I am delighted today to be the next stop on the Murder In The Village by Faith Martin blog tour. Murder In The Village is out now and available to purchase from Amazon.
For my stop I have a guest post by the author introducing the main character in the series. Enjoy!
Book Description:MURDER IN THE VILLAGE is the fourth in a series of page-turning crime thrillers set in Oxfordshire.
The picturesque village of Lower Heyford, set in North Oxfordshire’s Cherwell Valley, nestles close to the Cotswolds, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Farming country, the village has been in existence in one form or another for over a thousand years, providing a natural ‘ford’ for oxen over the river since medieval times. A mix of thatched and old stone and slate cottages, it is home to local families and rich ‘incomers’ alike. It’s proximity by train to both London and Birmingham make it a very desirable place to live indeed, and both the Oxford canal and the river Cherwell run close to it, making it haven for walkers, boaters and wildlife.
DI Hillary Greene
An attractive woman in her forties, Hillary Greene is a police officer of many years’ experience, and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knows how the system works, and is fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. She is a long-standing friend of her immediate superior officer, ‘Mellow’ Mallow and enjoys a rather enigmatic relationship with the steely Superintendent Marcus Donleavy. Popular with the rank and file for her no-nonsense attitude and competence.
DCI Philip ‘Mellow’ Mallow
Mel appreciates Hillary’s first-rate ability to solve her cases, and isn’t happy about her harassment by the officers from York. Known for his sartorial elegance and laid-back manners, he has a sharp mind, and an eye for the ladies. A good friend and ally for Hillary in her recent tribulations, he’s determined to keep his best investigator focused on the problems at hand.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “BY A NARROW MAJORITY.”
DI HILLARY GREENE SERIES
BOOK 1: MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL
BOOK 2: MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY
BOOK 3: MURDER OF THE BRIDE
BOOK 4: MURDER IN THE VILLAGE
MORE COMING SOON!
INTRODUCING DI HILLARY GREENE:
I was lucky enough to discover Agatha Christie in my early teens, and through her, many of the other wonderful authors of the ‘golden age’ of crime writing. And I still love reading (and writing) the ‘classic’ whodunit, and all the elements that comprise them. The requisite 4-6 suspects, the locked-room puzzle, the charming country setting and the very satisfactory grand reveal at the end, when the amateur sleuth reveals his or her cleverly thought-out solution to the crime. So when I began to write crime, as JOYCE CATO, I naturally began with this genre.
However, the likes of DI Rebus, Jane Tennyson, and Inspector Banks were also being published, and were also proving to be very popular with the reading public. So when my – now sadly late – agent advised me to try my hand at writing police procedural novels as well, I was certainly willing to give it a go. But not without a certain amount of trepidation, mind you. And the main cause of my concern was a certain character called Chief Inspector Morse!
Having been born in the city of Oxford, and having lived in the surrounding area all my life, when it came to choosing the setting for my proposed new series of novels, there was only one obvious choice. I simply didn’t know anywhere else! But with the wonderful Colin Dexter’s creation already being held in such high regard and affection, how, I wondered, could my own fictional creation ever hope compete? How could I, as a novelist, take on such a master?
The answer, of course, was – don’t even try! So when I sat down and put my thinking cap on, I decided to create someone as far removed from Morse as possible. So, a woman detective then – and as a female myself, this wasn’t a hard decision! And since Morse and the city of Oxford are so synonymous, it seemed wise to leave Oxford (mostly) to the great man, and content myself with the other areas that comprise the Thames Valley. After all, the district offered market towns and villages galore where my new DI could find murder victims. And since Morse worked more or less alone with only Lewis to help him, I would put DI Greene in charge of a small (and rather dysfunctional!) team. Lastly, since Morse worked out of Oxford itself, I would have my own DI report to Kidlington HQ.
And from this starting point, I then gradually began to get to know my new DI. I wanted to make her interesting, but not unbelievable. So I gave her a recently deceased husband, who had been something of a bad ‘un (to say the least) and who had left her in somewhat tricky circumstances. So when the reader meets her, she has been reduced to living on a relative’s canal boat, and is being pestered by the officers who are investigating her husband’s past criminal activities. I wanted Hillary to be intelligent (so gave her a good education) but not closely connected to the university (Morse territory.) I also wanted her to have gained experience by coming up through the ranks. This would make her both savvy and also popular with the rank-and file, who would regard her as ‘their kind of copper’. She had to be tough, but not hard-bitten, and have no illusions about her workplace and job, whilst being fiercely loyal to her team. Most of all, I wanted her to the kind of copper you would want investigating the case if ever you were unjustly accused of murder!
And when I finally created my first file, and typed in the magical (and terrifying) words CHAPTER ONE, I knew that I wanted her to have a sense of humour that would see her through the darkest of times.
Faith Martin has been writing for over 25 years, in four genres and under four different pen names. She was born in Oxford and sets most of her crime novels within sight of the city of dreaming spires. A real nature lover and afficionado of the countryside, descriptions of wildlife and native flora often find their way into her manuscripts. Right now, JOFFE BOOKS are re-issuing the first eleven of the DI Hillary Greene novels in new updated editions! And the first of these, MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL is available now, with the others to very quickly follow.
Her romance novels, written under the name of Maxine Barry, are now available from Corazon Books. IMPOSTERS In PARADISE, and HEART OF FIRE are both out, and others will very quickly become available in the future.
Her first foray into writing ‘spooky’ crime, (and written under the pen name of Jessie Daniels) comes out in November 2017. THE LAVENDER LADY CASEFILE is published by Robert Hale, an imprint of Crowood Press.
As Joyce Cato, she writes more classically-inspired ‘proper’ whodunits. So if you like an amateur sleuth, plenty of clues and red herrings, plus a baffling murder mystery to solve, these are the books for you.