Author Guest Post | via the “Death Comes to London” blog tour, featuring cosy historical fiction author, Catherine Lloyd

Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

Guest Post by Parajunkee

I am welcoming with great pleasure to my blog today, the author behind a curiously written cosy historical mystery series, entitled: the Kurland St. Mary mysteries! I have been properly fascinated with cosy mysteries for nearly the full of my reading life — there was always something quite charming and wickedly addictive about reading cosies; the knack the writers have for inducing such wicked sweet suspense into their backgrounds, giving us strong and influential characters within their hometownes to rally behind, and of course a tightly wrought murder to investigate right alongside the amateur sleuth! Except to say, I do not always read about amateurs, no, my cosy heart is not too particular if it is a proper DCI or a silver haired sleuth or a well-known living person re-envisioned as a heroine championing the success rate of solving crimes most foul!

I am going to be exploring my appreciation and passion for cosies both the traditionally known as a ‘Cosy’ and what I have a penchant for calling the “Cosy Historical Mystery” (as it is a sub-genre within the main branch of Mystery & Suspense) on the morrow where I am featuring my review (at long last!) for “The Anatomist’s Wife” by Anna Lee Huber!! Alongside my review will be the long awaited interview I gave on behalf of “The Spoils of Avalon” novel (of which I participated on an HFVBT tour!) and the author who penned a tale which bewitched my imagination!

It is with an enthused welcome, I bring you an Author Guest Host by Catherine Lloyd! I am including the information on behalf of the first novel in this new series before sharing the information on the novel which is being featured on the blog tour itself: Death Comes to London! I quite happily am reading both books in tandem before my tour stop arrives lateron this week! Be sure to follow my feeds on Twitter, to watch for tweets in reference to reading both novels!

Author Guest Post | via the “Death Comes to London” blog tour, featuring cosy historical fiction author, Catherine LloydGuest Post: Catherine Lloyd

A season in London promises a welcome change of pace for two friends from the village of Kurland St. Mary—until murder makes a debut…

With the reluctant blessings of their father, the rector of Kurland St. Mary, Lucy Harrington and her sister Anna leave home for a social season in London. At the same time, Lucy’s special friend Major Robert Kurland is summoned to the city to accept a baronetcy for his wartime heroism.

Amidst the dizzying whirl of balls and formal dinners, the focus shifts from mixing and matchmaking to murder when the dowager Countess of Broughton, the mother of an old army friend of Robert, drops dead. When it’s revealed she’s been poisoned, Robert’s former betrothed, Miss Chingford, is accused, and she in turn points a finger at Anna. To protect her sister, Lucy enlists Robert’s aid in drawing out the true culprit.

But with suspects ranging from resentful rivals and embittered family members to the toast of the ton, it will take all their sleuthing skills to unmask the poisoner before more trouble is stirred up…

Places to find the book:

Series: Kurland St. Mary Mysteries,

Also in this series: Death Comes to the Village, Death Comes to London

on 25th November, 2014

Pages: 272

Death Comes to the Village by Catherine LloydRegency-set historical mystery, first in new series.A wounded soldier and a rector’s daughter discover strange goings-on in the sleepy village of Kurland St. Mary in Catherine Lloyd’s charming Regency-set mystery debut.Major Robert Kurland has returned to the quiet vistas of his village home to recuperate from the horrors of Waterloo. However injured his body may be, his mind is as active as ever. Too active, perhaps. When he glimpses a shadowy figure from his bedroom window struggling with a heavy load, the tranquil façade of the village begins to loom sinister. . .Unable to forget the incident, Robert confides in his childhood friend, Miss Lucy Harrington. As the dutiful daughter of the widowed rector, following up on the major’s suspicions offers a welcome diversion–but soon presents real danger. Someone is intent on stopping their investigation. And in a place where no one locks their doors, a series of thefts and the disappearance of two young serving girls demands explanation. . .As Robert grapples with his difficult recovery, he and Lucy try to unearth the dark truth lurking within the village shadows, and stop a killer waiting to strike again…

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Topic I gave to Ms. Lloyd: I personally love unearthing the stories behind the novels I appreciate reading, and the last bit of your author’s biography felt to me that there is a story behind this statement: “With a background in historical research and a love of old-fashioned mysteries, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to wonder what a young Regency Miss Marple might be like, and how she would deal with a far from pleasant hero of the Napoleonic wars.” Can you expand on how you took two classically recognizable thematic choices (Agatha Christie’s style of cosies & the Regency era) and created your Kurland St. Mary mysteries?

I grew up reading Agatha Christie and I always loved the intricacies of a ‘small’ tightly woven mystery without a lot of violence or dead bodies or suspense because I think the writing has to work without distractions and that’s a challenge. I’m also a big fan of the Regency time period, love Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer and from other writing activities I have a good working knowledge of the Regency time period.

When I was thinking about how to structure this new Regency set mystery series I couldn’t find much else out there that wasn’t based in London. I wanted to write a more gentle old-fashioned kind of mystery and recreating a village setting, like the fictional Kurland St. Mary seemed the ideal way of writing these smaller, slower interconnected books with characters whose lives were more governed by class and society than we are today. It adds a delicious layer to our hero and heroine’s ability to interact with each other without attracting attention.

Having a Masters degree in history means I love to research and know how to do it. In this book, learning about the history of poisons and the emergence of the new science of toxicology was fascinating and really began our modern obsession with science. It’s interesting that we are just starting to look back at the more natural ways of curing people and rediscovering the value in that.

Using historical detail to enhance both the mystery elements and the characters and attempting to make sure they act in an appropriate manner is part of the fun and also can be a headache. As a writer I have to be careful not to make assumptions from my modern perspective about what my characters would know. Sometimes that is harder than you might think. But I still love to write mysteries.

About Catherine Lloyd

Catherine Lloyd

Catherine Lloyd grew up in London, England in the middle of a large family of girls. She quickly decided her imagination was a wonderful thing and was often in trouble for making stuff up. She finally worked out she could make a career out of this when she moved to the USA with her husband and four children and began writing fiction. With a background in historical research and a love of old-fashioned mysteries, she couldn’t resist the opportunity to wonder what a young Regency Miss Marple might be like, and how she would deal with a far from pleasant hero of the Napoleonic wars.

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Book Excerpt from Death Comes to London:

“Miss Harrington?” She looked up at Robert and curtsied. “Major, you’ve missed all the excitement again. The dowager countess is attempting to get Miss Chingford and Anna thrown out of Almacks.“I doubt she will succeed.”“Why do you think that?”“Because I just saw her coming this way after speaking to Lady Jersey and she looked absolutely furious.”“Oh, thank goodness,” Miss Harrington said. “Anna is beside herself.”“And Miss Chingford?”

“Too busy looking for you to find out if you are to be ennobled.”

“Ah. That’s why she was trying to ingratiate herself with me again.”

“She’s already tried?” Miss Harrington shook her head. “Five minutes ago she was threatening to kill the dowager, and now she’s moved on to reattaching herself to you. One has to admire her stamina.” She looked over his shoulder. “Where is the dowager now?”

“Talking to another old harridan and arguing with her. Does she ever stop?”

“That’s Lady Bentley. Apparently, the dowager has accused her of stealing some jewelry from her.”

“So I’ve heard over the breakfast table all week.” Robert considered the gaunt peeress who was now pointing her finger in the dowager’s face to emphasize each word. “I can’t see Lady Bentley breaking into someone’s house, can you?”

“No, but my aunt says they’ve hated each other for years, but no one quite remembers why. Recently, all-out war has broken out again.”

“The dowager does seem to have a gift for bringing out the worst in people. They are coming toward us. Let’s stage a retreat.” Miss Harrington turned with him and pretended to admire the potted palm trees and exotic flowers that decorated the ballroom. “It must be wonderful to see such things in their natural state.”

“While your clothes stick to you, your skin is attacked and bitten by a million insects and you fear the native population are going to kill you?”

“You have no imagination, Major.”

“That’s because I’ve actually experienced such places, and know that in reality you’d be running away screaming.”

“I would not.” She raised her chin. “Although the chances of me ever being able to prove that to you, or any other man are remote, as I’ll never be given the opportunity to travel.”

“Perhaps this mythical husband of yours had better be a world traveler. I believe Captain McNamara is looking for a new wife.”

“And he is over fifty years old.”

“I didn’t realize you were inclined to be so particular.”

“I suppose you assume I have no choice!”

“I—” He blinked at her. “I beg your pardon.”

“Accepted. Will you please take me back to my aunt?”

Taking her elbow he maneuvered her back into the circle around Anna and the Countess of Clavelly. Broughton looked up as his grandmother approached with Lady Bentley still in tow and groaned. He put down his almost full glass.

“Oh no, not again.”

“Lieutenant, can you try and draw Lady Bentley off while I deal with your grandmother?” Miss Harrington asked. “She does look rather overwrought.”

A tray with glasses of orgeat stood on the side table and she picked up two. Miss Harrington went up to the dowager who was visibly shaking with anger, her narrow lips thinned, and her cheeks a hectic red.

“My lady, please take some orgeat and sit down. You look rather warm.”

For a moment Robert tensed ready to intervene as the dowager’s black gaze fastened on Miss Harrington. Then she abruptly held out her hand and took the glass.

“Thank you.”

“I hope it chokes the old witch.”

Robert glanced across at Oliver Broughton who was glaring at his grandmother, his expression a mixture of embarrassment and contempt. With a muttered oath, Oliver turned on his heel and stalked away toward the card room.

“Good gracious!”

Robert switched his attention back to Miss Harrington who was now staring down in consternation at the skirt of her blue gown.

He removed the empty glass from her hand. “You’re supposed to drink it, Miss Harrington. Not throw it all over yourself, or were you aiming at the dowager countess?”

She held the wet fabric away from her. “Someone caught my elbow from behind. This was my favorite dress.”

“I’m sure it can be fixed.” Anxious to avoid another female expressing her emotions, Robert looked frantically around. “ Shall I find your aunt, or Mrs. Hathaway so that they can accompany you to the ladies retiring room?”

“I can do that myself, thank you, Major. Oh good Lord.” She glanced distractedly around the ballroom. “Now Miss Chingford is bearing down on us and Lieutenant Broughton has allowed Lady Bentley to escape him. They are both converging on the dowager and she really isn’t well. All that rage comes at a price.”

“That’s not your concern, Miss Harrington. Let Broughton handle his grandmother and take yourself off to the retiring room. I’ll stay here and tell you what happens. I even promise to intervene if it proves necessary.”

“Thank you, Major.” She gathered her skirts. “If you would be so kind as to tell my aunt where I’ve gone, I would be most obliged.”

She turned away just as the dowager stood up again to confront Lady Bentley and Miss Chingford who converged upon her.

“And what do you two want? Do you think I have time to listen to—”

With a strangled sound the dowager clutched at her throat and started to fight to breathe. Her face contorted and she fell forward, her cane clattering to the floor as she writhed and twitched like burning parchment and finally went still.

Around them the ball went on. Only those in the immediate vicinity seemed to realize that something was amiss. Robert went down on his knees and grasped the dowager’s thin wrist. He bent even closer to observe her chest and finally stared into her wide black eyes.

“What happened? What’s wrong?”

Miss Harrington knelt opposite him. Robert swallowed hard and raised his gaze to hers. He’d seen many die but not in such bizarre surroundings as a ballroom. It made the sight even more obscene.

“She’s dead.”

“She can’t be.”

“Fetch Broughton and his mother and see if we can find a physician.”

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I look forward to celebrating cosies throughout the week, and my review of Death Comes to London will be on Thursday! Therefore, I hope you will make return visits to not only see what I have planned for tomorrow, but for what shall be alighting on Thursday, as I blog my thoughts on both Death Comes to the Village & the very novel which inspired my interest and gave me a spot on the tour! I was blessed to receive such a nice guest post by the author, and I mused to myself, how wonderful it is to find others who were as keenly passionate and inspired as I found myself whilst reading the legacy Agatha Christie left behind for us all to treasure!

Moreso, considering I had the honour of hosting the very first Christie Estate authorised sequel novel The Monogram Murders! Such a wonderful year 2014 has turnt out to being, as I cannot put fully into words yet how wonderful it has been to continuously celebrate my joy of reading cosies and the happiness mysteries give to my life in general! Even in the twitterverse, a recent convo was begun about the Miss Fisher Murder Mysteries of which is currently filming their 3rd Series! I am most delighted indeed at this lovely news, as I found the series via my local library and have become happily addicted to the sophistication, the scripts, and dearly attached to the actors who bring Phyrne & Jack to life quite brilliantly! I am hopeful 2015 will spark my enjoyment of finally reading the book series the tv serial is based upon!

I cannot wait to hear your own thoughts about this series by Catherine Lloyd, your impressions of Cosies, and what attracts you to them in general!

This author guest post is courtesy of:

Death Comes to London Blog Tour via HFVBTs

Be sure to check my Bookish Events page to see what I’ll be hosting next for:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBT

{SOURCES: Cover art of “Death Comes to the Village” & “Death Comes to London”, Book Excerpt, book synopsis for both novels, author photograph of Catherine Lloyd, author biography, the blog tour badge & the HFVBT banner were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Guest Post badge provided by Parajunkee to give book bloggers definition on their blogs. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 1 December, 2014 by jorielov in #IndieWriterMonth, 19th Century, Blog Tour Host, Book | Novel Extract, Cosy Historical Mystery, England, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Reader Submitted Guest Post (Topic) for Author, Regency Era

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