I do enjoy a good murder mystery, so when this book was recommended to me by Kelsey Butts from Book Publicity Services, she needed no persuasion tactics to have me publish a few promotional spots and host an author guest post with the lovely Angela Richardson. Oh! and of course, I shall be reading and reviewing ‘Murder In Little Shendon’ just as soon as I can!
The Hazlitt/Brandon series of murder mystery novels follows a pair of clever, colorful and charismatic sleuths – Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon – as they scratch their heads searching for clues to figure out whodunit.
The first book in the series, Murder in Little Shendon, is a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two.
Picture, if you will, a picturesque village called Little Shendon, suddenly caught up in dealing with a murder of one of its citizens — not a particularly well-liked one at that. Which makes it all the more intriguing because the list of suspects becomes very long. This tantalizing tale unfolds with twists and turns to find out whodunit to Mr. Bartholomew Fynche, the murdered shopkeeper.
Fear grips the community as the investigation slowly progresses. Everyone is interviewed; everyone is suspect! From his housekeeper to Lady Armstrong and her household staff. Or could it be the shy librarian new in town? Or the defiant retired army major and his ladyfriend, the post mistress? Or perhaps the weird sisters who live on the edge of town? Then there is the couple who own the local inn and pub, along with the two Americans who are staying there? Even the vicar and his wife fall under the gloom of suspicion.
Uncertainty, wariness, and terror reign as neighbors watch neighbors to discover the evil that permeates their upturned lives. No one feels safe in this charming little village. Who is the murderer? And why was this strange uncivil man dispatched in such a seemingly civil community?
A murder mystery that will keep you reading until you learn the details, uncovered by Police Inspector Stanley Burgess and his two amateur detectives, Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon. The three sift methodically through the Alibis and life stories of the suspects until they uncover…
You are challenged to discover the culprit before the last few pages. And no fair looking ahead — it’s the journey that proves the most enticing.
Hi! MY NAME IS ANGELA RICHARDSON
First, let me thank you for offering me a guest post, your interest in me is very much appreciated.
I always wonder where to begin with these things; possibly at the beginning, that’s always a good place. I was born in London (The English London as oppose to the Kentuckian version!), just five years before the end of our war with Germany, so I was a middle-of-the-war baby! My father was the famous British composer, Clive Richardson, and my mother sang opera, so I stem from a rather musical and arty family.
I loved writing essays and compositions from a very early age, and in England we start young children in a foreign language when they are in Kindergarten. By the time I was eight, I spoke excellent French, and my parents were told that I had a linguistic gift — today I speak four languages and if that sounds like boasting, it really isn’t, I don’t think it has anything to do with intelligence … it is just a gift!
I studied acting at LAMDA in London, and was on the stage for three years, mostly dabbling in Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde — all great fun. So I have a strong theatre and drama background … I also sculpt, paint and have had a passion for horses all my life.
I did not start writing books until age 65! I had always had dozens of ideas whirling around in my head, I just never gave them life on paper until quite late in life… then I couldn’t stop writing. I have always loved dragons, and the idea of the ‘Jorie’ stories had been in my head for years, so she was always close at hand saying “Come on now, put me in a story.” So I did, and then wrote three Jorie stories, third one to come out soon!
I then discovered that I could easily write for both children and adults with no problem, so I now indulge in my second passion, namely writing murder mysteries for the grown-ups. I grew up with Agatha Christie, so this style of writing is great fun for me, although slightly more challenging, because it all has to come out right, with all the strings tied easily together, while still confounding the reader… hopefully.
All my stories for ‘The Older Children’ have a British flavor, as they take place in cute little English villages, where there is more scandal and skullduggery (I LOVE that word). The murder mysteries have an English twist because I am essentially British, through and through, with just a border of U.S. round the edges. I can hardly imagine Sir Victor wandering round Tennessee saying ‘y’all’ to people, and saying ‘lahk’ instead of ‘like’ – he would lose some of his charm Ah’m a thinkin’! I think we write about what we know. Wait a minute, don’t think that I know a lot about murder, dear me ‘no’, but I do know about little villages in England.
My characters all come from real life, with bits and pieces added and subtracted for good measure! The characters of Hazlitt, Brandon and Burgess are both in and out of my head. I took little mannerisms, looks and personalities from this person and that who were known to me, and mixed them up in a big cocktail, and the different characters came to life. So there is a pinch of reality and fantasy in all the characters.
Hazlitt and his manner of speaking and charm I borrowed from an old actor friend of my late father’s – his name was Guy Middleton, and no-one here has probably ever heard of him. I always remember how he expressed himself, and how, as a teenager I thought he was very clever, polished and yet still had a twinkle. Bits of Guy are definitely in Sir Victor. Burgess is a complete character created by me. Berry reminded me of an actor who once played Falstaff, and had a Berry-like personality, I borrowed from his portly build, and maniere-de-faire, and added a beard, and voila!
Writing is enormously satisfying, a little difficult at times, but rewarding, especially when someone really loves the book – that is the ultimate joy.
Advice to other would be authors? I say this from the bottom of my heart… if you want to write … then do it. Jump in and do it… and don’t listen to negative comments about how difficult it is… everything worth doing calls for some hard work – read, study, learn composition of sentences, and try to keep your readers fascinated, no matter what the subject, that is definitely number one!
Today, I live happily in East Tennessee, USA, my adopted state, and I have three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. I plan on writing many more books and hope to delight my readers further with the British twist, which all my books have.
Thank you so much, and Happy Reading.
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