I apologise for neglecting this diary over the past couple of months. I’ve been keeping my head down in my brand new office (a replacement for my old writing shed that had seen better days) working on Wesley Peterson’s next case (the only clue I’m going to give you is that it involves the Roman occupation of the South West of England. It has always been thought that they never ventured much beyond Exeter . . . but what if they did?) Anyway, it’s been great fun conducting the research and planning out the twisty and devious plot and I’m currently working on the third draft.
Last weekend I was delighted to take part in a panel for Bodies from the Library (a British Library conference on classic crime fiction) discussing the latest Detection Club publication Howdunit. The event was online, of course, but it was good to talk about Howdunit. It is a comprehensive book about the art and craft of crime writing from past and present members of the exclusive club, all of whom are (or were) leading crime writers. There are sections from Agatha Christie, Reginald Hill, Ruth Rendell, PD James, Len Deighton, Ann Cleeves, Ian Rankin and Peter James (to name but a few) and I have contributed a section on plotting. It is certainly an impressive book and a must have for all aspiring crime writers. Click here to access a recording of the event.
My main news is that the third book in my Albert Lincoln trilogy, The House of the Hanged Woman, is out in paperback (and cheaper ebook) on Thursday May 27th! The story begins when Scotland Yard detective, Albert is called up to Wenfield in Derbyshire in 1921 to investigate the disappearance of a Member of Parliament. But this isn’t his first visit to the village because he solved a case there two years before at great personal cost.
The House of the Hanged Woman begins when a man’s disfigured and naked body is found by an ancient stone circle called the Devil’s Dancers. The local police assume this is the missing MP but when they’re proved wrong and there are more strange deaths, Albert realises the case is far more complex than he first imagined. Ghosts from the past are reawakened as he tries to solve the mystery surrounding Wenfield once and for all – but will there be a happy ending after all the tragedy he’s had to face since his return from the Great War?
I do hope my readers enjoy this latest (and final) case for Albert. I’ve grown fond of him over the three books in the trilogy (the other two being A High Mortality of Doves and The Boy who lived with the Dead) and in a way I’m sad to leave him behind.
I’m looking forward to talking about my work at the (online) Crediton Literary Festival on Saturday 5th June at 3.30pm where I’ll be the headline speaker. Tickets are available (free) here. Hope to ‘see’ you there.
Fans of Wesley Peterson will be glad to know that his next case The Stone Chamber is out on 5th August. Watch this space for more details.
Happy reading and I really hope I’ll be able to get out and about to meet readers at bookshops and libraries in the not too distant future.