Welcome to the official website of the author Kate Ellis

Welcome to the official website of Kate Ellis

Kate Ellis is the author of two exciting series of crime novels, two historical novels and many short stories.

January 2020

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.

VineyardS

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!

HolmfirthLibys

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.

the burial circle

Final Day of December 2019

I do hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

I can’t believe that another year has almost gone and a new one stretches ahead. My pristine 2020 diary is already filling up fast and it looks as though the coming year is going to be a busy one. My publisher has just given me a contract for two new Wesley Peterson mysteries and also wants me to write a stand-alone crime novel. I’m looking forward to the challenge of beginning work as soon as the Festive Season is out of the way but beginning a new book from scratch is always a little daunting.

Just before Christmas I finished the third book in my Albert Lincoln trilogy (The House of the Hanged Woman) and sent it off to my editor. It was good to get it all done and out of the way so I could concentrate on family and the festivities. I just hope my editor likes it!

The week before Christmas also saw me celebrating with readers at my local library where the fantastic staff had recreated a Poirot-style drawing room and the audience sat with mulled wine and mince pies while I read out my Christmas short story The Christmas Card List. I also sang new words I’d made up to the tune of Santa Claus is Coming to Town. My own little tribute to Agatha Christie!

YOU’D BETTER THINK UP A GOOD ALIBI

IT BETTER BE CONVINCING, I’M TELLING YOU WHY

HERCULE POIROT’S COMING TO TOWN

HE’S MAKING A LIST

HE’S CHECKING IT TWICE

THOSE LITTLE GREY CELLS WILL WORK IN A TRICE

HERCULE POIROT’S COMING TO TOWN

HE KNOWS WHEN YOU’VE BEEN LYING

HE KNOWS WHO DID THE CRIME

HE KNOWS IF YOU’VE BEEN BAD OR GOOD

AND WHO DESERVES TO BE DOING TIME

SO YOU’D BETTER THINK UP A GOOD ALIBI

IT BETTER BE CONVINCING, I’M TELLING YOU WHY

HERCULE POIROT’S COMING TO TOWN

I’m delighted to say that everyone enjoyed it and joined in with the chorus!

One good thing about Christmas is that normal working life is put on hold and once your guests have left you can slump in front of the telly with a (almost) clear conscience. I was very much looking forward to the new adaptation of A Christmas Carol but I’m afraid I was disappointed and gave up half way through the second instalment. All Dickens’s warmth, wit and rich characterisation was cut out and replaced by darkness, abuse and abject misery. Oh dear – I never thought an encounter with Scrooge and co would prove so utterly depressing (when you could hear what they were saying). I confess I had to watch Alastair Sim’s version straight afterwards to get remind myself what the book was really like. Dickens managed to get his message over perfectly well with a light and entertaining touch. Perhaps this is something all writers should remember.

I’m still mulling over my New Year resolutions but I reckon that a complete ban on stollen and mince pies after January would be a good start.

Here’s wishing all my readers a really happy New Year. All the best for 2020 and happy reading!

October 2019

Well, it’s been a busy (and rather wonderful) couple of months!

In early September I was in Devon where I did a couple of books signings (of my latest Wesley Peterson paperback Dead Man’s Lane) and presented The Case of the Late Cook at Dartmouth Library (next year I’ve promised to present it at Kingsbridge in Devon so keep an eye on my events page).

In early October I enjoyed a wonderful evening at Bebington Library on the Wirral doing an ‘in conversation’ event with my friend and fellow Murder Squad member, Margaret Murphy (who writes as Ashley Dyer). It was a great evening and, as it wasn’t a million miles from Liverpool where I grew up, I was delighted to see two of my school friends in the audience! My friend, Janet reminded me of the time when, as teenagers, we were asked to leave our local library for making too much noise while doing our homework. She later became a librarian and I became a writer so we had to laugh!

The Murder Squad were reunited in the lovely town of Beverley on the 19th October for a day of talks and panels, culminating in a fantastic performance of my Murder Mystery Death at the Dig in the evening. It was performed by the superb Chameleon Players who gave a wonderfully professional performance (even adding a new role – that of Scotland Yard detective DI Adio). The mystery was solved over a delicious meal of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding and a great time was had by all.

ChameleonPlayersS

Then it was back to work on the third in my Albert Lincoln trilogy (called The House of the Hanged Woman) but my writing was to be interrupted when, on 24th October, I travelled to London because I’d been shortlisted for the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association Dagger in the Library Award.

It was a glittering occasion and with my fellow shortlisted authors being so distinguished - M C Beaton, Mark Billingham, C J Sansom, John Connolly and Cath Staincliffe, I wasn’t expecting to win. However, when the announcement was made, I heard my name. I’d won and when I went to the stage to receive the award I felt I was walking on air, hardly able to believe the wonderful news!

Here are a couple of pictures of that exciting night. On the right is me with Gold Dagger winner Mike Craven (we share a publisher)

KateDaggerS KateMCravenS

I’d been told that the winners should keep the acceptance speeches short (to avoid the event ending too late . . . and any embarrassing Oscar moments) so I thanked my publisher and the library staff who voted for me. However, what I’d really have liked to say was that I love libraries and have the scar to prove it: when I was five I was coming out of my local library with an armful of books and I fell, cutting my knee really badly (I bear the scar to this day). But this didn’t put me off reading and my trips to the library became more frequent over the years. In my opinion, public libraries are wonderful, valuable institutions and I was so honoured to be chosen for this award. I love supporting libraries and I’ll do my best to do so for many years to come. So join me in raising a glass to libraries. I don’t know where we’d be without them!

August 2019

When I last wrote this diary I was looking forward to my first visit to Suffolk to take part in Slaughter in Southwold. I had a wonderful time there and really enjoyed meeting the lovely crime readers in the large and enthusiastic audience there. A huge thank you to Charlotte Clark from Suffolk Libraries and her team for organising such a wonderful event.

Southwold

July has been an eventful month. I presented my new murder mystery The Case of the Late Cook at Norton Priory in Cheshire (with the setting changed from Northumberland to Cheshire!). The undercroft of the medieval abbey was a fantastic and atmospheric location (and gratifyingly cool on one of the hottest days of the year), the acting was superb and a good time was had by all. Many thanks to all involved.

NortonPriory

July wasn’t only eventful on the writing front. The month saw the arrival of my grandson, Alexander, and it was fun looking after his big sister while he and his mum were in hospital (she loves books and libraries!)

My latest paperback DEAD MAN’S LANE was published on 1st August and I’ve been signing copies in local bookshops. On Friday and Saturday (9th & 10th Aug) I'll be at Stockport and Wilmslow. Do check my events page for details https://www.kateellis.co.uk/events

I’ve written a short piece about the inspiration for DEAD MAN’S LANE (including a chance meeting on a quayside and the discovery of a pair of skulls).

https://www.thecrimevault.com/exclusives/kate-ellis-discusses-her-new-wesley-peterson-mystery-dead-mans-lane/

On the 16th August I’ll be at the Crime and Mystery Weekend at St Hilda’s College, Oxford and I’m in the process of arranging some events in Devon in early September. More about that next time.

Happy reading.

June 2019

Everything seemed to happen in May. First of all I managed to send off the manuscript of Wesley Peterson’s twenty fourth case, THE BURIAL CIRCLE, to my lovely editor at Little, Brown. I’m still awaiting her verdict and I’m keeping everything crossed that she likes it.

The paperback of THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD - the follow up to A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES and the second in my new Albert Lincoln trilogy – was out at the start of the month and I was lucky enough to be invited to do a book signing at Waterstones in Wilmslow, Cheshire . . . very near to where the book is set. The action of THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD takes place against the dramatic landscape of Alderley Edge (changed to Mabley Ridge in the book to protect the innocent!) in the aftermath of the First World War when the area was populated by wealthy cotton manufacturers (rather than today’s premiership footballers).

The story begins when the body of a woman is discovered in a newly dug grave by Peter, a traumatised nine year old boy who lives in the cemetery lodge. Before the outbreak of war, Peter’s twin brother, Jimmy, was murdered and DI Albert Lincoln travelled up to Cheshire to investigate. The killer was never caught and this professional failure has haunted Albert ever since. Now he finds himself in Mabley Ridge again delving into the lives of the prosperous residents, and as he investigates the woman’s murder and the disappearance of her child he also closes in on the person who killed little Jimmy all those years before.

The action of THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD takes place in the fevered atmosphere of 1920, a time when the young want to shake off the horrors of war and live only for the present, even though the ghosts of war still linger and the traumas aren’t easily forgotten. And the murders aren’t the only things on Albert’s mind. He has his own tragedies to deal with – as well as the search for his lost son. I hope you enjoy THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD and I’ll be starting on Albert’s third and final case very soon.

tbwlwtd

In the early part of the month I was in Bristol attending CrimeFest. It was held in a new hotel this year but the convivial atmosphere was still the same and it was great to see lots of old friends there (and meet some new ones). I took part in a panel about writing multiple police series (something I know a lot about with my three separate detectives - Wesley, of course, as well as Joe Plantagenet and Albert Lincoln). The following day I moderated a panel about Ten Year Stretch, the anthology of short stories published last year to celebrate CrimeFest’s tenth birthday. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic panel (consisting of Zoe Sharp, Peter Guttridge, Caro Ramsay and Michael Stanley) and there was much hilarity as we discussed the perils and delights of short story writing.

The week after returning from Bristol I was on my travels again, this time to the North East to take part in a Murder Squad weekend at South Shields’ fabulous new library, The Word. Saturday was Readers’ Day with panels and talks – and in the evening I presented a brand new Murder Mystery I’d written especially for the occasion (The Case of the Late Cook). Sunday was Writers’ Day and I held two workshops on writing historic crime. It was a wonderful weekend and it was great to meet so many lovely readers (and aspiring writers) and also to work again with my Murder Squad colleagues, Ann Cleeves, Martin Edwards, Cath Staincliffe, Margaret Murphy (aka Ashley Dyer) and Chris Simms. A big thank you to Pauline Martin and all the staff at The Word for hosting the weekend and I hope it won’t be too long before I visit the lovely North East again! Here are a couple of pictures of the six of us at that gorgeous building, The Word.

MSattheWord MSattheWord2

In June I’m looking forward to visiting Suffolk for the first time. I was thrilled to be invited to speak at Slaughter in Southwold on 15th June. If you’re in the Southwold area, do come along. It would be great to meet you!

April 2019

Time flies when you’re writing. My apologies that it’s been so long since I last updated this diary. My aim is to do it each month but I’m afraid Wesley’s next investigation has got in the way.

I’ve been busy working on The Burial Circle for the past couple of months (I’m on the fifth draft at the moment) and I think it’s going well. My inspiration for this one was seeing some Victorian photographs taken of the dead. Apparently, because of the late nineteenth century preoccupation with death, this was a common practice and people kept the pictures as a memento of their loved one. However, to a crime writer this opens up a whole range of possibilities. Why have the photographs been hidden for more than a century? And what if they were taken by a killer who is in the habit of keeping souvenirs of his dark deeds?

The story also features a water powered textile mill because I’ve wanted to bring industrial archaeology into a story ever since I attended a talk on the history of Manchester’s many mills and visited Quarry Bank Mill in Styal, Cheshire. Devon has its own historic mills so I couldn’t resist centring the new book around this aspect of the county’s industrial past. This will be my twenty fourth Wesley Peterson novel and I still keep finding aspects of archaeology I haven’t dealt with yet!

I didn’t arrange many events for February or March (apart from one very enjoyable talk at Woolston Library in Warrington) because I knew I’d need plenty of time to work on the next book but from now on things are going to be busy!

I’ve just returned from a lovely weekend in the Lake District where the Crime Writers’ Association held their annual conference. It was a conference with a difference this year because a few of the attending writers (including myself) took part in events at local libraries. I visited Kendal Library along with historical mystery writer, Linda Stratmann and distinguished forensic psychologist Professor David Canter. Then, at the conference hotel itself, I was on a panel with Martin Edwards, Christine Poulson, Mike Craven and Peter Lovesey for an event called ‘Cupcakes and Crime’ (and, yes, there were cupcakes with the CWA daggers on the top). It was great to meet so many readers while I was at the conference (including a couple of lovely ladies who, it turned out, came from the same area of Liverpool as me) as well as enjoying a range of brilliant and informative talks and getting together with my fellow writers.

cupcakesSL

The big news for next month is that the paperback of THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD (the second book in my Albert Lincoln trilogy and the follow up to A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES) is out at last. I’ve already arranged a signing at Wilmslow Waterstones (near where the book is set) on Saturday 25th May and there may be more local signings too – do check my events page to find out.

May also sees me travelling to Bristol for CrimeFest where I’m on two panels. Then the week after that I’m in the North East with the Murder Squad at Murder at the Word in South Shields  http://theworduk.org/whats-on/murder-at-the-word-readers-day/ and http://theworduk.org/whats-on/murder-at-the-word-writers-day/ As well as the readers’ and writers’ days I’ve written a new Murder Mystery for the Saturday night https://www.southtyneside.gov.uk/article/65778/Murder-at-The-Word-Murder-Mystery-Night-but-Kate-Ellis. It’s going to be a very busy weekend but I’m looking forward to it – and to being back in that gorgeous part of the world.

Hope to meet a lot of my readers at the book signings, CrimeFest or Murder at the Word.

Happy reading!

February 2019

A (very belated) Happy New Year to everyone.

It’s always hard to start work again after all the excitement of the Christmas break but I needed to continue writing the first draft of my next Wesley book so I got to work as soon as New Year was over. I’m pleased to say that the first draft is now finished but that’s only the beginning of the process. There’ll be at least five more drafts of the book before I allow anybody to see it and the whole thing will probably change drastically between now and then. I’ve already changed my murderer once and, who knows, the guilty party may change again if I think it’ll make the book more intriguing and enjoyable. I have a golden rule of crime writing – if I begin to be bored with a book it’s a fair bet my readers will be too which means everything must be altered and polished until I’m happy that it’s going to keep everyone guessing to the end.

Keeping track of the plot and characters and making everything believable takes a lot of concentration and it’s always good to take a break – the trouble is it’s too easy to be lured away by the temptation of socialising. Probably one of the main characteristics a writer needs is self discipline!

When I haven’t been writing I’ve been busy organising events for later in the year. I’m looking forward to speaking in Warrington on 13th March and I’ll be at CrimeFest in Bristol in May. I’m on two panels there this year (one of which I’m moderating) and it’s always great fun to meet both readers and fellow authors there. To see what I’m going to be up to in 2019, please look at my events page.

I’ve kept my big news till last – on 4th February my 23rd Wesley Peterson mystery DEAD MAN’S LANE was published. I’ve just realised it’s my 30th published novel which is cause for great celebration. It certainly doesn’t seem twenty years since THE MERCHANT’S HOUSE was released into the world and I still enjoy writing as much now as I did then!

I celebrated the hardback release of DEAD MAN’S LANE with a book signing at Altrincham Waterstones and I’d like to thank Nick, Jarred and the staff there for making me so welcome. I do hope all my readers enjoy Wesley’s latest case which features the former home of an artist turned murderer and a strange tale of the ‘walking dead’.

AltWstones2019s

December 2018

Welcome to the last Kate’s Diary of 2018. The year has flown by and I can’t believe the Festive Season is upon us already.

November is always a busy month and this year was no exception. I hosted a Murder Mystery evening at Halton Lea Library which everyone enjoyed, so much so that I’ve been invited to present another next year at Norton Priory Museum.

I visited Norton Priory (near Runcorn, just over the River Mersey from my native Liverpool) some years ago and I’ve been longing for an excuse to return ever since (something, alas, I just haven’t got round to) so I was particularly pleased to be asked. Before Henry VIII dissolved the monasteries in the 1530s, Norton was a community of Augustinian Canons, priests who served the local community rather than lived as an enclosed order of monks. Norton is remarkably well preserved and is home to a rare (and rather large) statue of St Christopher, patron saint of travellers (probably to provide protection for those crossing the Mersey!) It’ll be lovely to present a Murder Mystery in such historic surroundings and I’m really looking forward to my visit next June. I’ll be putting the details on my website as soon as I have them.

As well as Halton I visited Ashton Library (Tameside). It’s always good to talk to readers about my books and I think it’s so important for authors to support libraries in this way if at all possible. Another event I enjoyed was my first Society of Authors meeting at Chethams in central Manchester. I’d heard all about Chethams (built in the fourteenth century to house priests from the neighbouring Manchester parish church – now the cathedral – and, since 1969, a famous specialist music school) but had never visited before, in spite of having been a student in Manchester. This shameful omission was put right when I (along with my fellow SoA members) was given a guided tour – the highlight being a visit to England’s very first public library. I looked rather different from the welcoming public libraries of today but it was great to see where the idea began.

Chethams edited

Talking of books, the 6th December welcomed another addition to my list of titles. For ages it never occurred to me to throw a party when a book was launched but when A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES came out friends persuaded me that its birth was a particular cause for celebration. So it was that I came to hold a launch party at a local award winning bookshop, attended by family, friends and readers. The party was such a success that when the second book in the Albert Lincoln trilogy was due to come out, I thought I’d host another party in the same location. I’m pleased to say that the publication of THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD, was properly celebrated and on the evening I spoke about how it came to be written as well as mentioning the unusual setting (a thinly disguised Alderley Edge – now home to premiership footballers but back in 1920 when the action takes place, the haunt of wealthy cotton manufacturers from nearby Manchester). After a reading from the book’s dramatic introduction, wine and nibble consumption was resumed and a great time was had by all.

KateLaunch2018 edited

I believe a lot of people are going to find THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD in their stockings this Christmas. I hope Santa brings you everything you wish for and I’d like to wish all my readers a very happy Christmas and a lovely and peaceful New Year.

See you in 2019

October 2018

Many apologies for the delay in writing this diary. As well as being out and about doing a lot of events, I’ve had my new editor’s changes to my next Wesley Peterson mystery to deal with on a strict deadline. But never fear, it’s all done now and DEAD MAN’S LANE will be out in February.

The first week in September saw me back in lovely Dartmouth, one of my favourite places in the world, seeing old friends and new. My book signings in the Waterstones stores in Plymouth and Torquay were most enjoyable and it was lovely to visit The Dartmouth Bookseller to sign books there and meet a lot of lovely readers (who didn’t seem to mind at all that I’d transformed their beautiful town into the murder capital of the South West – fictional, of course). While I was in Devon I also travelled up to the north of the county to speak at South Molton Library and it was great to meet everyone there.

No trip to Devon is complete without a pilgrimage to Agatha Christie’s home at Greenway (a tough but rewarding walk there from Kingswear and the steam train back). This year I even had the privilege of sitting in Dame Agatha’s chair in the boathouse (where David Suchet’s excellent version of Dead Man’s Folly was filmed), an honour bestowed because I said I was a crime writer!

KateBoathouseS

It seems to be the season for Murder Mysteries and earlier this month I travelled to Nottinghamshire to present my mystery ‘Death at the Dig’ (a lighthearted tribute to the Golden Age of crime fiction, played strictly for laughs, usually by brave library staff). It was put on at Mansfield library in the afternoon and Worksop library in the evening so it felt as though I was ‘on tour’. It was great fun. The same week I presented my other mystery ‘Murder in the Lemon Grove’ at my local library and then it was back to the nineteen twenties again for ‘Death at the Dig’ at Northwich’s lovely half timbered library in Cheshire – where they even had the ‘victim’s’ outline on the library floor and the murder weapon for the audience to examine. A good time was had by all!

At the moment I’m busy organising a launch for the second novel in my new Albert Lincoln trilogy which is out on 6th December (just in time for Christmas). THE BOY WHO LIVED WITH THE DEAD sees Albert travel up to the North West of England again, eighteen months after the traumatic events described in A HIGH MORTALITY OF DOVES. But I’ll say more about that next time.

August 2018

The paperback of THE MECHANICAL DEVIL was published at the start of this month and I spent some time in my local Waterstones stores (Stockport and Wilmslow) chatting to readers and signing books. It’s so lovely to meet the people who enjoy my books and talk about writing and crime fiction in general. Writing can be an isolated occupation so it’s great to get out and about meeting readers from time to time.

After a busy couple of weeks I enjoyed a five day break in Germany, a country I’d never visited before. We stayed in Wurzburg and saw a variety of stunning medieval towns including the lovely university town of Heidelberg. I was particularly amused by the ‘student prison’ where drunken and unruly students were incarcerated (leaving a lot of interesting graffiti on the walls).

KateBavarias

A particular highlight for me was a visit to Bamberg, the scene of infamous witch trials in the seventeenth century (although, unlike Pendle and Salem, this part of the town’s history tends to be played down). The reason for my particular interest was that my younger son has written an academic text book on the subject of seventeenth century witch hunts and when I read it (as a dutiful mother should!) I found it fascinating. Of course I’ve already covered the subject briefly in my Wesley Peterson novel THE SHADOW COLLECTOR, but my visit to Bamberg inspired me to write a short story about the Bamberg witches which I’m hoping will be published in an anthology next year.

The heatwave appears to be over just as I’m getting ready to travel to Devon for a week of book signings, a library talk, some research and (hopefully) a spot of relaxation in the stunning Devon landscape. I’ll be signing books at The Dartmouth Bookshop on Tuesday 4th September at 2pm http://dartmouthbookseller.co.uk/category/events/ and at Waterstones, Torquay https://www.waterstones.com/events/search/author/7474/shop/torquay on Wednesday 5th from 11am to 12.30pm. I’m also travelling up to North Devon to speak at South Molton Library on Thursday 6th at 6.30pm. If you can make it to any of these events it would be fantastic to meet you. I’m so looking forward to being in Devon again – with the added bonus that I’ll catch the final day of Dartmouth Royal Regatta which is always great fun. https://www.dartmouthregatta.co.uk/

Do hope to meet you in Devon!

July 2018

Who feels like working in a heatwave? Well I don’t for a start but when you’ve got to get a book finished and sent off to your publisher you have to grit your teeth and put the electric fan on! The good news is that I’ve now sent off my twenty third Wesley Peterson novel today (entitled Dead Man’s Lane) so now it’s time to catch up with a few of the things I’ve been neglecting . . . like this diary.

A few days after returning from a marvellous trip to Granada in June (I think I must have brought the weather back in my suitcase!) I travelled to Neston on the Wirral to present my Murder Mystery, Murder in the Lemon Grove (set in sunny Sicily and originally written to celebrate my Sicily based Wesley Peterson novel The House of Eyes). It was a fantastic evening, mainly due to the talents of Ian Anstice and his fellow actors who entered into the spirit of things with gusto (as you can see below). For the first time the library even provided a victim (shrouded under sinister sheets) which caused great hilarity all round. Many thanks to all who took part and made it such a memorable evening.

NestonLibys

The week after that I was on a (more serious) panel at Lymm Festival in Cheshire with the excellent Sarah Ward and Martin Edwards, discussing crime fiction both past and present. We each spoke about our favourite Golden Age crime writer and I opted for Josephine Tey whose brilliant and very individual novels (unfortunately there were only eight) are still among my favourite reads.

LymmFestivals

Speaking of crime fiction and Josephine Tey, leads me on to a production I saw recently of Shakespeare’s Richard III (The Daughter of Time, seeking the truth about Richard’s reputation, is probably Tey’s most famous book) at the new ‘pop-up’ Rose theatre in York (http://www.shakespearesrosetheatre.com/). As soon as I heard about the reconstructed Elizabethan theatre I had to get tickets so I went and thoroughly enjoyed the modern-dress performance. It was a warm evening and a lovely atmosphere (there was even a Shakespeare village surrounding the theatre). The theatre’s there till 2nd September so do go along if you can. Myself, I grab every opportunity to visit lovely, historic York (where my Joe Plantagenet books are set) and I must add that York Waterstones has some early paperback copies of THE MECHANICAL DEVIL, signed by me. Grab them if you can.

RichardIIIs

THE MECHANICAL DEVIL paperback is officially out on 2nd August and I’ll be at Stockport Waterstones signing copies on Saturday 4th August (11am – 1.30pm) and at Wilmslow Waterstones on Saturday 11th August (11am – 3pm). Do come along and say hello! You can find a review of THE MECHANICAL DEVIL at https://promotingcrime.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-mechanical-devil-by-kate-ellis.html.