard was in Holmfirth (on the Yorkshire side of the Pennines). Holmfirth was made famous by being the setting for the long running TV comedy ‘The Last of the Summer Wine’ and (in spite of the programme’s title) it was the last place you’d expect to find a vineyard because that area is hardly renowned for its sunny climate. However, it turns out that certain varieties of grape grow very well there (I shouldn’t really have doubted because I believe the Romans used to have vineyards in the north of England). The whole trip was a very pleasant surprise (and, incidentally, the wine was very good). While I was in Holmfirth I couldn’t resist calling into the library there to say hello to the staff there. It was lovely to meet everyone!
At the moment I’m looking forward to the publication of Wesley’s twenty fourth case The Burial Circle, at the beginning of February. The story begins when Wesley’s brother-in-law receives a disturbing visit from an anonymous stranger. Then a tree is blown down in a storm, revealing a skeleton tangled in its roots, and when the skeleton turns out to be that of a hitchhiker who vanished a decade earlier, Wesley and Gerry face one of their most puzzling cases yet. I do hope all my readers enjoy The Burial Circle with its intertwined mysteries and its links to the Victorian cult of death.