I watch the chart movements of my STAC Mysteries quite closely. All six have been in the Amazon UK Kindle crime/mystery/British Detectives top 100 since early January (early February in the case of My Deadly Valentine) and for that, of course, I’m grateful to my readers.
A Halloween Homicide has consistently remained in the lower half of the chart, peaking about two weeks ago at number 35, and yesterday, just before I called it a night, it sat at number 86. It had even dropped out of the chart for a brief time yesterday.
Imagine my surprise, therefore, when I checked this morning and it had leapt 58 places to number 28.
The chart can be quite volatile. When new releases from more popular authors smash their way into the top 10, it has its effect on those titles below it, but for one of my backlist to jump so many places overnight is unprecedented.
A Halloween Homicide has never been a big hitter. Even after passing from my self-published list to Crooked Cat Books, it never performed particularly well, and in January, of the five STAC titles available, it ranked fourth.
So what’s happened overnight? Hanged if I know, but my purpose is to thank the readers, not question them.
So thank you.
Here’s a little extract from A Halloween Homicide.
It’s raining and the STAC bus has just arrived at the Palmer Hotel, and as usual, Joe is first to enter, to prepare the staff for the STAC gang.
“Rotten, bloody weather,” he cursed aloud as the double glass doors swung open automatically for him.
Such announcements usually attracted the attention of staff or other guests, but this time, his entrance was upstaged by an argument going on at the counter where a tall, well-dressed business type was arguing with a blonde.
“Do you know who I am?” the man demanded.
“I’m perfectly aware of who you are, Mr Prudhoe,” the blonde returned, “but hotel policy makes no exception for Members of Parliament. Our check-in time –”
“I check in when I bloody well get here,” Prudhoe retorted, “and I don’t expect to be charged for it.”
With no particular interest in politics, Joe could not place the MP, but he could see that the blonde was itching to give him a piece of her mind, even though her position made that impossible. Joe felt himself under no such restriction, but he held back on the grounds that the debate had nothing to do with him.
“Our policy is standard at all our hotels, sir,” the blonde said with barely controlled restraint. “You checked in early and there is a twenty pound charge for that.”
“I’ll not pay,” Prudhoe threatened.
“If you refuse to pay I’ll have no alternative but to ask you to leave,” said the blonde as Joe sidled up to the counter, “and if you then refuse to leave, I shall call the police.”
Joe checked the blonde’s nametag while Prudhoe launched into another tirade.
“You should think about this. By the time I’m through with your bosses, you’ll be out on your ear.”
“I shouldn’t think so,” Joe said, unable to hold himself back any longer. “She has a witness – me – to your verbal abuse.”
Prudhoe rounded on him. “Mind your own bloody business.”
“You should learn some manners,” Joe suggested. “And like all politicians, you should learn to shut up now and again and listen to others.”
Prudhoe turned apoplectic but Joe went on undeterred.
“See, if…”Joe made a point of checking her nametag again. “If Yvonne Naylor, here, worked for me, and she didn’t charge you for early check-in, she’d be in hot water. And if she insulted you or threw you out, I’d probably pay her a bonus.”
A Halloween Homicide is available for download from:
And in paperback from: