I hope you enjoyed Murder At The Ritz, the first Marjorie Swallow adventure. Blackmail In Bloomsbury, the first full-length novel in the series, is on track to publish in October. Here’s the cover! Thanks to Donna Rogers, my amazing cover designer, for another beautiful design.
A bohemian party, a handsome artist – and murder
At her first Bloomsbury party, Marjorie Swallow enjoys dancing, conversation, and the attentions of a handsome artist.
But for one guest, the night ends in murder – and Marjorie’s artist friend is a prime suspect. From the garden squares of Bloomsbury to the seedy backstreets of Soho, trainee detective Marjorie and her employer Mrs Jameson undertake a perilous hunt for the killer.
Can they save an innocent man from the gallows? Is it ever a good idea to blackmail a murderer? And will Marjorie’s new satin T-strap shoes be ruined forever?
If you enjoyed Murder At The Ritz, I think you’re going to love Blackmail In Bloomsbury.
Join my advance readers club!
I’m looking for more readers to join my advance readers club. How does it work? You get a free advance e-book copy of Blackmail In Bloomsbury, in return for letting me have your feedback within two weeks. That helps me to spot any clangers that have got past me and my editors. Then, when the book is published, I’d be most grateful if you could post an honest review on websites like Amazon and Goodreads. Fancy getting involved? Hit ‘return’ and let me know.
More about Marjorie
So who is Marjorie Swallow, my new sleuth? Marjorie seemed to spring to life almost fully-formed, perhaps because I drew on my own family for inspiration. For a start, Marjorie is my middle name. I hated it at school, I love it now!
My grandmother Marjorie Swaddling (born Marjorie Ball) grew up in South London, one of 10 children. She’s bottom right in the photo. She grew up in the 1920s and 1930s, living above the builder’s yard in Lee High Road. After working as a hairdresser she met and married my grandfather Dave Swaddling, who had a bicycle and toy shop in Catford. So my mother – like Marjorie Swallow – was the daughter of a Catford shop-keeper and also won a scholarship to Sydenham High School for Girls.
My grandmother and mother grew up in the aftermath of the two world wars that shaped the 20th century. As a child, I learned about Auntie Vi (the child on her mother’s knee), whose fiancé died in the second world war, and Auntie Dulcie (bottom left), whose husband was also killed. My grandfather was away fighting in France when my mother was a small child. It’s this aftermath of war, and the changes it brought, that first sparked my interest in writing about the 1920s.
What I love most about Marjorie Swallow is her mixture of innocence and quick-wittedness. She enjoys life, she’s kind and courageous – and she has a great sense of humour. Perhaps the many excellent women in my family history were peering over my shoulder while I wrote?
What I’ve enjoyed this month
The book I’ve enjoyed most this month is Stephen Bates’ fascinating The Poisonous Solicitor, a true-life 1920s murder mystery investigation. Did the mild-mannered small-town solicitor poison his wife with arsenic? Or was he really intending to use it to eradicate the dandelions in the lawn?
I’m also getting into the Shedunnit podcast by Caroline Crampton, which unravels the mysteries behind classic detective stories. From the forensics of Agatha Christie to 1920s slang, it’s a treasure trove for aspiring classic crime authors.
Free cozy crime and historical mysteries
There’s a banquet of crime and historical mysteries this month! I’m taking part in three promotions via Bookfunnel. Murder At The Ritz will be featured, along with lots more e-book free novels and novellas. Why not take a look?
The big question!
What did you think of Murder At The Ritz? I love hearing from readers, so do let me know.
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