This week sees the publication of my eighth Lake District Mystery, The Crooked Shore. It's always an exciting moment to bring out a fresh book, but perhaps even more so in this case, since six years have elapsed since the appearance of The Dungeon House. In the interim, I've not been idle, but I must say I've been itching to get back to the adventures of Hannah Scarlett and Daniel Kind. The fact that so many readers have encouraged me to hurry up and produce their next case has been enormously heartening. Of course, one always wonders how reviewers will react (if they react at all!)...
With this story, as with other books in the series, I've tried to do something a little different, as well as introducing new developments in the lives of Hannah and Daniel. The Crooked Shore isn't an entirely orthodox whodunit or conventional cold case mystery, but it was a lot of fun to research (mainly on the south coast of Cumbria) and to write.
I'm delighted to be able to report that press reviewers have been especially quick off the mark, and in a very positive way. This is what the Morning Star has to say: 'A splendidly imaginative plot will have you guessing and gasping until the very end.' Wow!
There's also a nice piece in the Peterborough Evening Telegraph, which calls the novel 'a classic whodunit' and ranks it alongside the latest books by those splendid and high profile writers Steve Cavanagh and Vaseem Khan. In this day and age, press reviews are hard to come by, so it's a great thrill to see the book getting off to such a positive start.
And finally, here's an extract from a wonderful review by Mark Sanderson that has just appeared in The Times' crime club newsletter: 'As always a satisfying mystery is played out with lashings of local colour and history. Favourite line: "Through the trees peeped the dome of the eighteenth-century Round House, mocked by Wordsworth as a 'tea canister in a shop window'."'