Good morning, dear hearts!
I have had a very unique journey into the world of police procedurals & dramatic crime fiction this year! It began in the Spring when I first started to listen to the audiobook versions of Ms Amphlett’s #KayHunter series, wherein I shortly became a part of #TeamKayHunter without realising their was a tag to celebrate this affection on social! (smiles) I would have used it in earnest, had I known!
My journey continued when a new series began on #BritBox – a subscription channel you can see modern & classic British comedies & dramas as well as lifestyle series or documentaries – the new variant of Bletchley Circle began, shifting the focus to San Francisco. When this first began, I hadn’t realised the connection to a prior series but thankfully the bookish & tv serial community in the twitterverse are equally approachable & helpful to one another! This modern adaptation has a lovely cast of women, each presenting their own unique talents for criminological observation, sleuthing and the art of deduction through their mutual passion for ‘codes’ and ‘ciphers’.
Whilst I was enjoying my reprieve between installments, I discovered another lovely for dramatic crime on #BritBox called: Scott & Bailey which aired originally from 2011-2016, marking one of the more ‘recent’ British serials I’ve become attached too! I plowed straight through Series 1 and most of the first half of the second series as well – wherein, would you believe, I came full-circle!? One of the key episodes where we get to peer behind the facades of the detectives in this series involved a case which is nearly word for word the synopsis for ‘Gone to Ground’. There are variants in the case(s) of course, but the stark similarity within them leant me the advantage to realise, I could handle this #KayHunter installment, too! (something I shall expound upon when I share my ruminative thoughts on Friday, the 7th!)
Likewise, when I wasn’t watching wicked good dramatic crime dramas, I was eagerly anticipating reading them and/or listening to them – as I had the pleasure of reading the latest #HiroHattori novel; I grabbed my first pre-order for an audiobook & interviewed the author whilst I am happily retreating back inside both the latest #MarjorieTrumaine & #SamuelCraddock mysteries this [September] in-line with my sixth experience of listening to the life & adventures of Kay Hunter! September is also my first month for participating in PERIL (#perilxiii) wherein I think I’ll be finding myself happily consumed by suspenseful & thrilling reads overall!
My fondness for Kay Hunter and her emotionally gutting back-story was wickedly brought to life by Ms Amphlett’s narrator: Alison Campbell, of whom to this day, I still recognise so readily as ‘being Kay Hunter’ it is hard to distance myself from this role if I try to hear her voice narrating another character (and yes, I have tried!).
It was one of the few times where I had the pleasure of joy of beginning a series and having the ability to ‘continue’ forward with it within a very short expanse of time. With all my health difficulties in the Spring, the Kay Hunter series was a calming balm to my anguish and strife. I vividly remember not feeling like ‘myself’ but putting in my earphones, soaking into the narration of Ms Campbell and feeling as if I had transitioned so wholly into Kay Hunter’s life, my own troubles felt a bit distanced.
I listened to this series in various places – from the kitchen to public libraries – wherever I found myself within the series itself, I felt cocooned away from the ‘outside world’. So much so, one of my most vivid responses is hearing the ending of one of the stories and being emotionally shattered to where I had trouble ‘exiting’ the emotional angst of that ending only to realise I was in the middle of a public library where *everyone!* and their cousin (so to speak) had suddenly decided was ‘the’ place to be at that late hour in the afternoon! I was amazed! All those people – and yet, whilst I was connecting to the emotional bits of Kay’s story, I could have been in an isolated listening chamber!! I never heard nor saw anyone the whole time I was listening to Ms Campbell relate the story into my earphones!
There is a powerful centreing in this series – a credit to Ms Amphlett for her strong intuitiveness about continuity and the backbone of the series being grounded in her research for authenticity – you are presented with a sturdy foundation of a crime drama which gets under your skin and settles inside your heart. The gaps between the installments are an aching loss but one you meet with patience! It takes time to knit out a series like this – especially one which is breathed to life so eloquently by Ms Campbell and heightened in integrity by Ms Amphlett!
Today, I have the joy of welcoming the author to Jorie Loves A Story – sharing a conversation about her series and the ways in which she approached writing it. Remember, dear hearts, there will be a slight gap between the next installments of this series, not just for the time needed for the author’s relocation *but!* because she is also working on other projects, including another rather popular series – whose readers, I would imagine are as itching to see what happens next for their characters as we are for ours within #KayHunter!
If you’ve been seeking a police drama series with an incredibly layered strong female lead at the heart of the series, look no further! You might be happily surprised and charmed by how easily you become addicted to reading and/or listening to the Kay Hunter series! Then, again, I’d be the first to give you a warm welcome into #TeamKayHunter!
As always, my conversations are best enjoyed with your favourite cuppa, a comfy place to sit and a curiosity about the series at hand! IF your cuppa involves tea, kindly let me know what your current favourite brew is below the conversation!
While attending a crime scene on the outskirts of Maidstone, DI Kay Hunter makes a shocking discovery.
The victim has been brutally cut to pieces, his identity unknown.
When more body parts start turning up in the Kentish countryside, Kay realises the disturbing truth – a serial killer is at large and must be stopped at all costs.
With no motive for the murders and a killer who has gone undetected until now, Kay and her team of detectives must work fast to calm a terrified local population and a scornful media.
When a third victim is found, her investigation grows even more complicated.
As she begins to expose a dark underbelly to the county town, Kay and her team are pulled into a web of jealousy and intrigue that, if left unchecked, will soon claim another life.
As you’ve built the Kay Hunter series through influences of your favourite crime novelists as well as serialised crime dramas – what did you immediately want readers to connect with when they first ‘met’ Kay Hunter? Was it something specific about her you hoped would shine through or was it a sense this is a complex character who slowly reveals more of herself as the series progresses?
Amphlett responds: When I began to develop the structure of the first book, Scared to Death, I knew right away I wanted a series with the character of Kay Hunter – I started with a resilient female detective in mind before the actual crimes came to fruition.
I made a conscious decision to create her character differently from a lot of my favourite detectives I’d been reading about. A key part of this was giving her a safe home environment – anyone who works within the emergency services has a stressful enough time in their role, so her home is a safe haven, and one she retreats to in order to make some sense of the dark crimes she finds herself investigating. Read More