30 December 2012



The year started out quietly with Fergus beginning 2012 in his favourite place.  Atop the keys.  Ready for work!

Mozart preferred to dream about the year ahead.  The fine cuisine he would be served, his morning stroll in the garden, the shadows on the walls he would spend time chasing, not to mention all those wonderful places he would find to curl up in and sleep.

 I decided to follow Mozart's lead.  That is, to contemplate and plan the next 12 months, Oh, yes, and write Chapter 13 of Once Upon A LieI thought Fiji, in the South Pacific, would be the best place to do this.


'The best laid plans...' as they say.
I thought about it and just contemplated.

Back to the real world and walks on foggy winter mornings.

Obviously being observed by this early morning riser.

By May I thought a bit of research for Once Upon A Lie wouldn't go amiss, so I took myself off to the sparkling waters of Sydney Harbour to look, specifically, at yachts.

Strangely enough, this led me to New Zealand.  I'm not sure why, but I enjoyed it, and wrote Chapter 26.

At least, I did after I got to the other side of this wiggly bridge.  Whose idea was this, anyway?  I suspect, the person behind that camera!

More scenery!  Chapter 29 will have to wait.

And here we are, already, at the end of 2012.
Fergus is in the IN box waiting for the next chapter.  And Mozart and me?  Well, we're contemplating and planning 2013!

28 December 2012

28-30 December 
A Fitzjohn Mystery
Smashwords Coupon Code GJ73S

University professor Alex Wearing is found murdered in his study by the Post Graduate Co-coordinator, Vera Trenbath, a nosey interfering busybody. Assigned to the case is Detective Chief Inspector Alistair Fitzjohn. Fitzjohn is a detective from the old guard, whose methodical, painstaking methods are viewed by some as archaic. His relentless pursuit for the killer zeros in on 

Alex’s brother, James, as a key suspect in his investigation.
Compelled to clear himself of suspicion, James starts his own investigation and finds himself immersed in a web of intrigue, ultimately uncovering long hidden secrets about his brother’s life that could easily be the very reasons he was murdered.

This gripping tale of murder and suspense winds its way through the university’s hallowed halls to emerge into the beautiful, yet unpredictable, Blue Mountain region where more challenges and obstacles await James in his quest to clear himself of suspicion and uncover the truth about his brother.

19 December 2012

'The Next Big Thing blog hop': My WIP

I’ve been tagged by Malla Duncan http://malladuncan.wordpress.com to join this blog hop.  So when you leave here, you might like to check out Malla’s blog.

The rules of the blog hop are simple: Answer ten questions about your WIP (Work in Progress) and tag five more writers/bloggers to do the same.  A chain of links will lead you to a forest of wonderful writers all busy creating new books for the hungry reading public.

It'll be interesting to see what everyone is working on. Here is my contribution to the chain.

What is the working title of your book?

“Once Upon A Lie”

 Where did the idea come from for your book?
Once Upon A Lie is the third book in the Fitzjohn Mystery Series and DCI Fitzjohn’s third case.  I love to read mysteries and try to solve the puzzle(s) so my aim with this book is to create a story that sends Fitzjohn on a paper-trail into a tangled web of deception, jealousy and greed that unravels the mystery surrounding the victim’s death.
What genre does your book fall under?

Police Procedural, Suspense, Cosy Mystery:  Set in Sydney, Australia
What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I’d have to give this some thought because I’ve never imagined this happening.  Fitzjohn is middle aged with a rotund shape so.  Does that mean I’d have to look for a plump actor?

What is the one sentence synopsis for your book?

Little did, businessman and entrepreneur, Michael Rossi know that the telephone call he answered on that fateful Friday would be the catalyst for his death, and the subsequent recovery of his body from the waters of Sydney Harbour the following morning.
Will your book be self published or represented by an agency?

I’ve been down the traditional publishing road so Once Upon A Lie will be self published.

How long did it take to write the first draft of your book?

My first draft took me about 5 months, mainly because the plot is rather complex.

What other books would you compare this story to other books within your genre?

Goodness, can I compare my book with Agatha Christie’s stories.  Or perhaps a more recent writer, Sarah Graves.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

By the time I’d finished writing my first book, The Celtic Dagger, I’d become so attached to Detective Chief Inspector Fitzjohn that I decided to make it a series.  Once Upon A Lie is the third book in that series.

What else about the book might pique the readers interest?

It probably would interest those who love a mystery without the gore.  My murder mysteries tend to be cosy with lots of suspense.

Blogs I’m tagging:-

15 December 2012


by JoJo Moyes

The Girl You Left Behind is set in two eras.  1917 during WWI and the present day.  It tells the story of Sophie Lefevre, the wife of Edouard, a French artist, and Liv Halston, the widow of a prominent architect whose untimely death has brought her life to a stand-still.  The two women are linked through time by a painting.  Edouard’s portrait of Sophie.
When Edouard goes to fight at the Front,  Sophie leaves Paris and returns to her village, taking the portrait with her.  When her village is occupied by German troops, and the new Kommandant becomes obsessed with the painting, Sophie finds herself risking her reputation and her life.
Almost a century later, and shortly before his death, David Halston gives Sophie’s portrait to his wife Liv.  In her grief, it becomes Liv's life line.
Thought provoking and compelling, The Girl You Left Behind is a great read.  Sophie Lefevre’s character, is particularly poignant. I became so immersed in her story in 1917 that it took me a few pages to adjust myself to Part 2 and the present day.  I need not have worried, however, because I, again, became captivated as the story unravelled.
This is the second JoJo Moyes book I’ve read, the first being Ship of Brides.  Another excellent read.

9 December 2012

MYSTERY WRITERS OF THE PAST - Dame Agatha Mary Carissa Christie 1890-1976

Yet another mystery writer from the past, and one of my favourites; Dame Agatha Mary Clarissa Christie, better know as Agatha Christie.  The youngest of three children, Agatha Christie spent her childhood at Ashfield, the family home, in Torquay, Devon.

In 1914, at the beginning of WWI, she married Archibald Christie.  During the war years while her husband was away, she became a nurse in the Voluntary Air Detachment of the Red Cross Hospital in Torquay, eventually working in the dispensary after passing the Society of Apothecaries examination.  

The Mysterious Affair at Styles
After the war ended, she and Archie moved into "Styles", the house they named after Agatha's first book, The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

This book, featuring Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgium detective, launched Agatha Christie's writing career.

Agatha's marriage to Archibald Christie ended in 1926.

Murder in Mesopotamia
In 1930, she married Max Mallowan, an archaeologist.  Agatha Christie accompanied Max on his annual expeditions to Iraq and Syria for the next 30 years.  She describes her travels in a memoir entitled Come Tell Me How You Live.

I imagine that many of the settings for her books were inspired by her travels in the Middle East. Books such as Murder in Mesopotamia and Murder on the Orient Express.

Murder on the Orient Express

A prolific writer, Agatha Christie wrote 66 detective novels, over 20 short stories, more than 17 plays, not to mention other works.

And Then There Were None

She is the author of the world's best selling mystery, And Then There Were None with 100 million copies sold, to date.  

Her play The Mousetrap opened in London in 1952 and is still running in 2012. 

Other mystery writers of the past
NGAIO MARSH 1895-1982

1 December 2012

MYSTERY WRITERS OF THE PAST-Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859-1930)

As a mystery writer, I've always been interested in mystery writers of the past.  Once such figure is, Scottish physician and writer, Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle.  Perhaps better known as Conan Doyle, the creator of that famous fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes.

Sherlock Holmes
Like so many of us, Conan Doyle didn't start out to be a writer, but a physician.  After studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh, he commenced his medical career as ship's doctor on the SS Majumba, travelling to the West Coast of Africa in 1881.  On his return in 1882, he set up a medical practice in Southsea, Portsmouth.  It was there he started to write while waiting for his medical practice to grow. The results were, The Mystery of Coomber, published in 1888 and, Narrative of John Smith, interestingly not published until 2011.

Conan Doyle's most famous character, Sherlock Holmes, didn't make an appearance until 1887 with the publication of A Study in Scarlet.  A fictional detective famous for his powers of observation and deduction, it's said that Holmes is modeled after Dr Joseph Bell who Conan Doyle had worked for at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh.

Doyle wrote 4 books and 56 short stories in the Sherlock Holmes mystery series, finishing with the death of Sherlock Holmes as well as, his nemisis, Professor Moriarty.  Such was the popularity of the series, however, Conan Doyle wrote another Holmes story in 1901 entitled, The Hound of the Baskervilles.

Conan Doyle's home-Little Windlesham
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle died on 7th July 1930.

And would you believe that, like so many of us, he found it difficult to find someone to publish his work when he was starting out!

Other mystery writers of the past:-
NGAIO MARSH 1895-1982