Mrs Capper’s Casebook #4, Exit Page 10 is up and running, exclusive to Amazon, and available for pre-order right now.
But you won’t be able to read it until June 24, the official release date. That means you’ve got four weeks to think about it, dither about it, and then order it. Why not save all that brain strain and dithering, and get it ordered now? That way, it’ll be delivered to your e-reader at midnight on 24 June, and you’ll be well ahead of the game by the time the rest of the world is waking up to its release.
You can find it at: mybook.to/exten. For reference that’s a global link. It doesn’t matter where in the world you live, that link will take you to your local Amazon site.
So what’s it all about?
It’s about a nasty little murder which mirrors a murder committed on page 10 of novelist, Anita Stocker’s next book, Utter Carnage. The trouble is, no one has seen this script other than her editor, Valerie Wharrier, and she swears she was not the one who told the police.
Still coping with her badly injured husband, it seems that everyone wants a piece of Christine, including fellow private eye, Nathan Evanson. But Nathan wants a bit more than a piece of her.
Pulled every which way, trying to care for Dennis, trying to keep clients happy, determined to crack the puzzles as they mount up, things get worse when both her chief suspect is murdered, and the second-best suspect disappears.
Christine needs all her wits, charm, and patience to maintain her customary, light-hearted outlook on life, while Nathan Evanson’s flattery tests her will. Will she succumb to it?
Well, you’ll have to wait until June 24 to find out.
Exit Page 10, Mrs Capper’s Casebook #4, available for pre-order NOW.
It’s a sunny but chilly Friday morning here in Northeast Manchester, a public holiday weekend in the UK and Mrs R is looking forward to a day in Blackpool tomorrow.
I’m not. The forecast is for overcast and nippy, there’ll be too much walking round and too much shopping, and we all know how much I love shopping (cue theme from Quatermass).
That aside, I do like to keep an eye on the progress of my books, and yes, I have a brand new title which went on sale this morning… the 3rd of Mrs Capper’s Casebooks, Blackmail at the Ballot Box.
If we’ve learned anything about the Cappers from the first two books, it’s that they have a very comfortable, easy life. Christine’s biggest problem amounts to keeping Dennis away from the kitchen (because he’s a walking disaster area when it comes to cooking) and coping with Haxford’s moodiest moggie, Cappy the Cat.
It’s time to disrupt that cosy life, and that’s exactly what happens in Blackmail at the Ballot Box when one of the candidates in a forthcoming by-election is blackmailed and asks Christine to identify the culprit.
I’m telling you no more than that except to say that it’s a rollercoaster of a ride for our favourite private eye and one which culminates in events that may well shatter her world.
Blackmail at the Ballot Box, Mrs Capper’s Casebook #3 is exclusive to Amazon, available in both Kindle format and paperback, and is available to KUL subscribers as part of their allowance.
is set in Blackpool, where Joe becomes embroiled in a couple of murders at a mail order distribution centre. And it’s not as if he hasn’t enough problems back home in Sanford, where the local authority, prompted by property developer Gerard Vaughan, are threatening to demolish The Lazy Luncheonette.
Both titles are FREE today (Saturday 16th) and tomorrow (Sunday 17th) but go back to full price on Monday morning, so you’d better get yours skates on. You can find them at:
Yes, it’s here. Mrs Capper’s third adventure is up on Amazon, scheduled for release on April 29, but available right now for pre-order. For those of you who want to steal a march on the rest of the world, or at least that part of it which reads Mrs Capper’s Casebooks, it’s also available in paperback, but that’s a bit pricier.
It’s relatively light-hearted. Most of my whodunits are, and that’s because I have a fairly light-hearted outlook on life. As I so often repeat, I’m blessed with a one-megaton sense of humour, which shows through even when I’m unwell, upon which point, I’ve been manky since Christmas.
In this third outing, Mrs C doesn’t get into politics. Like me, she believes all politicians are strangers to the plain, ungarnished truth. Her mechanically obsessed husband, Dennis, is even worse, as Christine spells out in the early part of the tale.
Nevertheless, she has to deal with politicians in this book, and during the course of the story, she is subject to threats, physically attacked, and then comes up against a situation which will alter the entire focus of her life.
I’m not going to tell you any more than that because I don’t want to give the game away, and because I enjoy taunting you.
Mrs Capper’s Casebook #3, Blackmail at the Ballot Box is exclusive to Amazon, scheduled for release on Friday, April 29, and is available for pre-order right now.
And you can find it at: mybook.to/bmb (universal link, takes you to your local Amazon site).
So what are you waiting for? Get over there and get it ordered. You know you want to.
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Are you ready for this? Can you handle the third investigation from Mrs Capper’s Casebook?
Blackmail at the Ballot Box is with my trusty editor, the lovely and ever-reliable Maureen Vincent-Northam, and it will be with you very soon.
For now, let me give you an overview.
There’s a by-election in Haxford and one of the candidates is being blackmailed to step down. Enter Christine Capper, determined to unmask the culprit, but to do so she must confront her client’s election opponents.
One death, two personal attacks, one of them devastating, and potential stardom await Christine in this third outing. Can she cope with it?
Here’s a sample from the tale. Events have led to a fall out between Christine and her husband, Dennis, but now she needs his help. He’s already cut her call off several times but Christine has a secret weapon designed to put right their squabble.
As I emerged into the gloomy afternoon, I rang Dennis again. This time he answered right away.
He wasn’t in any better mood. “For crying out loud, woman, what the bejeebers do you want?”
“Some way of approaching Hal Jorry which will put him off guard. Listen to me, Dennis. My prime suspect was killed last night. Mowed down in a hit-and-run, and it’s a sight too coincidental considering the business I’m investigating. I need to speak to Jorry, but if I go barging in, he’ll go on the defensive.”
“I warned you yesterday to keep away from him. He’s scum. And he’s a crap mechanic. Take your car to him, and he’ll mess it up, and like I told you, he won’t think twice about blackening your name.”
“There’s nothing wrong with the fizzing car. I’m being paid for this gig, Dennis, so I have no choice, and I can handle the Hal Jorrys of this world’s as easy as I deal with you. Now tell me what could be wrong with my car that could give me an excuse for speaking to him.”
He was silent for the moment, and I knew what that meant. He had finally got the message, and he was thinking of something I could use.
“Tell him the engine’s missing.”
The suggestion caused my annoyance to rise once again. “And how do I explain having driven it there if someone’s stolen the engine?”
“I said missing, not nicked.” He let out a frustrated gasp. “How long have we been married? How many hours have I spent telling you about engines? And you still don’t understand.”
“That’s because I’m like you, Dennis. I don’t listen to your drivel. I’m on my way to the college now, and from there, I have to speak to Mandy before I go home. I’ll see you when you get home. And don’t be late, because I’m doing a pie.”
It never ceased to astonish me how quickly his mood could change, especially when his favourite food was mentioned. “A pie? A tate and meaty?”
“That’s got your attention, hasn’t it? I thought you deserved it after last night and this morning, but the way you’ve been carrying on this last ten minutes, I’m beginning to have doubts.”
“No. Don’t change your mind. I’ll be home for half past six.”
I ended the call, satisfied with the outcome. By seven o’clock this evening, the sulky, grim atmosphere between us would be consigned to history. He would enjoy his pie, and along with Cappy the Cat he would sleep it off on the settee while repeats of Top Gear played on the TV,
What is so special about Hal Jorry that Christine needs to slipstream her approach? To find that out, you’ll have to wait for the book’s release, but it will be with you in the very near future.
In the meantime, are you up to speed with the series? All my works are exclusive to Amazon, so subscribers to Kindle Unlimited read them free.
Here’s a weekend treat for you. Snippets from what I think will be the next Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery, and what I know will be the next Mrs Capper’s Casebook.
Mrs Capper’s tale is well advanced, but where the Sanford Mystery is concerned, things are less clear. A Body in the Graveyard will (I think) be Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery #25, but I’m not sure yet. It should have been with you by now, but it’s been delayed by various factors, not least of which is my poor health since the turn of the year.
As always, I pass my own illnesses to my characters, and in this volume, Joe is suffering from the same, appalling gastric problems I’ve had since January.
Unable to work in his café because of the stomach problems, he’s made his way to Cragshaven to join Maddy Chester who has a problem after finding a body in the graveyard of the local church.
As we join them, Joe and Maddy have left her bungalow and are ambling to the graveyard.
Joe had never made any secret of his attraction to the Yorkshire coast, stretching from Bridlington in the south, taking in Filey, Scarborough, Cragshaven, Whitby, and further north to the little fishing village of Staithes, a tiny, close community, similar to Cragshaven. Everywhere held a magical fascination for him, and living, as he did, in West Yorkshire, it was all no more than ninety minutes from his home.
Alongside the church tower, close to the gravestone where Claughton had been found, he insisted Maddy take a panorama of pictures sweeping from south, through East, North, West, until she had turned full circle and was effectively taking a photograph of her own bungalow a couple of hundred yards away.
Checking the scene with his naked eye, Joe could see nothing of any particular interest. A large ship plodded south along the horizon, but there was nothing to say that Claughton had seen any such vessel, and even if he had, what possible interest would it be to him? It was somewhere close to the horizon, which, as far as Joe was concerned, meant it was at least thirty miles offshore.
Maddy was right when she said they could see little of Cragshaven village other than the roofs of houses and cottages below, and there was no sign of the tiny harbour where the local fisherman moored their cobles.
“Have you done any research on Claughton?”
“A little. Nothing spectacular. He was seventy-one years old, a merchant seaman in his younger years, but that was twenty-five, thirty years ago.” Maddy laughed. “I’m like you, Joe. I have a job to do and I’m the middle of a large project, so it’s not like I can just drop everything to follow up on a whim.” She sighed. “But, it’s all a huge mystery. What was he doing here? And before you ask, I’ve checked this graveyard seven ways from Sunday, and he has no relatives, no family buried here. As Neil Kemp told me, he came from Middlesbrough. He has no history with Cragshaven.”
“And if you’re right, he was the perfect target for muggers. Come on, time we were speaking to this Constable Kemp.”
What is it, then, that makes Maddy so suspicious of Arnold Claughton’s death?
Well, you’ll have to wait for the book to be released to find out. I’m reluctant to put a timescale on it, but with luck and a following wind, the 25th Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery should be with you before the official start of summer.
The Blackmail Ballot is Mrs Capper’s third outing. The local elections are upon Haxford, and after the death of the town’s long serving MP, there’s also a parliamentary election on the same day. Eileen McCrudden, the Conservative candidate, has approached Christine after being blackmailed in an attempt to make her withdraw from the election.
We join Christine at Sandra’s Snacky, where she’s taking lunch with her husband, Dennis.
I sipped at my tea, and said, “Lester mentioned someone in the car on the way here. Hal Jorry. What do you know about him?”
“He’s an idiot. He’s a teacher at Haxford College. Teaches mechanicking.” Dennis snorted. “Mechanicking, my eye. I can out-spanner him any day of the week.”
“Then how come he’s teaching it and you’re doing it?”
“You know what they say? Them as can, do, them as can’t, teach. Besides, the way you spend money, I couldn’t afford the pay cut.” He glugged from his cup. “He’s a bigger Nazi than Hitler. Don’t quote me on that, because I wouldn’t know nowt about his politics if I ran over him at a rally in Market Street, but according to Geronimo, he’s in favour of re-patronising anyone who wasn’t born and bred in Haxford.”
“You mean repatriating.”
“Do I? Happen I do. He also thinks women and children should be seen and not heard, and anyone’s who was out of work won’t be out of work for long once he sent everyone back where they were born. According to Geronimo’s calculations, by the time Jorry is finished, there’ll only be about a dozen people left in Haxford. And me and you, and Geronimo and his wife, and their two sons, make up six of those twelve.”
“What about our Simon and Ingrid?”
“Ingrid’s living in Scarborough, and Simon married a Manchester lass, and anyone who originally came from Huddersfield, Manchester, Sheffield, or wherever, will be sent home, so Simon will have to go with Naomi.”
Dennis guzzled more tea while I considered his description of this man. I had no doubt that Tony Wharrier was exaggerating. Dennis, on the other hand, wasn’t so sure.
“If you’re gonna start hassling these people, Chrissy, just be careful. I’m not saying they’re out and out thugs, but a mouthpiece like Jorry won’t think twice about ruining your reputation in order to shut you up.”
“Which is exactly what my client is concerned about.”
Is Christine going to bite off more than she can chew? Or are the rumours concerning Jorry no more than scuttlebutt?
Once again, you’ll have to wait for the book’s release to find out, but it should be with you by the middle of May.
In the meantime, you can check out all my titles, 24 Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries, two existing Capper Casebooks, and an assortment of darker works on my books page, HERE.
A congratulatory message to my uncle and aunt, Peter and Maureen Dockerty on the occasion of their 60th wedding anniversary, followed by a series of posers on such varied themes as the weather and quirky book performances.
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We enjoyed a pleasant few days on the Lincolnshire coast, but once again, it was marred by my ongoing gastric problems and my wife’s mobility issues. Fact is, we’re getting too old for all that walking round.
The weather was absolutely cracking. Not a cloud in the sky for the whole four days, but that wind could be a bit nippy, as this photograph of a deserted beach at Skegness shows.
And look at this tree full bloom. I’m persuaded it’s cherry blossom, but someone is sure to put me right. And blooming so early in the year? It didn’t seem likely but when I checked up it can bloom as early as March or April.
I didn’t do anything in the way of work, but I did do plenty of planning. For those of you getting into Mrs Capper, she’s got some new adventures – and temptations – coming up.
People ask, what about the next Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery?
The truth is, I don’t know. I have works in progress, but I don’t know where they’re going, and until I do, I’m not going to get much further forward. After so many books (there are twenty-four of them and you can check them out HERE) it’s becoming harder to avoid repeating myself.
And on the darker side, Kracht is showing some improvement, but as with my other dark works, it tends to be overshadowed by the lighter side.
Everything will no doubt, sort itself out as we go along.
I am blunt and outspoken, but if I have anything to say, I’ll say it to your face, not behind your back. And yet, when it comes to my work, there are two sides to me. There’s the light-hearted, the fun-loving humourist, happy to take the mick out of anything and everything, including himself. The other is the broody fatalist who sees too little charity, too little to applaud in this world. Both masks appear at infrequent intervals in my work.
There are elements common to both sides: a sense of mystery, a craving to see justice done, and an acceptance that we’re all of us, far from perfect.
I include myself in that final statement. If I were perfect, I wouldn’t have arranged for two books in different categories to appear in the SAME BLOODY WEEK!!! Gormless or just disorganised? Take your pick. Both descriptions fit.
Do I have a preference? Yes. It’s humour, the light-hearted. There’s enough gloom and doom in this world without me adding to it, but there are times, such as recently when I’ve suffered a distressing and intractable illness, when I can’t see the funny side, and the dark takes over. There’s nothing I can do about it. I mean, I try, but when I’m down, the humour is supressed and all that pours out of the keyboard is grim.
Striking a balance is sometimes difficult. Take the Sanford 3rd Age Club Mysteries as an example. Light-hearted whodunits with sense of 3rd age fun about them, but in the later volumes, they’ve been a little darker than the early adventures Joe, Sheila, and Brenda got themselves mixed up in.
And on the darker side, I have to ensure that humour is minimised. Not totally eliminated, because that would detract from the sense of reality which is vital to them. No matter how bad things are, we can all find something to smile at.
Having made a complete ball of chalk of the twin release, you may ask which side of me is leading now? Fact is, I’ve come through an impasse and the light is beginning to show through. I’m working on the next Sanford 3rd Age Club Mystery, A Body in the Graveyard, which is different to the one I promised last Christmas, but that’s because the dark was dominant then, and with my usual skill at arms, I opened my trap to put my foot right in it.
When will it appear? Ask me another. We’re going away for a few days very soon, and that can have all sorts of effects on me. If we were going to Benidorm, I’d practically guarantee STAC #25 appearing in the late spring. But we’re not. We’re going to Skegness.
It’s a Dutch word, and it means power. It’s also the title of my latest standalone thriller.
Adam Yale is on the run from a murder he insists he did not commit, accompanied by Nina Hollingsworth, a friend of the victim and a woman whose motives are open to question. Set in East Anglia against the backdrop of an outrageous theft and an even more outrageous crime in the planning, it’s a dark and gritty tale which pulls no punches.
Kracht is published by Darkstroke and is exclusive to Amazon. Prim subscribers read #FREE as part of your allowance.
It’s set during the week of the Haxford Wool Fair, when she’s approached by the owner of the Ketchak’s Funfair, Francois Ketchak.
From the outset she doesn’t trust M Ketchak, but after someone tampers with the brakes on his pickup truck, she agrees to make inquiries.
Twenty four hours later, she’s embroiled in a murder mystery, and she meets a wall of silence and resentment from the fairground workers which takes all her resilience to get through it.
Surly cats, an excited granddaughter, a crackpot collie dog, a newly widowed woman who doesn’t seem to care, a mysterious bun thief, as well as catering for her mechanically obsessed husband, it all makes for a memorable time for Christine Capper in a fun, traditional whodunit…