Is it too late to wish everyone a happy new year? Even if it is, I’m doing it.
Portsmouth Bookfest is back next month with events virtual and in-person. I’ve got a couple lined up, the first of which is both free to attend and online so those of you not in the local area can join in. Fancy a light-hearted discussion of US cosy mysteries vs UK ones? While tickets for this are free, you still need to book, here. “An American author at the court of Queen Agatha.”
Cosy crime is immensely popular. It’s the gentler, more light-hearted side of crime fiction, in which the murders are not graphic and tend to happen ‘off page’. The sleuth is usually an amateur who often falls into investigating by chance; there’s a strong sense of community and usually an attractive setting. What more can a reader want? Authenticity, for a start.
This panel consists of two British and two American authors and will involve a lively discussion of cosy crime as seen from – and set in – both sides of the Atlantic. We’ll consider questions such as how an author ensures they produce a setting that isn’t stereotypical yet is entirely believable.
Then, in March, there’s the wonderful MysteryFest, which has a cracking line-up of guests, including a keynote speaker who’ll be talking about wildlife crime. The main speaker last time taught me more about police interviewing than any amount of research up until then – and also has me shouting at the telly every time they get it wrong!
Tickets for mysteryfest are an absolute bargain at £12 full, £8 concessions.
On the writing front, I’m delighted to announce something brand new and different for 2023. I’m currently editing The Deadliest Fall, which is a romantic mystery set in 1947 but not featuring any of my usual sleuths. It has two one time lovers, two suspicious deaths, a bit of amateur sleuthing, a dog with a mind of its own—and a cracking cover that I’ll share with you as soon as I’m allowed.
If you missed my free story – Christmas in January – amongst all the fun and business of season, you can find it here. The story’s a follow up to Don’t Kiss The Vicar, inspired by a reader asking me, “What happened next?” If you haven’t met Dan, the shy and handsome vicar, you can find the start of his love story here.
Vicar Dan Miller is firmly in the closet in his new parish. Could the inhabitants of a sedate Hampshire village ever accept a gay priest? Trickier than that, how can he hide his attraction for one of his flock, Steve Dexter?
Encouraged by his ex-partner to seize the day, Dan determines to tell Steve how he feels, only to discover that Steve’s been getting poison pen letters and suspicion falls on his fellow parishioners. When compassion leads to passion, they have to conceal their budding relationship, but the arrival of more letters sends Dan scuttling back into the closet.
Can they run the letter writer to ground? More importantly, can they patch up their romance and will Steve ever get to kiss the vicar again?
5 thoughts on “Charlie’s latest newsletter”
The Portsmouth Library links were working last night when I didn’t have my diary to hand, but now they’re saying I need to log in to see the details. I’ll try again later and/or try and find my ancient library cards.
You shouldn’t need to login to see the details. Let me know if there’s a problem and I’ll give them a heads-up.
Or try this link? https://librariesandarchives.portsmouth.gov.uk/public-library-service/whats-on/events/portsmouth-bookfest-2022/
I’m booked in now. The online exhibition, ‘Stories of Asylum From WW1’ also looks interesting, and I’m very sad to notbe doing MysteryFest.
Ooh I missed that WWI thing. Thanks for the heads up.