Halloween and Guy Fawkes night are out of the way, the decks are cleared, the missus is on the ready line, shopping list, credit card, knuckledusters prepared for the coming battles… yes, it’s Christmas and it’s right round the corner.
And it’s not just Her Indoors preparing for the festivities: so are the gang at the Sanford 3rd Age Club, and you can join our three sleuths, Joe, Sheila and Brenda, from November 26th in…
We don’t have any links yet. Paperbacks can take some time to find their way onto the various sites, and the e-book will not be uploaded until nearer the release date. But as usual there will be a huge party on Facebook, and everyone is most welcome.
Christmas Crackers marks a small departure from the usual STAC format. Some months ago, I announced that the tenth STAC Mystery would be Death in Distribution, but I ran into problems with that title and by the time I had them sorted, it was too late to make the deadline. Once that became obvious, I concentrated on Christmas Crackers, which consists of five short tales all wrapped up in a ‘live’ case.
Death in Distribution will now appear next spring and in the meantime, I hope Christmas Crackers will provide you with an entertaining distraction over the festive period.
You’ve seen the cover, so in order to get official pre-launch publicity under way, let’s have a little snippet from the10th STAC Mystery, Christmas Crackers.
The following excerpt is taken from the opening chapter. Joe, Sheila and Brenda have just arrived at the Headland Hotel in Whitby, for the North Coast Crime Writers’ Annual Awards, where they have been greeted by Rowena Armitage. Having checked in, Rowena is showing them to their rooms.
“Now, Joe,” Rowena said as they ambled from reception, “You are our guest of honour and you will be presenting the premier award. The North Coast Crime Writers’ novel of the year award. I’m not supposed to tell anyone who the winner is, so I’ll have to swear you to great secrecy. It’s…”
Rowena trailed off as a tall, striking brunette entered the hotel and swept towards them, her faux mink coat flouncing in her wake. She was followed by a smartly dressed forty-something man, dragging two huge suitcases.
“Ah. Rowena. I hope you’ve reserved the best room for me. If not, I’m afraid I shall be leaving immediately.”
Joe took an instant dislike to her. “She asked me to vacate it, but I said no, so it looks like we’re sharing. You’re not expensive, are you?”
The calculated insult astonished his two friends and Rowena, but the brunette took it in her stride. “Trust me, little man, if I was selling it, you couldn’t afford me.” She swept on past them to reception.
The man smiled apologetically. “Sorry about that. What Arabella wants, Arabella gets.”
“Really?” Joe asked. “What Arabella needs is a kick up the khyber. And if you don’t have the bottle, refer her to me. I will.”
Will Arabella get what she wants? Will she get what she needs? You’ll have to wait to find out.
Christmas Crackers, STAC Mystery #10 is published by Crooked Cat Books on November 26th and will be available in all e-formats and paperback. There is a launch party on Facebook, to which everyone is welcome.