I'm currently making new video trailers for my Belinda Lawrence cozy mystery series. I'd be pleased if you'd take a look and let me know what you think.😄 Here are the first three. CAPABLE OF MURDER THE EMBROIDERED CORPSE BLOODY HAM
Recently a reader made comment the covers for my Belinda Lawrence mysteries suggest dark happenings and are not indicative of a cozy read. Hmmm.
Well, a long story but the short version is when my old publisher closed three of the books were taken up by an eBook publisher, and they designed those three covers in the current style. Subsequently, I placed all six paperbacks and remaining three eBooks with another publisher and, so as to not create confusion, I stayed with the 'dark' style. So there you have it. But I should explain that Belinda and Hazel Whitby, her associate in the adventures are not 'tea and cakes' characters. The books follow the cozy requirement of no violence no excessive blood, and no explicit sexual content, so are valid cozies. I call them Cozy - with an edge. The difference with my Belinda books is they are daring. English village mysteries with international excursions. No cozy bakeries, bookshops, or doughnut recipes. Instead, each mystery revolves around an historical item or location which is at the crux of the story. There is humour as well as the tight situations both Belinda and Hazel find themselves in, as they are both spirited ladies and prefer a G and T to Earl Grey, and a Steak & Kidney Pie to a quiche. They take risks and are not afraid to step in where angels would fear to tread. So with my tongue in cheek I suggest all this in the covers; each one reflecting the mood of the melodrama and a hint of what lies between covers. It is up to the reader to decide if they wish to read my books; but may I suggest going beyond the cover, read the blurb, the extracts, and positive reviews Belinda and Hazel have received, take the plunge and join them in their fun. I think you'll enjoy the experience. Happy reading to All. 😈 MY WEB SITE
With the new year, I resume my blog with an EXTRACT FROM ILLUSIONOF DEATH, book seven in my Belinda Lawrence cosy mystery series. Read and enjoy. 😈
Harry’s car pulled to a stop outside one of these apartments. Hazel slowed and parked some distance behind. A few minutes passed before the door of the building opened and a woman emerged. It was Charmaine.
Hazel watched in surprise and amusement as she tottered to the car, five-inch heel sandals (with a glitter garnish) clattering on the footpath. When she had been safely entrenched within, the grey car moved off towards a freeway, with Hazel following at a discreet distance.
Once on the freeway it was difficult to keep an eye on Harry; he drove erratically and changed lanes many time, but eventually he got into the left lane and onto an exit ramp. Hazel followed suit and found herself facing a large hospital. Harry parked in the only space available, and both he and Charmaine got out and entered through the main admissions entrance.
With nowhere to park Hazel was forced to continue and circle around the building by side streets until she was back at the entrance. Curiosity was killing Hazel; why the hospital? Was Charmaine ill? Were they visiting a patient? If so, who? A member of the group? As she approached, she was startled to see Harry and Charmaine were accompanied by a slight figure dressed in black. It was Jake – the Turk.
Hazel was forced to drive past them and stopped a little ahead. She was taking a chance they hadn’t been aware they were being followed. In the rear vision mirror she saw them bundle Jake into their car. They joined him and set off passing Hazel on the way. Again she followed at a distance. Back via the freeway to an inner suburb lined with street cafes and fashion boutiques. In a small quiet street, Harry brought the car to a halt, and all three hurried into a neglected, two storied Art Deco apartment block which had a large garden area with well-established trees and shrubs. Hazel continued on a little, parked further up the street, and made her way on foot back to the apartments.
Why Harry and Charmaine had picked Jake up from the hospital and brought him here was the question uppermost in Hazel’s mind. Good Samaritans? She didn’t think either one fitted comfortably into that category. The fact that the Jake was the police’s number one suspect put a different slant on things. If he was the murderer or knew something about the murder, they possibly wanted information from him. After all, they were also suspects.
The problem now was, into which apartment had they taken Jake? If it was upstairs that would be difficult. An elderly woman emerged and made her way through the garden to the street. Hazel approached her.
“Excuse me. Can you tell me which apartment Jake lives in?”
The woman stopped short, looked Hazel up and down, and brushed past her, lips frosted with solid bad-will.
Affronted, Hazel realised she would have to rely on her own initiative and proceeded into the garden. Overgrown bushes made progress difficult, and it was with luck that she avoided stepping into a large fish pond, void of fish now but lots of green algae and slimy water. Skirting this she got closer to the ground floor. She could hear raised voices and recognised Charmian’s shrill tones. They seemed to come from a ground floor room.
Edging along the building to a side window, Hazel parted some foliage and tentatively peered in. Ragged, soiled net curtains impeded her view but through some chinks she could see Harry grasping Jake by the collar and shaking him. Charmaine was screaming obscenities into his ear. Jake looked pale and frightened. What Harry was saying was difficult to hear but one remark was clear, “The negative! Where is it?” With that, Harry slapped Jake across the face. Hard.
A movement in the bushes beside Hazel, accompanied by a low growl, froze Hazel solid and she turned to be confronted by a display of teeth... (TO BE CONTINUED)
As the year ends, it’s time to reflect a little. It’s now 15 years since I wrote my first murder mystery, CAPABLE OF MURDER and I wonder at the changes that have occurred in that time. For instance, cell/mobile phones were not so readily available, and phone message machines still used tapes to record. I mention these because landline phones and message machines were involved in the stories. Now they seem rather quaint, and I wonder how younger readers will react when they have no knowledge of the technology of the time. It also made me think about some interviews I did after the publication of my first books and how I would answer the same questions about my writing now when I have six books published. What might have been valid then might not be now – or tomorrow. However, I submit an interview I did some years back which may – or may not – be of interest to you. https://fairdinkumcrime.com/2011/04/16/fair-dinkum-bakers-dozen-5-brian-kavanagh/ And Seasons Greetings, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all and hopefully, Peace on Earth to all. Brian Kavanagh