| Synopsis |
A new day dawns in Sackwater, not that this sleepy backwater is taking much notice…
Inspector Betty Church – one of the few female officers on the force – has arrived from London to fill a vacancy at Sackwater police station. But Betty isn’t new here. This is the place she grew up. The place she thought she’d left behind for good.
Time ticks slowly in Sackwater, and crime is of a decidedly lighter shade. Having solved the case of the missing buttons, Betty’s called to the train station to investigate a missing bench. But though there’s no bench, there is a body. A smartly dressed man, murdered in broad daylight, with two distinctive puncture wounds in his throat.
While the locals gossip about the Suffolk Vampire, Betty Church readies herself to hunt a dangerous killer.
| Interview |
Born on an RAF camp where his father was a Squadron Leader, MRC Kasasian was raised in Lancashire. After drifting through a succession of careers as varied as a factory hand, wine waiter, veterinary assistant, fish fryer and fairground worker he went to study dentistry at UCH London. On quitting General Practice, Martin began his ‘Gower Street Detective’ series with ‘The Mangle Street Murders’ and has never looked back.
- Twitter Handle @MRCKasasian
- What book from your childhood still has a place in your heart today?
I don’t think anything can replace the magic of a good story when you are a child. The early scenes of Great Expectations always haunted me especially Magwitch and Miss Havisham, the adventures of Treasure Island thrilled as did Coral Island and the Tales of Troy by Roger Lancelyn Green were spellbinding.
- Which fictional character stayed with you long after you finished the book?
William Brown. I always wanted to be like him, playing and getting into scrapes. My mother would probably have said that I was. Mrs K might say I still am. Occasionally I will revisit a story in book form or narration. They still make me smile and Martin Jarvis does a hilarious Violet Elizabeth Bott.
- Can you tell us a little about your journey with your new release?
I spent 5 years with Sidney Grice and March Middleton in my Gower Street Detective Series and I felt it was time to move away from the Victorian era and try my hand at something else. Like many people, I find the Second World War a fascinating, if horrifying, period of history. People tend to focus on Hitler or the great battles but I am interested also in what life was like for those who stayed at home in what became a total war. The sight of women in uniform came as quite a shock to many people. In one newspaper poll the public said they hated it more than rationing! A Woman Police Officer was even more disturbing and I wanted to see that world through her eyes.
- Do you get an emotional connection to your character’s?
Very much so. I was so upset when one of my main characters in The Gower Street Detective Series got killed that I cried. Some of my readers got upset too and told me I was a monster which, in a way, is a great compliment.
- Can you please, share a photo with us that tells a story.
This is very grainy but it’s me with my mother when we lived, six of us in a one-bedroomed lodge house. Sounds like the start of a misery memoir but it was a very happy time. My mother and I used to ‘Listen With Mother’ on the Home Service every day and rush to be in our places before the narrator could ask, ‘Are you all sitting comfortably? Then I shall begin.’
- What was your favourite read of 2017?
‘Eggs or Anarchy’ by William Sitwell – a terrific account of Lord Woolton and his struggles to feed the nation in World War 2. Some of his greatest battles were fought against Churchill who opposed Woolton’s plans to introduce rationing at all!
- If your book came with a theme song what would it be?
It would have to be something Jazzy to fit in with the feel of the time. Glen Millar’s Moonlight Serenade would do the trick, though it’s really instrumental. Judy Garland’s Over The Rainbow must have been played a billion times but it still has something special – a song of hope in a time of darkness.
- Is the genre you write your favourite to read?
No. I never read fictional crime stories or whodunnits.
A great deal of my reading is research but for pleasure, I still like history and biographies of interesting people i.e. not celebs.
- If you could ask your readers anything, what would you want to know?
Next week’s lottery numbers would be useful or, failing that, what, if anything, they would like to see from me next.
- What are you working on now?
The second of my Betty Church books. It’s in its early stages but I’m very excited about it. It has the ingenious working title of ‘Betty Church 2’. Not sure how I thought that one up.
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I received this copy from the publisher HOZ in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review.