Thursday 8 February 2024

New books coming soon!

I'm thrilled to announce that I have a new series of books coming out this year. Called An English Village Mystery, they will be set in the quirky village of Raven's Edge, which first featured in Something Wicked.

The village of Raven’s Edge was surrounded by a dark, tangled
forest. The kind of forest that evoked the wrong sort of fairy
tale, where you should never stray far from the path...

The first two books will be out on the 7th May, with more to follow!

Murder at Raven's Edge
(An English Village Mystery #1)

When Milla Graham returns to her childhood home of Raven’s Edge after eighteen long years away, she finds the perfect English village looks much the same – all rose-covered cottages and quaint teashops full of scones and gossip.

But her nostalgic visit takes a dark turn when the body of a local woman is discovered in an abandoned manor house on the edge of the forest. The murder scene is chillingly close to that of Milla’s own mother, whose death was never solved. As she begins to investigate the connection, Milla realises this quirky village is guarding some dark secrets.

Handsome, grumpy local police detective Ben Taylor doesn’t believe in coincidences, and he doesn’t think mysterious newcomer Milla Graham is as innocent as she seems. Why is she really here in Raven’s Edge, and how come she keeps turning up at his crime scenes, causing trouble? Can he solve this murder case without losing himself – or his heart – to the rather distracting Miss Graham?

When another body is found, everyone becomes a suspect – from the barmaid at the local pub to Milla Graham herself. It seems that in Raven’s Edge, not everybody is as friendly, or as innocent, as they first seem...

**Murder at Raven's Edge was previously published as Trust Me I Lie**

Pre Order Here!

Murder at Ravenswood House

(An English Village Mystery #2)

A gruesome murder in charming Raven’s Edge sends Milla Graham sleuthing to catch a killer, win back her detective ex, and dig up a decades-old secret along the way...

When a shocking murder rocks the picture-perfect English village of Raven’s Edge, amateur detective Milla Graham finds herself right at the centre of the mystery. Still reeling from her recent breakup with local police officer Ben Taylor, Milla sets her sights on solving the case, hoping to win Ben back.

But when the evidence begins to point to Milla’s old friend and former boyfriend Lorcan Black, she must choose between her loyalties to the past and the possibilities of the future. Meanwhile, Ben is on a different trail – he’s begun to suspect that the murderer could be someone from his own family’s dark history.

Further complicating matters are Milla’s meddling grandmother, Ben’s no-nonsense police partner Harriet, and David the surprisingly young and sexy new vicar. With shocking twists around every cobblestone corner, the truth refuses to stay buried for long in this quaint village, whose picture-postcard façade hides decades of buried grudges, plots, and betrayal.

Will Milla solve the mystery in time to rescue her relationship with Ben? Can Ben face the skeletons in his family’s closet before one of his own relatives meets the same bloody end?

Pre Order Here!

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Monday 25 September 2023


I've wanted to visit Lyme for many years. Last week we had to drive right past the gate on our way to somewhere else, so we grabbed the opportunity! Hopefully, we'll be able to return very soon, because unfortunately we didn't have the time to walk around the gardens, or recreate that iconic photo of the house from the other side of the lake.


Whenever I go into an old house, I always ensure I look up at the ceilings! This time I was struck by the strange symbol that occurred over and over again - of what appeared to be a severed arm holding a pennant! According to legend, prior to the Battle of Crécy in 1346, the English sacked Caen and a French nobleman managed to seize the standard of the Black Prince.

To have lost your standard, before a battle had begun, would have been hugely humiliating for the Prince, but fortunately it was retrieved by Sir Thomas Danyers, who was given the lands where Lyme now stands as a reward. The land was inherited by his granddaughter, Margaret, who married Sir Piers Legh. The land and, later, the house, was then in the Legh family until passed to the National Trust in 1946.

The Entrance Hall

The first building on the site was a 15th century hunting lodge. It wasn't until 1570 that a grand Elizabethan house was built. Although that ancient core still exists, in 1725, the house was remodelled in the Italian Renaissance style. 

My favourite room was the library. After the family left in 1946, it fell into disrepair and has now been restored. The family's books are stamped with a ram's head crest on their spines.

The Library

Wouldn't this bay make a terrific book nook?

The Library Bay

The Caxton or Sarum Missal is one of the earliest known printed books that bears the stamp of William Caxton, the father of British printing. It was used for daily prayers, weddings, baptisms and funerals. It survived, largely intact, because it was hidden when King Henry VIII banned it. It wasn't rediscovered until 1874.

The Caxton or Sarum Missal

Before we left Lyme, we quickly popped into the garden. There wasn't much time to explore (hopefully, one day we'll come back) but were were able to visit the Orangery, which I loved. In a huge coincidence, the book I'm working on at the moment, has a glass house which looks very similar to this!

The orangery (right) and the Wyatt Garden

Inside the Orangery

You may recognise Lyme as Mr Darcy's 'Pemberley' from the BBC's adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice! The exterior scenes were filmed here, while the interior scenes were shot at Sudbury Hall.

The BBC's Pride and Prejudice inspired my book, Why Do Fools Fall in Love, which is about the filming of a costume drama, another reason I was keen to visit Lyme! 

So I couldn't resist picking up this mug in the giftshop, to much eye-rolling from my husband.


Related Posts:


Lyme: National Trust Guidebook
The Making of Price and Prejudice, Sue Birtwistle & Susie Conklin

Sunday 9 January 2022

Where I (Used to!) Write

I've moved house a lot over the years (I think I'm on my 12th house), so the 'where I work' posts on this blog have described several different rooms and views. There was the study that overlooked Snowdonia, the one that looked out over Penrhyn Castle, and then there was the last house, where my study had a lovely view of the bus stop!

In these posts I usually mention the story of how I wrote my first book in a tiny bungalow, with my monitor jammed into a cupboard and my keyboard on my lap.

And then last week I found this photo. Yes, that's me as a teenager, chuffed to bits to have my own desk and my own typewriter, and being A Writer. 

I grew up in a rambling Victorian house that, even shared with my large family, had a room no one else wanted to use. When my parents moved in they decided it would make a great playroom, to keep the kids out of the way of the grown-ups. But my brothers and I convinced ourselves the room was haunted by the little old lady who'd lived in the house ten years before us. We knew she'd used the room as a bedroom, as she'd been too frail to climb the stairs. So we decided her ghost was the reason the door would open by itself (this often happens in old houses) and we even thought we heard a piano playing in the empty room - it was probably a radio! We ignored the cold spooky 'playroom' and played in the garden instead!

Skip forward fifteen years when we'd all grown up, my mother suggested I could have the room for myself. It would be a fabulous place for me and my friends to hang out away from the adults (I'm noticing a theme here), but I was thrilled. Especially when,

Mum: You can decorate it however you like!
Me: I'm going to paint the walls black!
Mum: Absolutely not!

We compromised with grey walls but with my first pay cheque I bought a desk, two bookcases, and a small sofa, all in my favourite black. I probably imagined lying on the sofa and dictating my novel to a secretary, like Barbara Cartland, because that's what writers do, right?

Thirty-five years later (thirty-five!!!), I still have the two black bookcases but sadly the desk was taken to the dump just before Christmas. Although it did have a second life as my daughter's desk for a good twenty years. 

I'd completely forgotten this photo had been taken until I found it last week. As my husband said when I showed it to him (after he'd got over laughing at the 80s fashion), what advice would I give my past self?

Apart from 'Don't wear big earrings around small children'? Probably, 'Hang on in there' because it would take another ten years before I was offered a book contract.

And maybe suggest I get over my obsession with the colour black... 

Related Posts: