Friday, February 23, 2018

Charles Todd--The Gatekeeper

DEBORAH CROMBIE: It's that time of year--as in time for a new Rutledge novel from CHARLES TODD!! I have been a huge fan since A TEST OF WILLS, the first book in the series featuring Scotland Yard Inspector Ian Rutledge, a WWI veteran suffering from shell shock, came out to critical acclaim in 1996. Since then I've been fortunate to get to know both Charles and Caroline, the mother/son team who write as "Charles Todd."



Isn't this a fab cover? Caroline and I got to chat about THE GATEKEEPER here in Dallas a couple of weeks ago. We had a great time and I could just kick myself for not getting a photo! But here is Caroline to share some of the things we talked about with you!



--Did you ever imagine, when you and Charles came up with the idea for A Test of Wills, that you would be writing 20 books (so far) about Ian Rutledge and Hamish? That's just an amazing achievement.

We didn’t even think the first book was going to sell—when it did, we were given only a one book contract!  But St. Martin’s realized that very quickly and renewed it for two more as soon as TEST got so much attention.   We’re just very glad Rutledge had a chance to do more with his career at the Yard, and we could follow it with him.

--And yet time has moved very slowly in the series. Did you make that decision early on?

We felt that the PTSD, the shell shock, was something we wanted to explore, and the only way to do that was to shorten the time period. We didn’t want to let a year pass and readers learn of what has happened in his secret life as a side bar in the mystery.  Shell shock defines Rutledge, and it’s how he deals with the shame of it and with the voice in his head—Hamish—that makes him what he is.   And so we’ve killed off a lot of English victims to achieve this, but I think it has been worth it.

--This case is different from any Rutledge has ever investigated in the series. Can you tell us why?
Because of the state of the English roads in this time frame, Rutledge always arrives on the scene a day—two days—after the murder, when the trail is cold and the local people have trampled all over the evidence that might have been there.  We thought it would be fascinating to see what would happen if he got there just as the crime was committed.  Not in time to see who did it, of course,  but while the blood, so to speak, is still fresh and he can begin straightaway to look for clues.  And we liked what that did to the local man who had his own reasons not wanting Rutledge there.
--A rare book about apples figures in the case. Is it based on a real book? Is there a photo?
How I wish there was a photo.  Years ago someone showed me a book that was fascinating. Plates of hand drawn and painted apples that no longer are grown but were popular in medieval times.  Just absolutely lovely workmanship. It obviously impressed me, because I can still remember the various plates.  Charles had to take my word for them, but he liked the idea.  This is what’s neat about working together.  We have two imaginations to draw on.
 --When you were here in Dallas a couple of weeks ago, you talked about this book exploring the dynamics of three different families--can you tell us more?
We were interested in how families work.  There are several in the book, each with a different take on what’s important.  For example, one woman has more or less forced her daughter into accepting an engagement with an abusive man, because he’s such a good catch. Her concerns are more social than motherly.
--What's next for Rutledge? 
We’re over halfway though the next book, and it’s a cold case that Rutledge—for his sins—is assigned to look into. One that’s been revived and looked at before, with no more luck that when the murder happened.  But Rutledge has one advantage.  A bit of gossip, shall we say, that makes him look deeper into the case than his superiors anticipated.  It’s a chase story in a way.   As he begins to search, building one piece of evidence at a time, he’s not sure where this is taking him. And at this stage, neither do we!  So we try to keep writing in between promoting THE GATE KEEPER.
 DEBS: Here's more about THE GATEKEEPER:

 On a deserted road, late at night, Scotland Yard’s Ian Rutledge encounters a frightened woman standing over a body, launching an inquiry that leads him into the lair of a stealthy killer and the dangerous recesses of his own memories in this twentieth installment of the acclaimed New York Times bestselling series.

Hours after his sister’s wedding, a restless Ian Rutledge drives aimlessly, haunted by the past, and narrowly misses a motorcar stopped in the middle of a desolate road. Standing beside the vehicle is a woman with blood on her hands and a dead man at her feet.

She swears she didn’t kill Stephen Wentworth. A stranger stepped out in front of their motorcar, and without warning, fired a single shot before vanishing into the night. But there is no trace of him. And the shaken woman insists it all happened so quickly, she never saw the man’s face.

Although he is a witness after the fact, Rutledge persuades the Yard to give him the inquiry, since he’s on the scene. But is he seeking justice—or fleeing painful memories in London?

Wentworth was well-liked, yet his bitter family paint a malevolent portrait, calling him a murderer. 
But who did Wentworth kill? Is his death retribution? Or has his companion lied? Wolf Pit, his village, has a notorious history: in Medieval times, the last wolf in England was killed there. When a second suspicious death occurs, the evidence suggests that a dangerous predator is on the loose, and that death is closer than Rutledge knows.

And more about CHARLES TODD:

Charles and Caroline Todd are a mother-and-son writing team who live on the east coast of the United States. Caroline has a BA in English Literature and History, and a Masters in International Relations. Charles has a BA in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Business Management, and a culinary arts degree that means he can boil more than water.

Caroline and Charles will be stopping in to chat with us on JRW today, so get your questions ready! 

84 comments:

  1. Congratulations on the newest book --- a new Ian Rutledge story is always a treat . . . .

    I’m curious to know if you have a “favorite” story from among the twenty books?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Congratulations on book #20 in the series. Just finished The Gatekeeper and LOVED it! One of my very favorites in the series is A Cold Treachery--riveting!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Charles, Caroline, I am always amazed at how you guys keep hitting it out of the park. Do you feel a bit daunted by your own success as you start each new book? Do you have a little list somewhere with ideas for future stories?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Like Hallie, I am always surprised - although I shouldn’t be - by how consistent you two are with your writing. It really seems like there is never misstep. So impressive. I think The Gate Keeper is one of the best in a series that features many many highs (including the very first).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kristopher, you went in the Spam filter. No idea why. So aggravating. But I have rescued you! And I agree, both about the consistency, and about The Gatekeeper. I loved this book, especially Rutledge happening on the crime with the body literally still warm!

      Delete
  5. In my opinion, all writers have someone they like. I like Shakespeare and I have no doubts that he is genius. https://essayclick.net/blog/shakespeare-essay will help you to find out more about him.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey, everyone! I am trying to get in, but this rainy day is affecting my internet—or it is just being onset!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I made it, after two hours and three devices! Happy to be here today! To start out, hello, Joan! Thank you! It would s hard to say—often it is the latest until the next book comes out! You??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It’s quite difficult to put any Ian Rutledge book above another, but I did particularly enjoy “Hunting Shadows” . . . .

      Delete
  8. Hey, Fiona! Yes, we lived A Cokd Treachery too—Maggie still haunts me. We went back to the Lake District this summer, but I kept thinking about it in a blizzard. Beautiful area!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey, Halle! We try to treat each new start as if it was a a stand alone. That keeps it fresh for us. And Rutledge moved around a lot, which helps to see the next book through the eyes of new characters. We have a What if file for ideas and scraps of ideas. Some are best for Rutledge and others are more suited to Bess—and some are for ???? That’s where The Walnut Tree came from—and a lot of out short stories, when the idea diesn’t support a novel length story.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Richard, hello! I have been a student of Shakespeare since I read the first play. Still love them. Robert Louis Stevenson is another special writer—both the books and the poems. For Charles, it is Winston Churchill!

    ReplyDelete
  11. This was a challenging book to write—they all seem to be that! But the relationships took a lot of thought and discussion to make sure they were right on. The settling is a real place—we just change the name a little so we aren’t stepping on toes there. People are always so helpful and so welcoming, then we make them notorious. 😊. So it’s a courtesy.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am a fan of Debs’ books too. I just love Kincaid—there is something about him that is so attractive. gemma has such spirit—that sometimes gets her into trouble, which must make her such fun to write.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The level with which I adore Rutledge is only exceeded by how much I love you both! Truly, your books are extraordinary, and I am in awe of the continuing quality. And so fascinating how you know a Rutledge idea from a Bess idea.

    (Hmm. What are you going to do when Bess's war is over?)

    And as we have talked about--it's such a quandary for you two---if Rutledge gets better, and oh we wish he would--then there might be no more stories!

    Love you both so much, and thank you for writing these wonderful books!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just reread some of my posts—really, I spell better than my I phone allows. 😋

    ReplyDelete
  15. I loved "The Gatekeeper," and I was delighted to get the chance to meet you, Caroline, when you were in Dallas. I thought you two did a fascinating job of creating the various families involved, and was particularly intrigued by the twisted dynamics in the Wentworth family. Also, that BOOK! Oh, my! I love botanical prints, and can only imagine how gorgeous that was.

    I'm also a big fan of your Bess Crawford series and, although I realize there's presently about a two-year gap in the timelines, I keep wondering if Ian and Bess will ever both turn up at Melinda's on the same weekend. Or perhaps I've missed something? Whatever the story, please keep writing!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hey, Hank! Charles is in the throes of moving, but sends his love right back! Bess has quite a future ahead. We were worried about what would happen when the war ended—but the wounded don’t just get up and walk home. The next Bess, A Forgotten Pkace—sends her to a clinic for amputees, and she finds out how hard returning home must be for men who have no future. Her concern leads her to an Isokated Welsh peninsula where she stumbles on a secret people will kill to protect. That’s based on something that really happened. We discovered it while having lunch on the headland. A writer always dreams of finding such a tale, and we looked for a way to use it for Bess. But two books from now she is going to Ireland.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caroline, you are not only THE best plot generator (need a plot? Just call Caroline:-)) but you are great at finding idea material. I'm going to do a post sometime on cultivating serendipity, because I think that is what happens.

      Delete
    2. Hello Caroline. I'm interested in the "But two books from now...". How far ahead do you plan that sort of thing?

      Delete
  17. Can Rutledge get better? As a child I saw a grizzled old man who was shell shocked in WWI and still suffering. PTSD doesn’t go away. But those who do the best struggle to cope, and they find ways to live with it. We hope Rutledge is one of them. The alternative all to often was going outbintobtge back garden and using the service revolver they brought home. Sad but we hear so many stories about that when we talk to people who remember relatives who served in the Great War. Great question, Hank!

    ReplyDelete
  18. Caroline, remind us about the timeline in the Rutledge books. And then there is A Fine Summer's Day, which is one of my favorites.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Looking forward to a new Rutledge book. Because of my recent Olympics-binge watching, I'm brain dead. Does Hamish have less of a role in more recent books which might mean Rutledge is overcoming or strong enough to deal with his on-going PTSD?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hey, Gigi, was’t that a fun event! I loved that store—Debs has to drag me out! We didn’t create Bess to be a wife for Ian—but they know each other, and in the last Rutledge, Raciing the Devil, he asks Melinda to find some information for him through her connections in Paris—and she knows Bess is there. So she asks Bess to help and she sends Ian what he needs to go on with the inquiry. They would move in the same circles, and they have Melinda in common, but i don’t think a book where they share a case would work. Their techniques are so different.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But that tells us that Bess is in Paris in 1919, right? A glimpse into the future?

      Delete
  21. Thanks, Debs, tgat’s A good idea! We wrote ATest of Wills I& it came out in 1996, picking up Rutledge’s story as he comes out of the clinic and try’s to pick up god career in Jube of 1918, 8 months after the end of the war. The books follow chronologically after that—but in 2014, for the centennial of the Great War, we realized that we should look at the man we’d created as he must have been in the summer of 1914, before the war came and changed him. That’s A Fine Summer’s Day. We thought we knew everything about Rutledge—but he surprised us, and we discovered so much about him as we wrote! It was also such a bittersweet book for us, because even as we saw him while, saw the potential of that man, we saw all those whose lives changed forever that summer. And we knew too what lay in store in the trenches. But it is isn’t a sad book at all—we loved it, and enjoyed spending time with Rutledge that golden summer. I think you will feel the same, and enjoy him too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, it isn't a sad book, but it has the same elegiac quality of the first season of Downtown Abbey, where everything seems more precious because you know what is coming.

      Delete
  22. Oh! This phone! It changes my typing to suit itself!

    ReplyDelete
  23. We’ve enjoyed the olympics too, Margaret, when we ought to have been making deadlines.
    Rutledge like so many people with PTSD, has good days and bad. He makes a little progress, then life steps in and he loses ground. This is what really happens! And Hamish reflects this. He’s a very strong presence when Rutledge is having trouble, and stays more in the shadows when Rutledge is better at coping. We find, oddly enough, that Rutledge knows when he’s having problems. And so does Hamish! And they will remind us of that. We are fascinated!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Well put, Debs! I loved that first episode of Downton! It is so perfect, and that same mood Is there in AFine Summer’s Day. It was such a happy time that promised to go on forever! But not all golden days last, as Lady Nary also found out!

    ReplyDelete
  25. She hasb’t Told us yet what she is doing in Paris, but I have the strongest feeling that she is going back to India with Melinda, who will be joining her in Paris soon. Melinda wants to go back there because she met her husband there—and after his death, there might have been someone she met at a vulnerable tune—oops, almostvsaid too much. But it is why Dimin doesn’t want to go back that intrigues us! Hmmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  26. That’s SIMON, not dimin! Where did that change come from!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Caroline, I think your phone is speaking a different language:-)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Well, Peter, sometimes when you are writing a book, there’s a sudden glimpse of the future. We don’t plan that far ahead at all, but in one book Melinda mentioned something about wanting to go back to India, but Simon was reluctant to return. So they must have been talking about it at sometime or other. And of course we wouldn’t have a problem with an excuse to go back! Sooooo....

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Caroline! I'm looking forward to being on a panel with you at the Tuscon Festival of Books. And so happy there is another Rutledge to read.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Yes it is a master of some language I don’t speak. I think it had been watching too much Star Trek!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hello, to the Todds! I'm late to the party, and have read only a few of your books, beginning with one that was in a book bag from one of the writer/reader conferences. (Which is such a good way to discover new writers.) And hearing you and Charles speak in panels, etc., whetted my appetite for more.

    A Fine Summer's Day blew me away, and my husband is reading it now. He usually asks me what to read out of my recycled Mount TBR, but he generally would not gravitate on his own to one set in Great Britain. So I was surprised when he picked that one with no input from me. He's enjoying it a lot. I suspect we will be sharing more Rutledge books! Thank you both, for endless hours of thoughtful entertainment.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Yes, we’re excited about that too, Rhys! I like Tucson so much and am happy to go back to the Book Fesrival. Then we go on to The Poisoned Pen, another fav place. Can’t wait to see you!

    ReplyDelete
  33. Klingon! Absolutely, the verbs are maddening!

    ReplyDelete
  34. That’s so nice to hear, Karen! My husband became a Rutledge fan from proofreading for us. He was a Tony Hillermab fan, big time. I too have a Mount TBR, and sometimes there is seismic activity, especially when the cats want to play king of the hill! Or I try to vacuum around the foothills!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tony Hillerman is one of my favorite authors!

      Delete
  35. Vitangel! You speak my computer! Just teasing!! What is that? I love languages!

    ReplyDelete
  36. My cat needs a pill—be right back. He has a heart condition that is now well but we maintain the meds to keep him healthy.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Congrats on the new book! My father recently read one of the Rutledge books (I can't remember which one) and asked, "Did you know Charles Todd is a writing team?"

    "Yes," I said. "Mother and son, and I actually met them once - sat next to them at the signing table at my very first Malice Domestic."

    Dad was a little jealous. =)

    Mary/Liz

    ReplyDelete
  38. He’s such a sweet boy—he comes when called and hops up, ready for his pill!

    ReplyDelete
  39. Peter, are you coming to CrimeFest in Bristol? If so we we see you there!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thanks, Mary! About time Dad comes to a convention!! We love Malice, but may not get there this year. 🤕 the schedule is just too tight.

    ReplyDelete
  41. This year at Malice they are remembering a dear friend, Robin Hathaway—and I won’t be there! So sad for me, but wonderful for her. I loved her books, but she was also the best short story writer I ever met.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I adored Robin, too. Wish I could be there.

      Delete
  42. Caroline, I'm sure you get this question all the time, but I'm wondering if you could tell us about your writing process? I would think writing as a duo would be challenging enough, but what's it like writing as a mother and son?

    ReplyDelete
  43. Nothing to ask other than to say hurrah for a new Rutledge novel and to wave hello to Caroline!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Charles and Caroline, I am so glad I stopped by Jungle Reds this morning! it was great to meet you at Malice Domestic and again at Bouchercon. I started reading your Bess Crawford series, then I started reading your Ian Rutledge series.

    Pre-ordered your new Ian Rutledge book from the Poisoned Pen bookstore and still waiting for my copy :-)

    I have a relative who was "underage" when he signed up to fight in the First World War as an American. He and his troop went over to England and his ship was hit by the enemy off coast. He and his crew were rescued by an English ship or was it French ship and brought ashore. My great grandparents got a telegram saying that my grandfather was killed in action. Then they got another telegram saying my grandfather was still alive!

    I remember the first time I heard of "shell shock" was when I watched a PBS series about Vera Brittain.

    Look forward to reading the Gatekeeper.

    Diana

    ReplyDelete
  45. Joan, Hunting Shadows started with something we saw on a trip to Madeira! So we are really fond of that one! The attack on the island really happened!

    ReplyDelete
  46. Julia, we had no idea how to collaborate and by accident found a system that worked for us—we share all our research and we share the writing, working out every scene together. We don’t move on until we feel it’s right. Sentence by sentence or paragraph by paragraph, hammering it out. I couldn’t have done this before he went out on his own, college and a job—that broke the chain of Mom and little boy. By that time he was a business professional, and so was I, and we took it from there. I have enjoyed it. He has a great eye for research and a good sense of where the story ought to go, so we work as equals. Saved a lot of wrangling! 😝

    ReplyDelete
  47. Sorry, that was ingid’s Question—and a good one!

    ReplyDelete
  48. A wave back to you, Julia! And hurrah is right! Launching a new Rutledge is a big deal in this house too. All that hard work finally arrives as a REAL book, not edits or galleys. I just love seeing the first one off the press!

    ReplyDelete
  49. Diana, that’s why we love going to conventions, we get a chance to meet so many people face to face., it is one of the best parts of writing. And friends too.
    The reason you don’t have your book is that we haven’t got to Poisoned Pen yet. Usually they send boxes for us to sign, and this year with the weather and the tight schedule, we had to change everything around. We will be there in about 2 weeks, will sign their books, and you will get yours then. Did you ask to have it personalized? We are always happy to do that!
    That’s a very interesting story about your family! Did you know that Simon also enlisted underage? He was tall enough that he was believed when he said he was of age. And they needed men so badly, they didn’t look too closely! That was well before the war and he wound up in India with the Crawfords.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caroline, thank you so much! Look forward to receiving your beautiful book. My American grandfather enlisted in Chicago and sailed for England from New Jersey. The Lord Mayor of Reading hosted my grandfather and other Americans. I have no idea if there was a military hospital in Reading. When my grandparents got married in 1927, the Lord Mayor of Reading and his wife travelled to America to attend my grandparents' wedding in Chicago.

      Diana

      Delete
  50. Hi Caroline! I read The Gatekeeper a week or two ago. What a twisty story! I honestly did not see that end coming until it was in my face. Bless Ian's heart and his persistence.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Hank, that’s the problem—in Rutledge’s mind, it would be the same as killing him again—denying him the only way to come home. As always you put your finger right on the trouble haunting Rutledge! 😍

    ReplyDelete
  52. It’s so strange, the way characters come alive, isn’t it? All you Jungle Reds know what I mean! They jump off the page into your head, and sometimes into your heart. I think that’s one thing about a good book of any genre—if the author sees the characters as real, so does the reader. I remember asking an author about a character in one of her books—I was about 14, and this person seemed so real to me! She said, “oh, Michael is happily married now and living in Devon.” And she meant it. That was my first experience with a character leaping off the page, and she told me why—he was just as real to her!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine certainly jump off the page. I think I just get to drop in on them occasionally!

      Delete
  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Glad you enjoyed The Gate Keeper, Pat! We never know how a book is going to end until we get there! About 30 or 40 pages out we begin to see the answer. My husband the proofreader always thought that a bit strange, but it is true. He was a chemical engine, thought logically, and of course you always need to know what chemicals you are mixing together or you get a nasty surprise! Blowing the roof off a plant full of people is a no-no. But for us, to settle on the murderer before we begin go takes all the fun out of the story., We like the challenge of seeing where the story and the characters lead us. So far so good, but what would happen if we were wrong?? We’d have to go back to the story and see where we started to go off track and work through it again! That has never happened with a book, but it did happen with a short story once, and we realized the character we had thought was the killer was lying. Paying a debt., so we got our man—or in this case a woman—in the end. Literally!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Yes, yours do, Debs! You couldn’t write Kincaid and Gemma and Toby to name a few, the way you do, if they weren’t absolutely real to you. What fascinates me about your work are the notebooks you work from. They are sort of aid memoirs but I think they are amazing. I jot down a thought now and then but you have a very personal and intriguing system.

    ReplyDelete
  56. I so admire Caroline and Charles for their writing talent and success, but also for being two of the nicest people in the business. You both conduct yourself with such grace and thoughtfulness. Attending the tea where Debs interviewed you both in New Orleans was one of the best events I've experienced at Bouchercon.
    ac
    I am woefully behind in reading your books, which I'm on a path to correct this year. I do so love Ian Rutledge and the invisible Hamish. A Fine Summer's Day is one of my favorite books ever. That the number of books in this series continues great reading is so impressive. Congratulations on your new book, and I look forward to seeing you both in September at Bouchercon.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Fabulous to see you here, Caroline and Charles! I've enjoyed hearing you speak at the Poisoned pen and am so looking forward to your latest!

    ReplyDelete
  58. Hey, Kathy, thanks so much! I loved that tea too, such a neat way to meet people in a quiet room away from the bustle of Bouchercon. Come say hello at St, Pete! We’re already signed up!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Check you calenda, Jenn—we’ll be back at PPen in about two weeks. Scottsdale is one of our favorite places to go, and we have so much fun with Barbara at the store. This time we’ll be coming by in from the Tucson book festival, which is always a great venue.

    ReplyDelete
  60. I commented on Diana’s last post but coukdn’t Get it to publish...that’s such an interesting story about your grandfather and the Lord Mayir of Readibg during WW1 and the fact that he cane for the wedding later. What a story to pass down the family! There are so many of these, and I wish they could have been saved as oral history. It brings the period to life for people for whom that war is just dry history!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Charles here! I have been moving boxes all day but I was never far from my phone, watching all these posts. I have enjoyed them, and Caroline has said what I might have said in her place.,As you might have noticed, we sort of think alike. 😃

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It has been such fun to join you on Jungle Red today! We’ve enjoyed the questions and comments. And we hope you have too. Our thanks to Debs for inviting us to join her. She does a great job—all the Jungle Reds are terrific, and I love checking in from time to time to see what’s happening. It’s always entertaining and I am always finding something to think about.

      .

      Delete
  62. Your book of medieval apples may be the Herefordshire Pomona, published by Folio Society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Connie! That's a terrific suggestion!

      Delete
    2. Connie, thank you! That’s worth looking into. I would love to see it again. It was just beautiful!

      Delete
  63. Coming late to the party, but I just had to comment when Charles and Caroline were guests. I come to Jungle Reds for many reasons, but one is because so many of my favorite authors "live" here. It's an extra thrill when another of my favorites is guest star for the day. The Rutledge books are so unique and well-thought out and researched. I always feel immersed in the place, time and characters. I am halfway through The Gatekeeper and am loving it just as much as all the others. (Maybe even more, but I always think that when I read the latest one!)

    The glimpse into the next Bess story above sounds fascinating. Thanks for all the happy hours spent devouring your books!

    ReplyDelete
  64. I enjoy your books and buy them as they come out. Could you, please, though get some English beta readers to weed out the American terms? There are far fewer than there used to be (the drapes seem to have disappeared) but they do jar - far too many ‘valises’ which were a particular type of case, and Englishwomen wore blouses not shirtwaists. Some of the timings on journeys are also rather odd - and I remember the days when the AA supplied personalised route diagrams for long journeys.

    ReplyDelete