We’re (Gaslight Crime) delighted to bring you an interview with writer Jan Edwards, author of the newly published historical crime novel Winter Downs.
I absolutely loved Winter Downs, which takes place in a fascinating time in a lovely part of Sussex that Kipling called our blunt, blow-headed, whale-backed Downs. The perfect setting for the first novel in an atmospheric new crime series. If you enjoy classic, Golden Age style whodunits with engaging sleuths, a twisting plot and a wonderful sense of place – you’re in for a great treat.
Here’s Jan to tell us about Winter Downs and her writing process…
Continuing my blog tour reprise: Q&A originally posted on Jenny Barber’s web page on 3rd June 2017
“Winter Downs Blog Tour, celebrating the launch of the ever excellent Jan Edwards’ new book – Winter Downs – a thrilling ride of 1940’s crime fic starring the kick ass Bunch Courtney. I interrogated Jan to find out more…
Winter Downs is the first in your Bunch Courtney Investigates series – who is Bunch and what can we expect from future books in the series?
Bunch Courtney is a well connected young woman who is set adrift by the changes that the coming of war has imposed on her, and knows that the life she was brought up to lead will never return. When she stumbles on a murder she discovers a talent and taste for sleuthing as she interacts with the local police force; and with Chief Inspector Wright in particular. Continue reading →
“The first gunshot flushed a clamour of rooks into a yellowish sky to circle their tribal elms. Rose Courtney glanced at Daphne and wondered if she even noticed them. Since George’s funeral it was so difficult to know whether her younger sibling was wool gathering or had sunk so deep into mourning she simply failed to acknowledge her surroundings. Understandable, Rose thought, but it’s still frustrating. She had intended this hack across the Downs to lift the spirits. It would be Rose and Daphne – or Bunch and Dodo as their family knew them – riding out just like old times. Except that it was anything but the old times, and even Bunch was beginning to concede that, on this occasion, horse riding might not provide the answer. She tucked rogue strands of dark hair beneath her hat, secured her plaid scarf, and thought how tempting it would be to return home. The sky had grown heavier in the half hour they had been out and fresh snow was beginning to fall in earnest. The second blast was louder and deeper than the first, scattering rooks and pigeons in a fresh flurry, setting Dodo’s horse into a fidget. Bunch waited without comment for her sister to bring the animal under control. ‘Pigeons.’ Dodo looked upwards, allowing snowflakes to flutter across her cheeks. ‘Georgie loved them. Cook bakes them with pears and a little port.’ It was the first time Bunch had heard Dodo mention her husband without prompting, and without tears, since the funeral. That’s a good sign, surely? ‘They don’t have a lot of meat on them,’ she said aloud. ‘Hardly worth the cartridge.’ She slapped her Fell pony’s neck, muttering, ‘Easy Perry, steady lad,’ though her mount had barely twitched so much as an ear. Her sister’s mare sidled nervously again so that its hooves slithered on the snow covered slope. ‘Everything all right, Dodo?’ ”
The Winter Downs blog tour is also stopping among the Swirl and Thread blogging pages. with a Q&A on crime fiction and why I do this thing.
“Hi Jan and welcome to Swirl and Thread. I am delighted to be on tour with you today as we discuss your new novel, Winter Downs, as well as finding out a little more about what makes you tick.
Before we get into the writing aspect of your life, may I enquire about your involvement in Reiki. I was intrigued to read that you are a Master Teacher as well as been a Meditational Healer? Could you please tell us a little about this?
Reiki and Meditational Healing is something that chose me rather than the other way around. Meditation is something I have indulged in for many years but I needed help with pain management that did not involved drugs, which sent me to sleep half the day. Various therapies proved to help a great deal and going from ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’ was a logical progression.” I also have some experience in herbalism but would not practice it without going for the medical degree. As the saying goes, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. It is far too easy to mistakenly poison someone – though that knowledge can come in handy as a writer of crime and horror.”
Today’s offerings on the blog tour include a review of Winter Downs
“When Bunch Courtney’s childhood friend Jonathan Frampton is found shot dead in the woods the authorities and the powers that be, from her own father to the local Justice of the Peace, seem eager to declare his death a suicide.
But her passionate sense of injustice drives Bunch to investigate her old friend’s death. She is certain he could not have committed suicide, and clues at the scene drive her to confront the Chief Inspector, Wright, dispatched to wrap the case up – his rank a fact that in itself suggests something awry. His initial attitude to Bunch is that she is a bothersome amateur.
It is the winter of 1940 and the second world war is under way. Bunch and her sister Dodo’s childhood home, Perringham House, has been requisitioned for the war effort. Bunch is in command of a troop of Land Girls, and Dodo, whose husband recently died in action, is recovering at the home of her detested in-laws, Barty and Olivia Tinsley… (Read on here)