Casualty of Court · Giveaways · Magic O'Clock · Magical Memories · The Fifth Wheel

Giveaways galore

If you head on over to Facebook this weekend, be sure to check out these giveaways on DM Wolfenden‘s Author page.

Anything from e-books to swag to gift-cards.

Including a couple from me 😉

Click here to win one of these duos

To enter, you just need to like any of the below links, leave a comment, follow this blog or sign-up for a newsletter.





Amazon author page

SIMPLES! (in the words of Alexander the Meercat, of course). Each one earns you an entry into a random draw to be held once the giveaway ends next week. Leave a reply to this blog post or on the original FACEBOOK post to be sure of being added to the draw. And don’t forget to see what else is on offer.

Good Luck!


book launch · Casualty of Court · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court: Vikki stirs the pot …

Vikki Winner is a regular sight on the red carpet here on the Algarve. Armed with her trusty microphone she seeks out all the juicy gossip for her weekly column: Vikki’s Vices, and has never been one to hold back with her opinions, even when this has led to the occasional legal writ coming her way.

Tonight she’s attending an event at the Municipal Theatre, hosted by the local Expat community. Fern Mortimer is expected to attend after tickets from an ‘unknown’ source were sent her way, supposedly with the generous intention of taking her mind off the upcoming trial. Strangely enough, and allegedly unrelated, Vikki has suggested in her column that she’ll be targeting a certain young woman tonight. I think we can all draw our own conclusions from that. 

The event in question is a theatre production to be performed by a local drama group, notwithstanding a cameo appearance by homegrown talent and oft-nominated Jose Rosco (he’s particularly “big” in Brazil).

It’s getting noisy here as people flock into the theatre. Rumour has it there will be an auction in the interval, raising money for Access4All, a charity promoting wheelchair-friendly tours around the globe.

Here comes Vikki now with an entourage of photographers close behind; those  flashing bulbs give her an angelic aura, although I doubt she’ll be remotely heavenly once she gets her prey in sight.

Well, talking of prey, Fern has just arrived with Raven at her side. Vikki has spotted her too and the glare of the cameras now falls upon the startled young women.

RH: (whispers) I think we’ve been set up.

FM: What? I can’t hear you.

RH: (leans in closer) Don’t look now but there’s a woman with a huge microphone heading our way.

FM: Our way? Why?

RH: No idea, but maybe this wasn’t a good idea after all.

VW: Miss Mortimer, Vikki Winner here from The Courier. How are you feeling?

FM: Fine, thank you. (She looks to Raven with a ‘what the heck’ expression)

VW: Great. You must be nervous, what with the trial starting tomorrow.

FM: Must I?

RH: Come on, let’s go back to the hotel. You don’t need this, not tonight. (She steps in front of Fern’s wheelchair and thrashes her arms about as though to clear people out of the way)

VW: Going somewhere?

RH: We’d like to, yes, please. If you could just …

VW: You’re not staying to lend your support to the charity. My editor thought it would be perfect for you, that’s why he sent those tickets.

FM: You sent them?

VW: (beams and turns to the camera) Not personally, although I might have suggested it to him.

RH: Are you going to let us pass?

VW: You really aren’t staying? That’s a shame. Maybe the stories in the other newspapers were correct. Not that I like to talk about them …

FM: (taps Raven’s leg and nods to her to move aside) What stories? I wasn’t aware of any.

VW: Really? That does surprise me. It seems the defendant’s father has been … shall we say, loose with his words.

RH: (now interested) But, surely that’s not allowed? Not until after the trial, anyway.

VW: Well, maybe in some places. Besides, the Pereiras are a local family. Very successful too – Mr Periera Senior mentions moving his law practice back to the area. Such news went down very well with the local Chamber of Commerce.

FM: Did he mention me, then? By name?

VW: Not exactly, but as you must realise this is a small community. People talk. Names are irrelevant. Let’s just say there aren’t many young blonde Brits taking a local man to court right now.

FW: So, what do these stories say?

RH: Fern, don’t get involved. you can’t risk anything that might harm your case.

VW: Harm it? Are you unsure about the case then? Having doubts, maybe?

RH: (Jumps in front of Fern again) No she is not! But as we are not familiar with legal formalities here, the less said right now, the better.

VW: That’s a shame. My readers are very interested in you, Fern. (She gently shoves Raven aside) They really want to know why you’re accusing Mr Pereira’s son of assault. It’s common knowledge there are no witnesses.

RH: (stepping forward again) She does have a witness, and a strong case.

VW: Really? Based on whose evidence?

RH: Based on a little thing called the truth. You might need to look that up, I know journalists are prone to ignore it.

VW: Hmm, can I quote you on that? (She spins to the photographer and mumbles something to him. A flashlight goes off. She turns back to Fern)

FM: Raven, you’re not helping. Come on, let’s go. (She looks up at Vikki as she passes) Please inform the organisers that we are unable to stay, but we’ll be making a substantial donation to the charity before we leave the country. Goodbye, have a lovely evening.

(The two cross the road and head away from the theatre, not caring where they’re heading so long as Vikki and her cameras are not close by)

VW: (Back outside the theatre, she faces the camera and winks) Seems we scared them off, guys. That spoilt little girl tag sure does seem appropriate now.

Well, what do you make of that? Has Vikki thrown a spanner in the works? I’m not so sure she has. Fern looked pretty composed to me. Raven, on the other hand, well, that  young lady certainly gets riled easily. This trial certainly promises to be addictive. Then again, I would say that, wouldn’t I? 😉 

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened to her last summer.

NB: Access4All is a fictitious charity, created purposely for this series of interviews – although it sounds like a great idea to me.

book launch · Casualty of Court · interviews · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court: A change in proceedings

Press Release – March 18th.

Issued on behalf of the team for the prosecution in the case against Stefan Pereira. 

Due to the imminent trial (hint, hint – Casualty of Court is released March 21st), it has been declared unfeasible to continue with the interview of Mr Stefan Pereira and Miss Nessa Sullivan by Dr Ed Case.

Due to concerns of the prosecution team , working on behalf of Miss Fern Mortimer, about the defendant being released (albeit with the appropriate guards) so close to the start of legal proceedings, it has been decided to remove this interview from the calendar of events.

A spokesperson for Miss Mortimer states that while previous interviews have gone ahead – with Annie Skillsett and CeeCee Dedmann – this latter one has come too soon before the commencement of said trial, in which the defendant, Pereira, is accused of assault against Miss Mortimer.

Talks are underway to see if Dr Ed Case can pursue said interview at the remand centre. Although not ideal and certainly not conducive to the atmosphere in which the renowned psychologist prefers to conduct his assessments, it remains the only avenue currently available should the interview proceed in time.

In the most likely event that this interview will not now go ahead, Detective Hugh Dunnitt will make his judgement on the case according to the information at his disposal.

A media event this coming Tuesday is expected to produce the final interview in this series, that of Fern Mortimer and the notorious Showbiz Reporter, Vikki Winner. Ms Winner’s column in the English press has not been wholly complimentary to the young British woman. It will be interesting to see how she handles the forthcoming encounter.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened to her last summer.

book launch · Casualty of Court · The Fifth Wheel

A spotlight for Casualty of Court

Coming March 21, 2018, from author L.S. Fellows: Casualty of Court, a courtroom drama with unexpected genre-bending twists. Available for pre-order until March 21 at Casualty of Court. Interview with L.S. FELLOWS From far-away Spain comes my mystery author friend, L.S. Fellows, to share with us the inside story on her newest novel, Casualty of Court, that […]

via Interview: author L.S. Fellows — Author_Iris_Chacon

Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · moving on · relationships · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – No couch for Dr Ed

We’re having a change of venue this week, since Dr Ed Case has own office in a rather affluent location in the City Centre. Much to Annie’s relief – she gets her space back, although she has requested a full steam clean to get rid of the lingering fragrances from CeeCee’s incense sticks. I think the Cedar wood was a step too far for her.

Anyway, Dr Ed’s therapy suite is on the thirteenth floor of the auspicious Rizzolo building, with spectacular views of the city and the River Rizzle. It should make the characters feel relaxed, unless they have a fear of heights, that is.

First up, as is the norm, we have Fern. She’s taking the lift right now and will be with us shortly. She won’t be alone, however. Dr Ed has asked Raven to join her. He has an altogether different approach to his questioning; his focus being on what drives the two young woman in this case and beyond. Eddie, as he’s asked to be called when the duo arrive, wants to be sure they’ll both come through this trial experience unscathed, and for that they’ll need to rely on and support each other.

So, while we wait for them to arrive, let’s take a tour of Dr Ed’s chambers and, if we have time, we can check out his credentials as well.

A steel door opens into a room bathed in natural light as a result of the floor-to-ceiling window directly opposite. The remaining walls are painted in a soft shade of green – I’d hasten a guess at a pistachio blend – with grey fixtures and fittings. Overstuffed armchairs – upholstered in a grey, paisley print circle a low, glass-topped table to the left, another chair and couch, in the same fabric, sit to the right. A steel desk and black, leather chair take the centre stage, with the cityscape in the background.

It’s rather low-key, but nonetheless elegant. Nothing like CeeCee’s makeover of Annie’s office at all.

Dr Ed Case, MD, Psy. D, sits at his desk, reading case notes, I imagine.

A knock on the door alerts him to their arrival. We’ll have to check his credentials another time.

EC:  Come on in (He stands and walks to the door as Fern enters, followed by Raven) Welcome, ladies. please, make yourselves comfortable (he directs them to the grey armchairs)

RH: What a stunning view (she wanders over to the window – it’s the artist in her – always a sucker for a view)

FM: Hello, Dr ..

EC: Call me Eddie. It’s not as though you’re here as a client. (He smiles, revealing a dazzling display of expensive veneers)

FM: Thank you, Eddie

Fern’s voice is rather faint. I’m not sure she’s comfortable in this environment. Maybe she’s seen too many doctors in the last few years. 

(Raven joins them, and takes a seat, sinking into the well-upholstered seat with a sigh. Fern shakes her head and pulls up besides her.)

FM: I’ll stay in my wheelchair, if that’s alright with you, Eddie.

EC: Of course. Whatever you’re most comfortable with. Now, would you like coffee, tea?

(Fern shakes her head – again) Someone is determined not to relax.

RH: I’d love a cappuccino, or failing that a simple white coffee. (she catches Fern’s disapproving look and mouths “What?” to her)

EC: No problem. This machine can handle that. It’s why I bought it – bit of a coffee connoisseur myself. Fern, would you prefer a cold drink?

FM: I’m fine.

That’ll be a “no” then! 

(With coffees poured, Eddie sits opposite them and takes a sip, discreetly observing the two women during a moment of silence)

EC: So, I understand you’ve met with Annie and CeeCee already? What did you make of those sessions? (He directed his question at Fern)

FM: Annie was professional, as you’d expect. CeeCee was … well, let’s just say, we didn’t hit it off.

EC: Why was that?

Oh, Eddie, you’re pushing it now.

FM: I don’t believe in “magic”, Eddie.

 Air quotes too. Well, you asked for it, Ed.

EC: Really? And, you, Raven, what’s your experience been like?

RH: Much the same. CeeCee’s attempts to connect with my dad were just too ridiculous for words. when she started talking through Blanche, her spirit guide, I knew it would end in disaster.

EC: Did it?

(Raven furrows her brow)

EC: End in disaster?

RH: Well, she certainly didn’t make any sense. Just spouted some nonsense about it not ending with the trial.

(Both women laugh – at CeeCee’s expense. Dr Ed gets up and fetches his notepad, then sits again and scribbles away. The women exchange glances.)

EC: Then you must have plans. After the trial?

RH: Too right we do. Once this is over, we’ll be focusing all our attention on a new business venture. Won’t we, Fern?

(Fern blushes) Is she as on board as Raven is with this?

FM: Correct. (she straightens her posture – a tad too much, possibly) Once this trial ends, and that creep is behind bars for good, all this will become a distant memory. Despite what CeeCee says, it all ends here, and I – we – get to return to normal.

Methinks she doth protest too much.

EC: Have you worked together before?

RH: (she jumps in to answer) No, but we have complimentary skills. I’m trained as a PI and Fern has the business brains. We’ve got this sorted.

(Fern nods)

EC: That’s good to hear. All too often, people who have been involved in a crime and subsequent court case, particularly those who are attacked, they struggle to rebuild their lives. Haunted by memories. It takes some people years of therapy to get over it.

FM: (laughs) are you touting for business?

EC: Just stating facts, Fern. You’re lucky to have such great support.

FM: I know that. And we will make this business work. Trust me.

Hmm, famous last words, maybe.

EC: (he bows his head in acknowledgement) Raven, you’ve given up your time to accompany Fern. You must be firm friends?

O-oh. Eddie’s messing with fire now. 

RH: (fidgets in her chair) We’ve not known each that long. Certainly not as long as I’ve known Nessa.

(Fern scoffs. Ed makes more notes)

RH: As I was saying, (she glares at Fern) despite that, we have lots in common. We’re both fighters for justice.

EC: You sound like a new superhero duo. (He smiles, but the comment stuns the two young women)

FM: I’m not sure where this is going, Eddie. I assumed you’d be questioning us about the case, not about our future plans.

EC: My role is to examine your reasons for taking on this case, Fern. And to ensure you have adequate support once it’s over.

RH: What business is it of yours to examine her reasons? She was assaulted, left to drown, abandoned. What more reason could there be?

Mother Justice strikes again.

EC: You’re right. But not everyone has the fortitude to pursue a case like this. Especially in person. We all know Fern need not have travelled to Portugal to present her case. The system allows for her to work through a legal practitioner. I’m merely curious why she chose to re-live the assault – your words, not mine.

(Fern remains silent throughout this exchange)

RH: Tell him, Fern. You are doing this because you want to see justice done. Not to hear about it from your solicitor. Tell him. (She is staring hard at her friend by this point)

Fern’s silence speaks volumes. Is she regretting giving her account in person? She has to face him in court to do so. I wonder if she’s really as ready as she thinks. 

EC: Fern?

FM: (She coughs, clearing her throat) That’s it exactly. I want to see the man who left me to drown, who tried to kill me despite only being on an assault charge … I want to see him found guilty.

EC: And you’re sure of the outcome?

RH: Of course she is. What other outcome could there be? I think we’ve answered your questions anyway. Thanks for the coffee. (Raven stands) Fern, are you coming?

FM: She’s right. You know my reasons and future plans. I think we’re done. Goodbye, Dr Case.

(Both make for the door)

EC: (stands and watches them leave) Thank you for coming, ladies. It’s been most informative.

Summary: Fern is more scared than she cares to admit. Raven, however, is determined to see this through to the end. Which is fine, considering she’s not the one in the hot seat, giving a statement. As for the future, can they really work well together. Only time will tell.


Dr Ed will see Nessa and Stefan together for his next session. 

His approach certainly set the cat amongst the pigeons this time. Does that mean more fireworks to come? 


Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.

Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – CeeCee attempts to charm the Charmer

CeeCee’s confidence is back for this final interview. As is the costume. The sophisticated look wasn’t for her. Detective Dunnitt, however, did compliment her on her report, but he also added that maybe she’d been a little too soft on Nessa. As a result, the old CeeCee takes centre stage once more, ready to perform as only she can, in this her swan song.

She’s out to impress, but whether Stefan Pereira will oblige is anyone’s guess. I’m not holding my breath. 

CeeCee lights the incense; she’s chosen Cedar wood this time. Like all wood-based incense, it is fire associative, generally seen as denoting strength or power. She’s making a statement as to who’s in control right from the start. 

Here comes Stefan. Let’s not forget, this man has already used a fake name to win over Fern. Quite effectively, too. I doubt he’ll think twice at adopting another personality. Can CeeCee find the real soul behind those piercing eyes?

He steps into the room and strides across the room to shake CeeCee’s hand.

Hmm, so it seems he’s going for the charming and polite gentleman approach. We can only hope CeeCee is not taken in. 

SP: Good afternoon, Madame CeeCee. (He scans the room and fixes his gaze upon CeeCee, looks her up and down, and smiles) You’ve done wonders with this room.

Could he be any more condescending?

CD: Hello, Stefan. Please, sit.

SP: (sniffs the air) That fragrance is heavenly. Reminds me of my mother.

Cedar wood? Really? 

CeeCee is stunned momentarily into silence. She didn’t see that coming.

CD:Talking of your mother, I understand you’ve chosen the crystal ball and wish to communicate with her?

He nods.

CD: How nice. How long since she passed? You must miss her.

SP: It’s been a while now, and … yes, I miss her a lot. I was her carer. It was just the two of us for years.

CD: What do you want to ask her?

SP: I need to know if she forgives me? I tried my best to care for her. She was not an easy person to live with.

OMG! Are those tears in his eyes?

SP: (blinks back the tears) I’m sorry, Mother.

CeeCee taps her heart, overcome by his apparent sincerity.

Oh no, this isn’t looking good for CeeCee; she’s falling under his spell.

CD: Why are you sorry? It wasn’t your fault, was it?

Stefan squirms, his right eyes twitches.

That’s more like it. He can’t hide from the truth.

SP: I’m sorry she had to die.

CD: (gasps) Had to die? What do you mean …?

SP: (sniffs) Let me finish, CeeCee.

Uh oh! Who’s in control now then?

SP: I’m sorry she had to die alone. I wasn’t there when she breathed her last. It broke my heart to learn I hadn’t been in time.

CD: (sighs, tilting her head to one side) I’m sure she knows that; if you were so close she would have appreciated you looking after her.

SP: I only ever wanted her approval. She wasn’t very forthcoming with such things. Did I fail her, as a son?

CD: Let me ask ..although I’m sure you have nothing to worry about.

CeeCee runs her fingers lightly over  the crystal ball. she hums softly … before snapping to attention.

CD: (blushing) oh, firstly …your mother’s name?

Oh dear, I think we’ve lost her.

SP: Elsa. I named my boat after her.

CD: Thank you (sighs again) Aww, how sweet. (She moans) Elsa, are you there? Elsa, your son is here.

SP: She’s not there is she? She hates me, doesn’t she?

CD: Now, now …it’ll be something or nothing. Don’t fret yourself. These sessions are not always easy. The spirit world is fraught with obstacles.

SP: Mother loved the spirit world …she was very fond of spirits (vodka, gin, aquavit, he mumbles so CeeCee cannot hear him)

CD: (smiles brightly) That’ll be why she’s not here then. She’ll have left you a sign herself. I bet you’ll find a memento soon, a déjà vu, a reminder of her and her feelings for you.

SP: Do you really think so? I hope I get out of here soon then. I have to make my peace with her.

CD: She’ll sense that, I know she will. Mothers know these things

SP: Thank you, Madame CeeCee, I feel much better. Of course, if I knew how the trial ended, if I knew I’d be free to visit her grave with flowers …I’d cope better.

CD: I can’t do that …well, I’m not supposed to. But, you strike me as such a nice man. I’m sure it won’t be an issue. Let me see …it’s blurry.

SP: Really?

He’s not convinced. Then again, nor am I.

CD: (stutters) I, I can see you in a small room. Bars on the door. But, wait …I see a white van. You’re a passenger, smiling, laughing.

SP: I am? Are you sure?

Even he doesn’t believe that.

CD: (indignant) I’m quite sure.

He leans across the table.

SP: Can I see?

CD: (wraps her arms around the ball) Oh no, no. Only those with the gift—

SP: (impatient) I think my time is up. Thank you. You’ve been most helpful.

He stands and approaches the door, where he pauses, turns and smiles. His gaze falls upon CeeCee once more, and his sad eyes seem to bewitch our psychic. She is lost for words.

SP: My mother would have loved this. It’s so sad she never made it. Goodbye, Madame CeeCee.

CD: (gulps) Um, yes, it is. Goodbye, then.

SP: Have a lovely day, and thanks again. I enjoyed talking to you.

Shutting the door behind him, he mutters ‘what a waste of time that was’.

CeeCee stares after him, both hands clasped over her heart. Moments pass. It’s embarrassing how long she sits there, transfixed. A knock on the door shatters her reverie.

EC: CeeCee, my men are waiting to bring in my couch. Are you going to be long?

It’s Dr Ed Case, the psychiatrist, who is the next member of the interview panel to take on the four characters.

CD: Just need to write up my notes, Ed.

That won’t take long, seeing as she never made any. I’m afraid CeeCee blew it, didn’t she? We can only hope Dr Ed is more effective. 

CeeCee’s Summary: What a lovely young man. Polite and charming. Very charming. Beautiful eyes. Rather elegant too. His mother would be so proud. Such a shame she wasn’t available. I can’t imagine him hurting a fly.

Please, CeeCee, tell me those are not the notes you’re going to give to Det. Dunnitt, are they? Please!


Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.

Join me next time, when the characters are invited to share their innermost thoughts with Dr Ed.


Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – CeeCee finds her feet

After a tough few days, having engaged in plenty of self-evaluation, CeeCee is ready to get back to work. Replenished by mindful meditation and yoga, she senses a turning point ahead. Gone are the theatrical costumes; today she wears a soft cream jumpsuit with a wide, tan leather belt that matches the scarf holding back her unruly red curls. This is not the CeeCee we know and love, but a business-like young woman with a point to make.

Let’s hope she hasn’t taken this transformation too far.

Whilst, CeeCee has modified her appearance, the room – although muted – still alludes to her earlier self. Back are the chiffon drapes (yellow rather than pink) and the incense sticks (this time emitting a musky scent to restore balance and order), along with soft-lighting giving the room an altogether sunnier feel.

She seems to have a plan in mind.

Nessa arrives, sniffing the air appreciatively. CeeCee gets up to greet her, as though recognising a kindred spirit, and embraces her visitor, who hugs her back.

NS: This room looks so inviting. I love what you’ve done with it.

CD: It was so dull. How Annie coped, I’ll never know. Please, sit.  You seem nervous.

NS: I am a little apprehensive.

CD: Why, you’re shaking like a leaf. Is everything alright?

NS: Not really, I’m worried for Stefan – he’s not guilty, of course, but even so, you hear stories of innocent people getting locked up all the time.

CeeCee scribbles something on a notepad. This is so not like her, but at least Det. Hugh Dunnitt won’t be able to criticise her again.

CD: You wanted a crystal ball reading, didn’t you?

NS (she nods) Yes, please. I’m anxious to know what my future holds. Well, I think I want to know. Oh, I’m not sure … I’m sorry, CeeCee

CD: Well, do you have a particular question in mind?

NS: Not really. You see, I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve seen a clairvoyant in the past, at the end of the pier in Great Yarmouth, and she just gazed into the crystal ball and told me I’d meet a tall, dark and handsome man. (She chuckles) I reckon she was right, well, almost. Stefan is fair, you see, but oh so handsome and tall. two out of three isn’t bad.

Maybe the ‘dark’ aspect of Stefan doesn’t relate to his hair colour. Just saying! I do wonder what’s going through CeeCee’s mind right now, though.

NS: You’re not exactly what I envisaged either. Much more modern, and more … normal?

CeeCee laughs.

I think she took that as a compliment, don’t you?

CD: Hmm, I see. You probably need more time to think about your questions. Are you sure you don’t want to contact anyone from your past. ….someone no longer with us?

NS: No, there’s no one. Unless you know something I don’t. Mother was still alive last I heard, as for father ….whoever he may be.

CeeCee looks shocked, and hastily notes something down.

CD: I’ll take a quick look then, shall I? Can you flick the light switch off, please? (She lights the candles, and draws the candelabra closer)

Nessa jumps up, turns the lights off and takes her seat. The glow from the candles seems to put her at ease, and she exhales softly.

NS: Oh, dear. Is the ball cracked? Is that a bad omen?

CD: No, no, no, it’s fine.  These marks – cracks, as you say – are better for clairvoyance, especially in a natural quartz ball like this. The markings form physical images that help reveal the hidden psychic information within. Please, settle back down.

NS: Sorry, sorry (her voice trails off)

CeeCee rotates the ball with slow, steady movements. Her focus is intense. She mumbles, as though recognising a sign.

CD: Okay, I do see a child. A baby. But …

NS: What is it?

CD: You are looking for something, someone …it’s unclear ….

NS: (panic forces her to squeak out her question) Is Stefan there?

CD: Yes, I see him in your future.

NS: (claps her hands like a child) That’s marvellous …he’ll go free then, I knew he would. His father assured me.

CD: I didn’t say that, but I do see him with a baby and … another woman

NS: What? What does she look like? (She leans forward, looking into the ball herself, until CeeCee shoos her away)

CD: She’s maybe a little younger, but similar in looks.

NS: (sighs loudly) That will be his sister …they’re so alike. Oh CeeCee, this is wonderful. Thank you.

CD: Wait! I see more women. The dark-haired one looks familiar …

NS: Is it Raven? You met with her recently.

CD: (she nods) Yes, I do believe it’s her.

NS: Will I make up with her?

CD: I see you talking to her. A lot.

NS: Really? It’s all going to turn out well then …thank god we can put this behind us and move on happily. So relieved. It’s been hard being the outcast, and I’ve missed Raven so much. But to know Stefan is in my future ..and a child …I am beyond happy. CeeCee, I could kiss you.

CD: Hush now, all your noise has made me lose the connection. I think we’d best call it a day now. But, please, come back again. Maybe with some more specific questions. I’m sure there’s much more that I’ve missed.

NS: I’d love too. But, this is more than enough for now. I can’t tell you how happy you’ve made me. I may just dance all the way home.

CD: Can you turn the lights back on first, please. I wouldn’t want you to fall over.

NS: (laughing uncontrollably) Of course. That wouldn’t help matters at all, would it? And I am such a klutz.

As the lights come back on, CeeCee notices Nessa’s reddened cheeks, sparkling eyes  and a smile as wide as the horizon on a clear day in Great Yarmouth.


CD: Take care, then. It’s been a delight to chat with you. I wish you all the very best for the future, and my offer for another reading is genuine.

NS: I’ll be back, CeeCee. You’ve given me hope. Something missing from my life these last few days. I just knew – deep down – it was all going to be fine. I can’t wait to see Stefan walk free. We’re going to be so happy.

CD: Yes, I’m sure you will be. I have to get on now, notes to write and all …

NS: Sorry, I can be a chatterbox, can’t I? Bye then. (She pulls open the door and seems to float out into the hallway)

CeeCee smiles. That went well. Now Hugh will see that her interviews are just as valid as the academics. She blows out the candles and begins her report.

Summary: Lovely girl, not a bad bone in her body. She has a gentle aura, natural, motherly, peaceful. A little scatty, gullible even, but well-meaning. She just wants a simple life, with a loving family and to be surrounded by friends. She deserves it too. She’ll make a great mother, wife and friend. I don’t understand how those other two could have blamed her … she only ever meant to help.

CeeCee’s final session is with Stefan. I wonder how that will go. Villain or hero? How will he come across? I hear he wants to contact his dearly-departed mother. That should make for an interesting encounter. 


Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.

Casualty of Court · cosy · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Tick Tock

It’s her word against his.

Fern Stefan

Who will be the

Casualty of Court?

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.

art · Casualty of Court · cosy · crime · culture · Europe · food and drink · lost art · mystery · pets · The Blackleaf Agency · The Fifth Wheel

The Blackleaf Agency

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:

Heirlooms & Heiresses.

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 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

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.


Casualty of Court · cosy · interviews · mystery · The Fifth Wheel

Casualty of Court – A pause in proceedings

Following complaints about CeeCee’s ability to provide relevant information on two of the characters in this series, Detective Hugh Dunnitt is forced to intervene. It is his decision alone that will determine if CeeCee remains on the interview panel.

He summons CeeCee to a meeting in Annie’s office.

I hope she covers up  – poor Hugh is not a young man.

While he waits, he throws out the incense sticks (shame, as his pipe smoke is much more unpleasant), pulls down the pink chiffon drapes and clears the desk of CeeCee’s knickknacks.

He sits in Annie’s recliner chair and leafs through his notebook – sighing and tutting. Inappropriate clothing, misplaced terms of endearment and a complete waste of time are just some of the claims made by Fern and Raven, neither young woman able to extract anything positive from their encounter with our flamboyant psychic.

Personally, I fear CeeCee has taken too personal an approach. Neither woman believed in her ability to contact the other world or see into the future. Did CeeCee try too hard to win them round, putting her pride before results?

Here she comes now. Let’s wish her good luck. I, for one, would love to see an interview with Nessa.

(You know, sometimes I forget who’s in charge here 😉 )

CeeCee knocks on the open door before entering.

Wait, that can’t be CeeCee! What have they done with CeeCee. Fetch the police!

Dressed in a sombre black dress, her red hair loose bar an Alice band, the fresh-faced woman bears little similarity to the flashy, flesh-showing female who graced this office only yesterday.

Hugh’s pipe falls from his lips. He stumbles to his feet, wiping the spilt ash off the desk and moves around the desk to shake her hand.

HD: CeeCee, please sit down.

CD: Thank you, Hugh (she giggles at the similar-sounding words)

At least she is smiling. I was expecting a different attitude, if I’m honest – more “all guns a-blazing” in fact. But this charm offensive might just work. Great job, CeeCee!

HD: I’m sure you know why I called this meeting?

CeeCee nods, still smiling as Hugh returns to his seat.

HD: I understand there was a little difficulty with previous interviewees, CeeCee? Care to tell me what happened?

CD: They were non-believers from the start. It makes my job impossible, Hugh. It’s like offering a bacon sandwich to a vegetarian. They may be tempted, but an underlying aversion stops them from partaking of the forbidden fruit.

HD: I see. There was nothing you could do?

CD: Nothing at all. I tried, I really did. They simply resisted my every move.  I’m a sensitive soul, Hugh, I feel things. Those women blocked me – whether they knew they were doing it, I don’t know.

HD: You do realise that your job on the panel meant you were supposed to seek out details about these women that will help me determine their personality and influence in this saga?

CD: I believe I did that. Their disinclination to participate in my readings shows they have strong opinions and do not sway easily – even when tempted. You might call them stubborn, judgemental, determined, focused – or just plain rude.

Hugh chortles. CeeCee has a point. Fern and Raven are renowned for their dogged determination, and can be quite brash in situations they deem frivolous or without significance.

HD: Indeed, your sessions have made that abundantly clear. Moving on, do you think you will be better equipped to deal with the remaining characters?

CeeCee leans back in her chair and crosses her legs.

CD: Oh, yes. The blonde one – Fern something-or-other – implied the next candidate is a real believer.

HD: And the defendant? How do you think you’ll cope with him?

CeeCee uncrosses her legs, leans forward and winks.

CD: He’s a man, darling. He’ll be putty in my hands. Just you wait and see.

Looks like the old CeeCee is still in there, behind that butter-wouldn’t-melt, “Sandra Dee” façade. 

HD: Very well. You can continue. But, take note, CeeCee, any more complaints and it’ll be my head on the block. I trust you to do your job, and to do it well. Don’t let me down.

CD: I know exactly what I’m doing. Have faith, Hugh. I won’t let you down. You have my word.


I’m so glad CeeCee has kept her place on the panel.  I reckon she has a few treats in store for us in the coming days.

Next time, the long-awaited encounter between CeeCee and Nessa asks the question – do birds of a feather really stick together?


Thanks for reading 🙂

Casualty of Court is available to pre-order now as an ebook, releasing March 21st 2018. Click here to view on Amazon

In the meantime, you can read The Fifth Wheel – A Prequel now and find out what happened last summer.