There’s a first time for everything….
And 2018 will see the publication of my first ever murder mystery.
How this came about is a strange tale. There I was, on a train going from Birmingham (UK) to Southampton, after a convention. The entire First Class carriage contained me and two ladies, and we got chatting. When they found out I was a writer, one of them told me gleefully that I’d have plenty to write about in their village on the south coast – she was pretty certain one of her customers had been murdered.
They told me the story, which I have to admit was very strange indeed. But it got me thinking about murder in a quaint English village. I put together an outline, and contacted Elizabeth North at Dreamspinner Press. I usually run my plot ideas past her. She loved it, and I filed it away for the future.
Fast forward to this year, and I decided to look at it again. Only, I could see a few problems with it. I got talking with Rhys Ford and TA Moore, and the plot changed again. Then I had another idea, and this time, the hubby got on board with a few ideas. I then had a better outline, one that would work.
Only…. I’ve never written a murder mystery before. As for plotting one?
Yes, I’m a plotter. I like knowing where I’m going with a book when I start writing it. Although there have been a few times when a character has taken the book in a whole new direction, usually I write from beginning to end.
This was different. This one started at the end.
First of all, I had to work out who was my villain. How they did it. Why. What would catch them out.
Then I had to work out my red herrings. What clues connected them to the victim. Why they would have done it. Next, I had to decide in what order I wrote them.
I love Agatha Christie, but damn it, she made it look so EASY! I watched Miss Marple, Poirot, Foyle’s War, Lewis, Endeavour, Inspector Morse… Again, I felt like such an amateur.
But finally, I worked out the entire plot, after sitting down with a dear friend and beta reader to thrash out some of the finer details. On paper, it worked.
Of course, this being a K.C. Wells novel, there’s a gay romance element. My amateur sleuths are attracted to each other, and yes, there’s a HFN ending. But they take a backseat to the mystery.
Truth Will Out should be released late 2018. And another first? It will available mass market. The cover looks amazing, but I’m not sharing that just yet. I can, however, share the blurb…
Jonathon de Mountford’s visit to Merrychurch village to stay with his uncle Dominic gets off to a bad start when Dominic fails to appear at the railway station. But when Jonathon finds him dead in his study, apparently as the result of a fall, everything changes. For one thing, Jonathon is the next in line to inherit the manor house. For another, he’s not so sure it was an accident, and with the help of Mike Tattersall, the owner of the village pub, Jonathon sets out to prove his theory—if he can concentrate long enough, without getting distracted by the handsome Mike.
They discover an increasingly long list of people who had reason to want Dominic dead. And when events take an unexpected turn, the amateur sleuths are left bewildered. It doesn’t help that the police inspector brought in to solve the case is the last person Mike wants to see, especially when they are told to keep their noses out of police business.
In Jonathon’s case, that’s like a red rag to a bull….
I’m so excited about this book. And now that my beta readers are already suggesting that Jonathon and Mike need their own series?
I’m thinking Merrychurch Mysteries….