Finding a cover for any book is tricky and finding something striking that speaks of the story, without using the usual cliched imagery that date a book so quickly, and is also eye catching is trickier still.
The next book in my WW2 crime series Bunch Courtney Investigates has the working title of In Her Defence. The story is all about perceptions of who and what people were in the turbulent throws of May 1940 when the very real threat of imminent invasion and the instigation if internment prompted deep suspicion of anyone who was not ‘local’ or at least ‘known’ to the population at large. A time when even long standing friendships forged in childhood can and were called into question.
So far the image below is the most serious contender for In Her Defence.
Posted in art, Blogging, Books, Crime fiction, history, In Her Defence, Jan Edwards, Penkhull Press, ww2
Tagged Books, covers, crime fiction, In Her Defence, ww2
Reprising some of the material from the blog tour – here is the review from Chatabout books
If you enjoy historical fiction and/or a good murder mystery, then you will love Winter Downs. I haven’t read much historical fiction, as yet, but I do generally enjoy it when I do and I have thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Bunch is a feisty character! (She very much reminds me of Mary from Downton Abbey.) She has been used to a certain way of life which has been totally turned upside down since the start of the second world war. Having to give up her home to accommodate soldiers and having to move in to the Dower house with her Grandmother doesn’t thrill her, but she accepts it’s her duty to contribute to the war effort. She is very protective of her sister, Dodo, who lost her husband to war, having only been married for a few months. The sisters are like chalk and cheese, but devoted to each other.
As their small rural community in Sussex try to adjust to rationing, black outs and other such consequences of war, they also find themselves faced with a killer on the loose. When Bunch discovers the body of her friend, Jonathan, it looks like he has taken his own life, but Bunch knows him well and is convinced he has been murdered. It will be a struggle to prove it though without getting in the way of the official investigation, which already has it’s limits due to the ongoing war. As the investigation progresses, all sorts of secrets are revealed and they are faced with more tragedy. Will they discover the truth before the body count rises?
Brilliantly written with a great mix of interesting characters and beautifully descriptive language. I was transported to rural Sussex and totally immersed in the story. I could almost feel the chill of the snowy countryside and I was as desperate as Bunch to prove her friend was murdered and to see his killer brought to justice. The conclusion is one I definitely didn’t see coming!
Oh, and I love the Sussex dialect used, although it took me a couple of re-reads to understand on occasion! 😉
The last of today’s tour stops is at the site of jazz diva Nelli Rees who asked me the question “What if Winter Downs was a movie…”
“When Nelli asked me who I would cast for Winter Downs as a film or TV series I have to admit to a slight panic; not least because I can never remember names! After a monster Googling session I have come up with a few possibilities for just the main protags on either side. (The full cast would take months!).
As this is a game of fantasy casting I decided that money would be no object and angled that my imagination could come up with – taken from the great and the good in British acting!
Winter Downs the movie would star: …”
Read more here
Posted in blog tour, Fiction, Film and TV, Penkhull Press, winter downs, Writing, ww2
Tagged crime, film, Nelli Rees, winter downs, ww2
Today we have an extract from Winter Downs on the QuietKnitterer site – enjoy!
“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?’ ”
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)
I have a Q&A blog about Winter Downs and writing in general today over at NovelGossip !
Posted in Blogging, Crime fiction, Jan Edwards, Penkhull Press, winter downs, Writing, ww2
Tagged cosy crime, crimefiction, jan Edwards, novel gossip com, winter downs, ww2
The Winter Downs book tour also stops at the site of crime writer Debbie Bennett with a Q&Q session