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Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘Death Of A Mermaid’
by Lesley Thomson
Blog Tour Extract


My thanks go out to both the Head of Zeus and NetGalley teams, for including me in this excellent Blog Tour.

With Fiction Books stop on this comprehensive Blog Tour, being quite close to the final date, I’m sure that there will have been plenty of extracts, author guest posts and interviews already shared, so why not visit a few of the earlier tour participants and see what goodies are on offer … A full second half schedule of Blog Tour spots, is shown below!

Featured Cover Reveal Image for the book 'Death Of A Mermaid' by the author Lesley Thomson


Cover Image of the book 'Death Of A Mermaid' by author Lesley ThomsonFreddy left her childhood home in Newhaven twenty-two years ago and swore never to return. But now her parents are dead, and she’s back in her hometown to help her brothers manage the family fishmonger.

Nothing here has changed: the stink of fish coming up from the marshes; the shopping trolleys half-buried by muddy tides; the neighbours sniffing for a new piece of gossip.

It’s not what Freddy would have chosen, but at least while she’s here she’ll get to see her childhood best friends, Toni and Pauline.

At school, the three of them were inseparable. The teachers called them the Mermaids for their obsession with the sea, and with each other.

Then Pauline goes missing, and Freddy must decide. Go back to her new life, or stay and find her friend?


Alternative Image Of Author Lesley ThomsonLesley was born in 1958 and brought up in Hammersmith, West London. She graduated from Brighton University in 1981 and moved to Sydney, Australia the year after, where in between writing her first attempt at a novel, she sold newspapers in a shop at Wynyard underground station in the heart of the city.

Returning to London, Lesley held down several jobs to support her writing, including working for one of the first Internet companies in the UK. She completed an MA in English Literature at Sussex University and she is now a guest tutor on the Creative writing and Publishing MA at West Dean, where she also runs a crime-writing short course, leads workshops and takes master classes on writing crime novels.

Lesley currently divides her time between East Sussex and Gloucestershire, living with her partner and a raggedy poodle both of whom are treated to blow by blow accounts of scenes and twists in a plot at any given time. In fact, she doesn’t know how they sleep at night!

Visit Lesley at her website

Check in with Lesley on Facebook

Follow Lesley on Twitter

“Independent bookstores are a valuable asset to any city, town or village. They offer us the latest literary releases, a meeting point where authors share their work and meet new readers and fans. They offer us a rich ‘bookish’ environment in which to browse before we buy. I love to sip coffee and leaf through my new purchase. I can be sure that independent booksellers know their stock, they suggest new authors and broaden my reading. Along with public libraries they are key to our communities.”

Cover Image of the book 'Death Of A Mermaid' by author Lesley Thomson

BLOG TOUR EXTRACT (publisher chosen)


‘The trawler is divided into four main compartments. They cover all that’s needed on the boat.’ After a year of being in a relationship with him, Toni had finally asked Ricky for a tour of his trawler. Put off by anything on water, she had to admit it was great to see Ricky talk passionately about his pride and joy, bought with a loan from his family’s fishery. She had agreed today because the trawler was berthed at the mouth of the River Ouse in Newhaven. Surely nothing could go wrong there.

In the distance the swing bridge was lifting. Damn. Traffic would back up on the ring road and she’d be late getting to the police station. A large boat – she wasn’t good on boats – was being led through by a smaller boat. Toni shivered. The weak sunshine that had cast the slightest sense of warmth had been obliterated by dark clouds coming in from the sea.

‘…engine room, cabin, fish hold and the net store where we stow spare netting and nets we’re not deploying. It’s where we do the repairs.

‘Wow.’ Toni knew Ricky, like all the Powers including his sister Freddy, was a dab hand with a needle. He did his own sewing.

‘There are six tanks, for fuel, obviously, and water. We carry at least a tonne of ice when we go out to keep the fish fresh.’ Ricky was in his element. Water was his element.

‘Wow. Ice.’ Toni whistled. She pictured a gin and tonic. Feeling guilty for this she grabbed his hand. ‘What happened there?’ The tattoo on Ricky’s wrist was smeared with blood.

‘Caught it on a hook.’ He let go of her hand and rubbed it.

‘Careful you’ll make it worse. You don’t want it to go sceptic like Andy’s did.’ Toni had never got the point of disfiguring your body.

‘Do you want a tour?’ Ricky sounded irritated, he hated fussing.

‘I do. So er, you’re up in the, um… cabin?’ She indicated a glassed-in structure on the deck.

‘The wheelhouse,’ he corrected her patiently. ‘Done my time in the hold or on the deck. I keep dry unless we hit a problem. Daniel’s life is in my hands.’ He looked serious for a moment.

‘Yes, of course.’ Toni preferred the police. Give her toughened criminals over raging seas. However, she liked the words associated with the trawler. Beams, goalpost gantry, derricks, gilson lines and topping lifts. ‘Where’s Derek?’ Ricky biffed her for her feeble joke.

Ricky yanked a handle on a metal hatch revealing steps. She followed him down.

Toni was surprised by Ricky’s actual cabin, wood-lined walls, leather-padded bench seats, kitted out with food and medicinal supplies. If the boat was on land, she’d rather like chilling out in it. Although even in port, the creaks and squeaks of the hull and the equipment would make her on edge.

‘You down there, Rick?’ A man’s voice. ‘Need to talk to you about upping our bass order.’

‘Wait here.’ Ricky was up the steps before Toni could say she should go. Sighing, she remembered the swing bridge. No point leaving, she might as well see the rest of the trawler.

A narrow passage ended in a metal door. Sealed, she guessed, to prevent water getting in or out. Ricky was hot on battening down hatches. She’d noticed that what most people used as clichés or catchphrases – full steam ahead, plenty more fish in the sea – were the nitty-gritty of Ricky’s life.

She opened the door and her heart stopped. She was faced with gigantic lumps of metal, a generator, an auxiliary generator, the engine. A puzzle of wires and hoses. Huge pipes, the yellow or red paint stained by rust, snaked above. Narrow pipes ran at her feet. Toni recalled Ricky saying that he and Daniel had to attack the engine with spanners when it stalled in a storm. She could change a tyre but only on solid ground.



Image of the Blog Tour Banner for the book 'Death Of A Mermaid' by author Lesley Thomson

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I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

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  • You know, I really like the sound of this one. I shall go and look it up on Goodreads. I see from Fantastic Fiction that Lesley Thomson has a series of books going called, The Detective’s Daughter. They sound rather good too. I really do not need another new author or series but I can never resist them when I find them. Lost cause.

    • Hi Cath,

      I have featured Blog Tour material from a few of the more recent books in the ‘Detective’s Daughter’ series, so have them languishing somewhere in the depths of my Kindle and to my shame, unread.

      I really have tried to spend my lockdown time productively, sorting out my reading list and tidying up the multitudinous posts I have in the ‘edit’ drawer, which have never seen the light of day.

      I shall hopefully be more organised in the future, although with more books still arriving than I have time to read – Well! the rest is history, as they say 🙂

  • Well! That title certainly got my attention but having read the synopsis I’m a tad disappointed to learn about the ‘mermaids’.

    Not an extract that shouted ‘read me’ and a quick Google search later I’m still not convinced this is a book for me. Still, doubtlessly something that is and will be enjoyed by countless others, thank you for featuring it.

    • I remember liking this cover from an earlier feature of it. This excerpt, while well-written, didn’t really engage me… but that’s probably because I’m more like Toni, in that I’m not much of an ocean/sea/gulf type person. If I’m going to be on water, put me on our pond in an aluminum boat with a paddle. If I have to be IN the water… well, that needs to be a clear swimming pool!

      • Hi Kelly,

        I think we have had the conversation before about my hate/hate relationship with water – it’s a bit like the cats scenario 🙂

        I don’t swim, so the closest I ever get to water is for my morning shower!

        When hubbie was travelling all over Europe for work, I once went with him to Paris for a couple of nights. Unfortunately, as we needed to bring some kit back with us, we had to take the car across on the overnight ferry. We opted for a cabin and the one we were allocated was below water level, so all we could hear all night long, was the clanging of the anchor. I was totally petrified and to top it all off we had bunk beds, so you can imagine the state I was in by the time we docked in the morning!

        We did take a speed boat out into one of the Floridian harbours and I spent the entire afternoon clinging on for dear life, so much so, that I didn’t really appreciate the dolphins swimming in a pod alongside us!

        We had a television series about the trawlermen working off the UK coast and the terrible sea conditions they have to endure. That is definitely one job I wouldn’t want to do, I have all respect for them!

        Thanks for stopping by, it is always good to chat 🙂

    • Hi Felicity,

      I actually found the synopsis quite intriguing, but I do have to agree that this particular extract wouldn’t be enough for me to buy the book, on its own and if I had been in the bookshop, I would probably have checked out another couple of extracts before making my decision. However when the publisher sends through Blog Tour material to participating blogs, I guess they share the extracts out in some logical order, so checking out some of the earlier posts might be useful!

      I don’t actually like the smell of fresh fish all that much, I’m afraid that my salmon has to be lightly smoked, cut into steaks of just the right thickness and packaged, and even then it is all I can do to skin it, as I can’t bear the thought of eating that either!

      Either that, or it has to be battered and come served with chips, fresh from the ‘chippy’, although with all the guilt tripping associated with eating too much fat recently, we only have this dish once in a blue moon!

      I really enjoy Lesley’s style of writing and she can pen a good crime story, but it wouldn’t do for us all to like the same books, now would it? That would be a bit boring and would give us nothing to chat about!

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that all is well with you

    • Hi Nikki,

      I have quite a selection of crime thrillers on my schedule right now, some of which are the continuation of existing series and some, like this one, are stand alone stories. Lesley Thomson books are always very popular and get good ratings and reviews, so you might want to give this one a try!

      I hope that you enjoyed your Elton John autobiography. You got through that one quite quickly, so it must have been a good, interesting read.

      Actually I kind of fell into a trap with one of my recent read / review requests, which was marketed as a fictionalised memoir, when it was in fact, very biographical in nature. At almost 600 pages and written in diary form, it was a bit heavy going, although really interesting, if heart-breaking!

      I’m pleased I read it through to the end, but next time I shan’t be in quite such a rush to accept a book until I have checked it out thoroughly!

      I hope that all is well with you and continue to stay safe 🙂

Written by Yvonne