I'm really excited to announce that I have a new book out with brilliant publishers Bookouture, this time writing under a different name for a new genre. A Spell of Murder is a witch-themed cozy mystery. If you're not aware, cozy mysteries, also referred to as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Cozies thus stand in contrast to hardboiled fiction, which features violence and sexuality more explicitly and centrally to the plot. The term "cozy" was apparently first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.
Cozy crime also tends to fall into a variety of subgenres: hairdressing-themed, baking-themed, cat-themed... perhaps unsurprisingly, I've created a witch-themed cozy, in which witch sisters Temerity and Tilda Love run an antiques shop in the small Scottish village of Lost Maidens Loch, where odd things often happen. Queen of the witch cozy Leighann Dobbs was kind enough to say she loved it:
‘I LOVED IT! An intoxicating mixture of bewitching characters and intriguing clues… be prepared to be enchanted by this story!’ USA Today bestselling author Leighann Dobbs ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I enjoy writing about small communities with all the gossip and intrigue that goes on, rather like Miss Marple, Midsomer Murders etc - I'm pretty keen on The Good Witch, Medium, Charmed and Ghost Whisperer too, all of which feature amateur sleuths with psychic skills. Coupled with my love of Scotland, maybe it's unsurprising that it all came together in a cake-filled package - I mean, there's also a LOT of food involved. That in itself is a joy to write. Plus cats.
This is the official blurb, and it's on preorder NOW on Amazon UK and Amazon US for a mere 99p/99c! I can't wait for October 3rd for you all to get to know the Love sisters in their treasure-filled house of mysteries...
In the sleepy town of Lost Maidens Loch, people sometimes disappear… Down a quiet lane in town sits a little shop full of oddities you’d probably miss if you weren’t looking for it. This is Love’s Curiosities Inc., and its owner, Temerity Love, is sought by experts all over the world for her rare and magical gift: the ability to find lost things and learn their stories.
When Lost Maidens’ pretty local school teacher is found murdered by a poisoned cup of tea, a strange antique hand mirror is discovered nearby. Temerity – with the help of witchy sister Tilda, their cats Scylla and Charybdis and the lovingly eccentric local townspeople – is determined to divine the story behind the mirror and its part in Miss Molly Bayliss’ untimely death.
If only grumpy out-of-towner Angus Harley of Lost Maidens Police wasn’t on the scene. Temerity can’t solve the crime without him, but he’s distracting, and in more ways than one. Can this unconventional duo solve the most mysterious murder ever to blight Lost Maidens Loch before the killer strikes again?
A magical and unputdownable whodunnit, perfect for fans of Adele Abbott, Amanda M. Lee and Leighann Dobbs.