Today, a change from my usual posts. I welcome Juliet B Madison to talk about her new book.
I’m pleased that Catherine has agreed to have me on my blog to talk about my new release. Best Served Cold is the fifth title in the DI Frank Lyle Mystery police procedural series and was released on 23rd September 2014.
This is an overview for the benefit of those who have never read a DI Frank Lyle Mystery before.
The DI Frank Lyle Mystery Series is set in the fictional city of Ashbeck, located between Oxford and Reading in the area of England known as the Thames Valley so both cities are available for action to spill over into if needed.
The first novel, Second Chances, takes place between the years 1982 & 1987. I wanted to write about a simpler time before everyone had ipads, Kindles and cell phones. A time when people actually talked to each other, when tablets were for headaches and you went to the library to find out what you needed to know through painstaking book and microfiche research rather than Googling it. It was also a time when you put a photographic film in at the chemist and had to wait upwards of a week for the results.
At this time of course forensic science was not what it is today. The police were aware of fingerprints, but DNA profiling was uncharted territory. There were no tasers, no stab vests and no PCSOs (Police Community Support Officers). The case Frank investigates in this first book is not likely to be solved because they are unable to test the semen from the rape-murder victim, seventeen year old Rachael Lewis. Frank pays a heavy price both professionally and personally, but later is able to redeem himself when the killer is finally caught. You can get a copy of Second Chances here. http://amzn.to/1P14yQP
The second title, Heir to Misfortune, moves forward four years to the winter of 1990. DI Lyle & his team investigate murder and blackmail as well as local authority corruption. DI Lyle’s second wife is pregnant with their first child, although he already has a teenage son by his first wife, Sarah. James idolises Frank. The villain in this book, Robert “ Bob” Kenyon, is a most unpleasant character who resurfaces in Best Served Cold so it is advisable to read Heir to Misfortune first. You can get your copy from http://amzn.to/1h2ljgw
The third book Unholy Alliance takes us forward to the autumn of 1991. The brutal murder of a curate during an ecumenical conference leads to problems as no one seems to have known the victim, Reverend Martin Hayes, very well. DI Lyle & his team are aided by Canon Thomas Rice, a former Detective Sergeant, who has issues of his own. The story covers issues such as addiction to drugs and gambling, latent homosexuality and police corruption. Will a little knowledge prove to be a dangerous thing? Find out by getting a copy at http://amzn.to/1jpFXJr
The fourth book, Murder in the Wings, is dedicated to the memory of the late Frankie Fulwood. David Marlow, an actor within the local theatre company, is murdered and investigation reveals that he really was not a pleasant person to know, sleep or work with. In spite of this DI Lyle & his dedicated team are obligated to find and bring his killer to book. Get your copy here http://amzn.to/1h2l9py
Although Unholy Alliance had some dark moments, Best Served Cold is a much darker book than the previous titles in the series because it deals with the psychology of revenge, as well as paedophilia, hate crime and the notion of feeling let down by the local authority (Ashbeck City Council in this case) as well as the legal system. It also contains some quite explicit M/M sex scenes so is not suitable for people below the age of 18. Best Served Cold is set in the early December of 1992 so has moved forward 5 months from Murder in the Wings.
Here is an excerpt from chapter one of Best Served Cold
I went up in the lift and was met by DS Fox.
“Is it grim?” I asked him.
“He looks like his eyes are bulging out of his head,” Fox replied.
“Nothing less than you would expect from a hanging then.” I replied.
“DC Mahon’s working her magic with Shirley Kingston,” Fox added.
DC Paula Mahon was exceptionally good with the friends and families of the deceased in most cases. She had just the right mix of compassion and suspicion, for we knew that not everyone who found a body was innocent of the death.
I followed DS Fox into the office.
Dr Bradley had taken Driscoll down and laid him on a plastic sheet. Two SOCOS were cleaning up the broken china and bagging it. Others were dusting for prints.
My friend, Jim Cox, did not seem to be present. Sensing my confusion a young woman approached me.
“DI Lyle, I’m acting head of SOCO, Ruth Barlow. Jim’s on holiday at the moment.”
“Have you found anything?”
“The smashed china happened when Mrs Kingston brought in tea and came upon the body, but there were two cups already here each with about an inch of cold scummy coffee so we’ve taken those for prints. There was a note pinned to the body,”
A young SOCO handed me a clear folder with the note that Shirley had found.
“What is that supposed to mean?” I asked.
“You’re the detective,” Ruth replied.
“I had a feeling you’d say that,” I said.
I noticed that the team were going through the desk drawers and papers and decided to leave them to it. Mrs Shirley Kingston should be able to confirm whether or not it was Driscoll’s handwriting.
“He’s been dead about nine hours, DI Lyle,” Bradley informed me in response to my standard question, “His corneas are clouded and rigor is advancing although he hasn’t quite reached the total rigidity stage. The hyoid is fractured, but to be honest there are finger marks on his throat,” he indicated reddish purple bruises with white impressions.
“Are you saying what I think you are, Doc?” Fox asked, “Only one does pick up things simply by being the Coroner’s nephew, no matter how many scenes I attend.”
“What are you thinking, DS Fox?” Bradley’s brow furrowed in a frown.
“I don’t think ex-Mayor Driscoll committed suicide, Doc. I think he was strangled and then strung up to make it look suicide. I only hope I’m wrong.”
“So do I,” I said, “He was a good bloke, no one deserves this.”
Bradley shook his head sadly and looked at me.
“I’m afraid that DS Fox is correct, DI Lyle. Councillor Driscoll was almost certainly murdered.”
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