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 blog tour today pulls into Ali The Dragon Slayer’s site with a review and a guest post by your truly
The most commonly asked questions any author can usually be simplified as why, where and who – so here goes: What is Winter Downs about? In January of 1940 a small rural community on the Sussex Downs, already preparing for invasion from across the Channel, finds itself deep in the grip of a snowy landscape, with an ice-cold killer on the loose. Bunch Courtney stumbles upon the body of Jonathan Frampton in a woodland clearing. Is this a case of suicide, or is it murder? Bunch is determined to discover the truth but can she persuade the dour Chief Inspector Wright to take her seriously?
At the bottom of the lane I slowed by the small copse that separated our lane from the main farm road. I dropped my bike on the verge and surveyed the woodland’s edge. Fortunately for me this section of frith had yet to be cleared and there were plenty of saplings to be raided. I jumped across the ditch and grabbed onto a young ash standing proud from the mass of newly emerging green. It took only a moment or two to select a couple of growing tips; slender and smooth and grey, their foliage still encased in cool black buds that looked for all the world like the hooves of tiny goats.
It’s a one-legged Woozlum.’ My father assured me. ‘It’s a cross between an Oozlum and a Woozle. Very rare.’
I looked down at the row of small round holes that trailed through the snow next to our bootprints and snorted both amusement and exasperation. I loved my fathers’ elaborate jokes but there were times when he drove me mad. This one may have worked when I was five but not anymore.
The sledge was heaped high with dark-leaved holly, bundles of ivy, fir swathes and my favourite, the gleaming, orange/pink fruited spindle. I knew they were far more than necessary, but I adored the Christmas ritual of Gathering-the-Greens. It was only I that was really interested, but with my father’s help I always made an occasion of it. We had gathered evergreens for swags and left the sledge near the ram’s shed before heading toward the Top Close where two-dozen steers were kept on deep litter for the winter months.
It had snowed hard that morning, and the sky promised a lot more to come. Leaden cloud layers spanned the sky and a stiff wind was blowing from the north.
As winter turns to spring here is a taster from Sussex Tales:
“Sussex Tales runs a witty and thought provoking gamut of village events and its more curious characters. From fanged ferret to bulls in lead masks; ancient hand grenades to exploding ginger beer; cricketing dogs to wassailing orchards – Sussex Tales weaves traditional country wines, recipes, folklore and Sussex dialect into these natural tales of living a farming childhood in the vanished world of 1950s and 60s rural life.”
Sussex Day is a thing – it is the county day for Sussex and is celebrated on 16 June each year to celebrate the rich heritage and culture of the most beautiful of counties. (Okay – I admit I am biased – but if you have never been there you really should!) Continue reading →