The Cobalt Sky is book 10 in Keith Dixon’s Sam Dyke Investigations series.
The story is driven by the theft of an artwork and the dysfunctional relationships of the artist’s family. The more Sam looks into the people associated with the artist, the more dysfunctional the family appears, and the less likable the artist becomes as a person.
The investigation is hampered by a lack of honesty in several key players, one of whom is the thief. No surprise there, but there are a few surprises in the telling of this tale. A good read.
The Bank Inspector is the first book in a trilogy of crime stories, featuring Detective Sergeant Brian Shaw, set in the banking world of 1950’s South Australia by Australian author Roger Monk.
The world of the 1950s is a place most of us only know from television shows, and the intricacies of its banking and police worlds have slipped from our working memories.
Although I lived through most of the 1950s, as a small boy I had no idea how things worked in the adult world. This story is an intriguing look through a window into that world.
The tale is one of an almost perfect crime and an attempted murder that, at first, does not seem related to the main story. However, as the story progresses the pieces start to make sense as more and more connections are revealed.
I enjoyed the insight into the less sophisticated world of yesterday – a world where there were no mobile telephones, no photocopiers, no digital photography, and no computers. It was also a world where people trusted others to be who they said there were – an aspect exploited by the criminal mind driving the story.
As a writer of contemporary crime fiction, I felt a bit sorry for D Sgt Shaw. He has his work cut out for him in this investigation, in a world where the police have to rely on information gained through speaking to people, very basic forensics, and the criminal making a mistake.
And, of course, mistakes are made as they always are. It’s a good read with a pace suited to the times.
You can find out more about The Bank Inspector and the other books in the trilogy on www.rogermonk.com.au
Guest post from Scottish Crime Writer, Wendy H Jones, author of three very different crime mystery series.
Firstly, thank you, Peter, for inviting me onto your blog. It’s a real honour to be here.
When I think about writing a blog post, the first reaction is always panic. What on earth shall I write about? Obviously, I want to be interesting, valid, current, useful and every other adjective in between. Do I also want to be gritty and humorous?
In this case, the answer is yes. Most definitely so. At least I want to talk about my move from writing on the edge of your seat, gritty, Scottish Noir fiction, to writing laugh out loud, funny, detective fiction. That’s some change or is it?
I need to start with the fact I have always been a reader. An advanced reader, I joined the library at the age of three. An impossible task in those days.
I had read my way through the entire children’s section of the library by the age of ten via books such as Famous Five, Secret Seven, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Mystery was always my go to, although I read many different genres. At ten, I moved on to adult mysteries such as those by Agatha Christie.
As the years moved on, the crime I read became more and more gritty, although I’ve always had a penchant for the gentler side of crime fiction as well.
Reading Janet Evanovich’s books introduced me to laugh out loud crime. I was hooked.
My first series, The DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries, moved hurriedly into the Tartan Noir movement. The first book, Killer’s Countdown proved popular and was quickly followed by five more in the series, all with titles beginning with Killer’s.
The seventh in the series, Killer’s Curse, will be released later this year.
However, I still didn’t lose my desire to try my hand at comedic crime. Something that would make my readers laugh.
Brainstorming ideas for a main character, I came up with the most unlikely Private Detective imaginable. Cass (Cassandra) Claymore is a redheaded, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina who inherits a private detective agency.
Then she manages to hire an ex-con dwarf and an octogenarian. Who in their right minds would start a detective agency staffed by a ballerina, an ex-con, and a pensioner? Me of course.
I had an absolute ball writing it. I spent time laughing from start to finish. I read bits out to readers and writers, all of whom laughed. By this point, I knew I was on to a winner.
The first book in the series, Antiques and Alibis, was released on 1st August 2018. The next four will be called, Blood and Bone, A Cluster of Corpses, Dance of Death, and Evil and Ecstasy.
Will I make it to Z? That remains to be seen. In the meantime, I shall enjoy writing those four. I can assure you I will be laughing.
To all writers, follow your passion and see where it takes you. To all readers, try something different and you might discover a new reading passion. You can start with Antiques and Alibis, available from:
Wendy H. Jones is an award-winning Scottish Crime Writer who lives and sets her books in Dundee, Scotland. She is also an International Public Speaker talking about writing and marketing.
Killer’s Crew, the first book in her DI Shona McKenzie Mysteries was the Winner of the Books Go Social Book of the Year 2017. The Dagger’s Curse, the first book in her Young Adult mystery series, was a finalist in the Woman Alive Magazine Readers Choice Award 2017.
She has signed a publishing contract with Malcolm Down and Sarah Grace Publishing for the first book in a children’s picture book series, based on a true story about a little Buffalo in Scotland. The first, Bertie’s Great Escape will be released late October 2018.
When she’s not writing, Wendy spends her time travelling the world. She is President of the Scottish Association of Writers and co-founder of Crime at the Castle, a Scottish literary festival held at Glamis Castle Scotland
A guest post by LA Frederick, author of the sci-fi urban The Government Rain Mysteries series.
I’m delighted to announce my latest two sci-fi novellas, The Forgetful Man and Second-In-Command.
The stories are dark, with gruesome happenings throughout. They are from the sci-fi genre and are written in an urban setting, based in modern times in the fictional city of New Hampton. To give you an idea of the type of city you’re dealing with, reviewers have referred to the city as reminding them of Gotham City or Sin City.
The mystery theme plays a big part in both novellas and in my overall series.
These novellas delve into the background of a few characters and add a little more information to the overall world itself.
A guest post by B. L. Blair, author of the Lost and Found Pet series.
TheLost Macaw is the fourth novella in the series.
Alexandra Prescott is a licensed private investigator specializing in finding missing animals. Reuniting pet and owner is more than just a job.
A former client hires Alex to find her lost parrot. The bright colored bird has flown away before, but this time there is evidence that Molly was kidnapped. The demand is simple—the bird for the pictures.
When her client suffers a stroke, Alex is left with a ransom note, a missing bird, and some very incriminating photos. She is in a race against time to solve the mystery of the lost Macaw. Continue reading “The Lost Macaw”
A guest post by Jaci Wheeler, author of Silent Song, giving us an insight into deafness. Well worth the read even if you’re not into YA books.
Many authors I know pull from events or people from their own lives for inspiration or storyline. I’ve never been that way personally. I’m an extremely private person by nature, so it’s very unusual for me to use any of myself in my books. That is actually my favorite thing about writing, I’m able to fully create worlds and people out of thin air. It allows you to become whoever you want for the moment. I usually create a main character who is nothing like me because it allows me to be and do all the things I’ve always wanted to. Continue reading “Silent Song coming to life by Jaci Wheeler”
A guest post by fantasy writer Simon Lindley, author of Mannethorn’s Key. I write and read a lot of crime fiction but I also read a lot of fantasy and thought you might like to explore a new fantasy voice with me.
The Realm, The Land, Middle Earth, Narnia – I presume you have spent some time visiting at least one of them. I know I have. And, if all goes well with the ‘travel brochures’, Drageverden will soon be another fantasy ‘tourist’ destination. However, I expect people will only visit if the place promises immersive adventure! Continue reading “World-Building 101 by Simon Lindley”