Countdown to ‘The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones’

Since The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones and other Victorian Scandals is published on 12 April 2018, we are now less than three months away! Eeek! This time last year I was putting the finishing touches to it (in fact if I remember correctly, I was working on the title story – the murder of Patrick O’Connor, who was buried under the flagstones by his lover) and now here we are, almost time for publication!

Writing about Victorians has been such an exciting and worthwhile project for me. Regular readers of my blogs and social media will know that I am intrigued by the era and have been since I was a little girl. Wherever we go I look out for Victorian architecture and as sad as it sounds, I spend ages wondering who lived there and what their lives were like. There’s just something so dark, mysterious but equally romantic about the era (when safely seen from afar!).

So now that we’re just under three months away from publication, I wanted to share some of what you can look forward to. First of all, the book is 352 pages long and divided into three sections: Scandals involving actors and actresses, Murders or scandals involving partners or family members, and scandals that were just plain old weird, sad, perplexing or amusing.  I didn’t write the book in any particular order, I just went to and fro between sections, depending on what mood I was in. For instance, if I’d just written about a grizzly murder, it was often nice to research something sillier, and vice versa.

You may think that all of the stories are set in Victorian London, but you’d be wrong! 🙂 Instead I have covered tales from around the world. Of course there are many based in London because a lot of murders did take place there, but we also travel up and down the UK, over to Australia, spend some time in Europe and then hop over the Atlantic to see our Victorian friends in the USA! It was nice actually to see the difference between stories based in the UK and those in the US. When writing UK scandals, my mind often had visions of darkness, fog and downright creepiness, but when working on the American tales, I’d have visions of the wild west, gun-toting cowboys, beautiful showgirls and maybe a bit of Little House on the Prairie!

Writing The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones was an exciting process and every day was different. My family soon got used to me saying things like “Gosh, you’ll never guess how this man was murdered..!” or “Eww, can you imagine where this woman’s body was found?” and they’d become rather immune to the bloody tales by the end of it. It’s not all blood-related crimes, however, and there are actually some rather funny moments too. But whether you like the light-hearted stories or the darker, more grizzly tales, I very much hope that The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones will speak to you in some way and you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.

The Battered Body Beneath the Flagstones will be published on 12 April by Robinson/Little, Brown. You can order from all good book shops, including Amazon.

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