I’ve been writing a lot recently about the characters of Casualty of Court, but you may have noticed it’s part of a series. Don’t worry if you missed that – I’ll be banging on about it quite a lot from here on 🙂
The Blackleaf Agency Series.
The Fifth Wheel (creatively titled as Book 0 in the series) is the prequel, and sets up the story for the court trial in Casualty of Court (Book 1). However, that is just the start. (I know, starting at 1, it’s a genius move, isn’t it? So under-done 😉 )
You see, Book 1 only introduces the reader to The Blackleaf Agency.
The first case for the newly qualified Raven and her business partner, Fern, happens in Book 2:
Are you still with me?
In H&H, The Blackleaf Private Investigations Agency is employed by the local hotelier, initially to root out the culprit behind a series of petty thefts occurring in the hotel. However, before Raven even checks in as a mystery guest, a bigger case unravels. A guest reports a painting has been ‘stolen’ from her room. The thief, however, is known to her and she seeks The Agency’s help in recovering it – from her brother.
What transpires is a sibling dispute over an inheritance.
Proving the value and the provenance of the artwork takes the new investigators to The Netherlands, where links to WWII reveal the painting has both historical and cultural worth.
H&H is a cosy mystery filled with humour and intrigue, set in beautiful locations in the UK and The Netherlands. Naturally, there’s some tasty food and a pet in the mix – well, it wouldn’t be a cosy without them, would it?
While the art-related story covers the “Heirloom” element of the title, another case awaits the agency back at the hotel – one with personal ramifications this time. This is where the story picks up a thread from Casualty of Court, reintroducing familiar characters and a case of child abduction (the “Heiress”). (Spoiler alert! Not really – I’ll not going to say any more of this here – at least, not until CofC has been released)
I’m three-quarters through writing this book, and am planning Book 3 as I write this.
Again, it will have an arty theme and will be set in more stunning European locations.
Druids & Drachmas
D&D sees The Agency investigating a case surrounding an architectural dig in Greece, and there’s an event going on in Ireland that might just add an extra zing of romance to this book.
This one is in the very early stages, so I can’t tell you any more (well, I could, but then I’d have to kill you – and then I’d have no readers!)
Wondering why I chose to write a series?
(I thought you’d never ask!)
Well my interest in art and culture crime was piqued after I did a course on the subject online – and there really is no end to the possibilities that such a theme can conjure up. The characters from The Fifth Wheel – initially just a short story for an anthology – got under my skin and I didn’t want to say goodbye to them. So, the idea of putting my imaginary friends into the fascinating world of art crime and mixing in my love of European countries and culture took root. Hey presto, the rest is pure fiction 🙂
I hope you stay around and grow to love them too. You can sign up to my newsletter from the sidebar – then you’ll never miss another second. Go on, you know you want to.
Thanks for reading 🙂
In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out how it all began.
If you want to catch up on my Character Interviews, here’s the first one.