Delicious Death indeed. Well, Are You Sitting Comfortably sleuths, what a wonderful evening was had chatting to modern day Queen of Crime, Janice Hallett. So much insight into Janice’s writing process, the true crime stories that have inspired her and how the real work begins once she’s completed her first draft. It’s no wonder she’s been coined the Agatha Christie of the 21st century, her bestselling novels are beautifully crafted, original and full of twists.
If you devoured The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels as Rebecca and I both did, then may I recommend The Appeal and The Twyford Code, Janice’s first two novels. With Janice currently working on a fifth novel, we can’t wait for December when ahead of 2024’s The Examiner, the cast of Sunday Times bestselling The Appeal return for a Yuletide murder mystery in The Christmas Appeal.
It was so wonderful to dive back into Agatha’s mysteries once more too, so die-hard fans of Miss Marple should look no further than Marple – a fantastic new collection of short stories featuring legendary knitting needle wielding detective Jane Marple, penned by twelve remarkable bestselling and acclaimed authors including Val McDermid, Dreda Say Mitchell, Kate Mosse and Natalie Haynes. I loved seeing how these wonderful writers brought beloved Marple back to life – an absolute must-read.
Sinister Spring, brings together an all-new collection of spring-themed mysteries from her Agatha herself. With short stories featuring Poirot and Marple, spring may be in the air but murder is almost certainly on the cards.
Out next week is Anna Mazzola’s The House of Whispers, a spine tingling tale that is brilliantly claustrophobic and will keep you on your toes. Set in 1930s Rome against the backdrop of imminent war and the marching tide of Fascism, a talented pianist Eva Valenti enters the house of widower Dante Cavallera to teach his young daughter.
Whispering walls, mysterious marks and unexplainable incidents leave Eva wondering if the house holds secrets from the past Dante is keen to keep hidden. With a secret of her own to conceal, could Eva be in greater danger than she imagines? I adored this latest from Anna. Unputdownable is often overused but when it comes to describing The House of Whispers, it’s entirely justified.
And….for a sneak preview of a fabulous debut novel coming out at the end of April, The Maiden by Kate Foster is a haunting tale, inspired by a real-life case, that takes the reader back to 17th century Edinburgh. Lady Christian Nimmo has been charged with the murder of her lover, Janes Forrester, and the scandalous trial has left her branded as adulteress, whore and murderess. How did Lady Christian go from the picture of respectability to losing everything? Was she really capable of murder? Perhaps the answer lies elsewhere – perhaps Lady Christian wasn’t the only woman with a motive for murder. Out on 27th April, do pre-order this one as I can promise it’s a remarkable story that is not only compelling but gives voice to women silenced by history. Don’t just take my word for it – this one also gets a seal of approval from Janice H too.