Newsletter one hundred and fifteen

Latest news from the topsy-turvey gardens at Cochrane Towers is that we have roses, lobelia, bizzy-lizzies, alyssum and dahlias in flower. Looking out of the window at blue skies and sunshine – more like early summer than November. Isn’t it fun?


Want to win a hatful (or Santa’s sackful?) of books. Enter here by December 4th to be in with a chance of stacking your bookshelves.


Talking of freebies, you can find a handful of free stories by me at my cunningly named free fiction group. Includes the Cambridge lads misbehaving and my medieval proto-detectives.

“The Best Corpse for the Job” (which you can win in that big bundle mentioned earlier!) is released on 24th November and I’ll be all over the net like a rash, blog touring. There’ll be a giveaway with that, too.

Here’s a little snippet:

As if on cue, the rozzers—it had to be the police, Adam thought, as no other grey-suited individuals would be lurking around the school—came through it.
“Ah, Inspector Bright,” Victor said. “We were just wondering when you’d be here to tell us what’s going on.”
“A murder enquiry’s going on.” The inspector’s voice preceded him into the room.
Christine clasped her hands to her mouth. “Murder? Oh . . .”
The inspector appeared, nodding sympathetically. “I’m afraid so. Which means we’ll need to get a statement from each one of you before you can go.”
If the policeman said anything else, Adam didn’t quite catch it. He was feeling confused enough, so to have—Wright, Bright, what the hell had Victor said his name was?—walk through the door looking like that sent his thoughts off in ten directions. Policemen weren’t supposed to be so tall, dark, and stupidly handsome. Apart from in Adam’s fantasies.
Oliver’s voice interrupted the unwanted germination of some inappropriate thoughts in Adam’s brain. “Perhaps you could take Mrs. Probert’s statement first? She has two small children at the school, and they’ll need her to pick them up at the end of the lessons.” His unexpected thoughtfulness earned him one of Christine’s stunning smiles.
“Happy to oblige,” the inspector said with kindness.
Why did Adam never seem to meet blokes who reacted to his smile the way they reacted to Christine’s? Why couldn’t this policeman favour him with a flash of those dark eyes?
“Perhaps you could come along now, Mrs. Probert, and my sergeant could take you through things?” The sergeant looked like that was the best news he’d heard all day. “Anyone else need to get away urgently?”
For a moment—only a moment—Adam felt like shouting, Take me, take me now! but this was serious business. Was it defiance or denial in the face of sudden death that made him feel like behaving like a schoolboy? Or was it simply the incongruity of somebody like the inspector walking through the door? Instant chemistry, that’s what they called it, but he’d never come across such a sensation before. It was the romantic equivalent of being hit over the head with a sock full of wet sand.


The poppies at the Tower, which we went to see last week.


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