I have always loved series of novels in which I can immerse myself, which let me get to know an engaging, interesting and/or terrifying cast of characters slowly, in the same way you get to know people in real life. Ideally, the drama should be played out in a gorgeous setting, and the cast should include at least one dangerously charismatic, witty, outrageous protagonist with whom I can fall in love! A bit of murder and mayhem in the mix never hurts either.
With the Pitfourie series, my intention has been to create such a world, centred on the charming but delinquent Hector Forbes and his precociously gifted younger brother Damian, enigmatic protagonists whose characters and secrets are revealed to the reader through the series. The books are crime novels, but they are more mysteries than thrillers, and could also be shelved in the women's fiction section. They are not as fast-paced and 'mainstream' as the standalones, with more of an emphasis on characters and relationships, and diversions into the non-crime-y parts of the characters' lives.
Book 1: The Sweetest Poison
When life has cast you in the role of victim, how do you find the strength to fight back?
When she was eight years old, Helen Clack was bullied so mercilessly that she was driven to a desperate act. Now she is being targeted once more, but this time the identity of her tormentor is shrouded in doubt.
When her life starts to disintegrate, she flees home to the wilds of north-east Scotland, and to the one man she knows can help her – Hector Forbes, the dubiously charismatic Laird of Pitfourie, with whom she has been hopelessly in love ever since those hellish days in the school playground, when he was her protector, her rescuer, her eleven-year-old hero.
But can she truly rely on Hector?
And can anyone protect her from the terrible secret she’s keeping?
What They Found
A novella (or very long 'short' story!) that follows on from the events described in The Sweetest Poison. Travel with the characters as they take a road trip from the rural idyll of Pitfourie to spend an interesting August Bank Holiday weekend in Glasgow.
Will they find answers there to all their questions?
Or are there some questions no one had thought of asking?
This story is currently being offered as a free download for readers of The Sweetest Poison - please follow the link in the book.
Book 2: Bad Company
Nothing in Claire Castleford's previous career as an undercover cop has quite prepared her for this...
With Mrs Mac now semi-retired, a new 'assistant' cook/housekeeper arrives at Pitfourie in the eye-catching form of a 29-year-old Amazon: long-legged, red-headed Claire Castleford. Local gossips are soon reporting that Claire is getting on altogether too well with her new employer. But Claire is in fact an undercover cop tasked with investigating the murder of a colleague, in which Hector has been implicated, and she has no intention of falling for his charms.
Meanwhile, Damian's friend Karen, now a school drop-out, has been caught embezzling money from Lorna's shop. As she takes up with a group of New Age eco-hippies, her experiments with a life of crime are about to get a whole lot more serious...
Available later in 2020