I’m not sure whether it’s too late to wish all my readers a very happy new year. Probably, but I’ll do it anyway. Happy New Year. I hope everyone had a good Christmas (although it seems a long time ago now).

I do hope everyone enjoyed the short story I posted over the Christmas period The Third Elf. It was great fun writing a Christmas story featuring Wesley Peterson and the team. Perhaps it’s something I’ll do again next year.

Since the Festive Season I’ve settled down to writing again and I’ve been hard at work. Wesley’s next case The Killing Place, is now finished and it will be published this coming August. Finishing a manuscript is only the start of a long process before publication. First my editor gives me her notes on how the story can be refined and improved. Then it goes to the copy editor who does a more detailed edit, looking for repetition and any other errors. After that it goes to the proofreader. During the process the design of the jacket is decided on (I must say, my publisher’s given me some lovely covers). Only when everything is in place is it released into the world.

Killing Place

Once I’d completed The Killing Place, I was asked to write a short story with a Beatles theme. Needless to say, as a Liverpool girl brought up in the same area as Paul and John, I jumped at the chance. The story is called Happiness is a Warm Gun and was inspired by something that happened to me as a teenager (not murder I hasten to add). It contains a lot of Beatles references and I think it will be published in an anthology in the States. I’ll let you know once I have the details.

The good news is that Serpent’s Point is out in paperback (and cheaper ebook) at the beginning of March – and it will be stocked in most Sainsbury’s stores in the country which is fantastic. Earlier this month my publisher made it available on Kindle for one day only for 99p and the result was spectacular. It reached number 1 in historical mysteries and police procedurals and number 9 in the whole Kindle chart (above Prince Harry!)

Serpent’s Point in South Devon is the focus of local legends. The large house on the headland is shrouded in an ancient tale of evil, and when a woman is found strangled on the coastal path nearby, DI Wesley Peterson is called in to investigate.                                

The woman had been house-sitting at Serpent’s Point and Wesley is surprised to discover that she was conducting an investigation of her own into unsolved missing persons cases. Could these enquires have led to her murder? In the meantime, while the case takes Wesley to Yorkshire and the Cotswolds, his friend, archaeologist Neil Watson makes a dramatic discovery of his own in a field near Serpent’s Point.

Then, when a skeleton is uncovered, the pressure rises to find a killer and Wesley and Neil discover that Serpent’s Point holds more deadly secrets than anyone could have imagined.

As I mentioned, I’ve already started writing Wesley’s next case but I also intend to get out and about this year. I’m looking forward to attending the annual Crime Writers’ Association Conference (York in April) and CrimeFest (Bristol in May) where I hope to meet lots of readers.

That’s it for now. Happy Reading!