The Holiday came from me wondering what would happen if an old man and a young boy took off for the weekend without telling anyone, in the hope that their action would bring the boy’s parents back together, and then everything goes wrong.
To help things go wrong, I gave the old man, Kieran Moore, a dark history that puts his great-grandson, Toby, in danger through being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Kieran gets killed. Toby gets kidnapped because he’s a kid and Kieran’s killers can’t bring themselves to kill a ten-year-old boy. This storyline ultimately leads to Clare’s story, which we will come back to in a minute.
Yes, it has a crime and a police investigation with complicating factors, and it’s a murder mystery with all the twists and turns you might expect. But, the police investigation plays second fiddle to the main story, which is Paul’s story.
While Inspector West and his team work on solving the mystery of Josie Ford’s murder, you’re taken into the world of Paul Ford to explore the impact an unexpected death has on the family of the victim. Continue reading “Reading After”
Stella Bruno Investigates is a series of six books telling seven stories.
Each title in the series is dedicated to a particular crime, but the seventh story, Stella’s story, is interwoven through the six stories that make up the series.
To fully appreciate the gradual unfolding of Stella’s story, you’ll need to read the series in book order.
Set in and around Adelaide, South Australia, the stories open a window into Australian life and policing that allows you to explore life down under, without making the long-haul flight required to get there. That has to be a bonus.
All of the places mentioned in the stories exist – you can look them up using your search engine of choice. And, you can enjoy a meal at any of the restaurants where Stella and Shaun eat – if you ever make that long-haul flight and come to Adelaide. You might even spot me at one of the tables.
Australians are fairly informal in their working relationships, even within the confines of the rigid hierarchy of a police force. Working relationships are built on trust, and it’s not uncommon for officers of differing ranks to treat each other as equals – as Stella and Brian do. Of course, there is also a place for respecting rank, which is why Stella has a different relationship with DI Frank Williams, who is still coming to terms with the reality of his most competent detective sergeant being a woman. He gets better as the series progresses.
The other man of interest across the series is Shaun Porter. He works for the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions but that is secondary to his role as Stella’s new love interest. Yes, police officers have a life outside of investigating crime, and one of the joys of writing the series was witnessing the development of the relationship between Stella and Shaun. I hope you enjoy their story.
If you’re wondering what makes Australian crime stories different, Stella Bruno Investigates gives you the opportunity to find out in six quick reads.
The thing about a hero, is even when it doesn’t look like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, he’s going to keep digging, he’s going to keep trying to do right and make up for what’s gone before, just because that’s who he is.
It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents—except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton in the novel Paul Clifford (1830).
Your worldview is determined by your exposure to the world. If you stay in your home territory, you see the world as an extension of your home. You live in a belief bubble.
It’s hard to imagine things being different someplace else if you’re always in familiar surroundings – whether those surroundings are physical, intellectual, emotional or spiritual. Continue reading “Opening your mind.”