On writing a murder mystery series – 2

Yes, I have been busy writing a murder mystery series. So far there are four books written and the fifth is my current work-in-progress. The first in the series is available now on ‘pre-sale’ on Smashwords (see link below). They all feature a bright, enthusiastic and competent Madeleine Brooks, senior Probation Officer then new estate agent, but one who brings with her an incisive intelligence and a lifetime of experience working with difficult people.

In the first book, Death in Cold Waters, Maddie is troubled. Her career as a senior Probation Officer is in jeopardy with a new and micro-managing boss. Her long marriage has challenges. And one of her more interesting clients has been re-arrested. She has serious doubts about why. But a child has been murdered and her client looks good for being the perpetrator. That’s the book which is now available – on ‘pre-sale’ (which means it’s at a discount and is available) at Smashwords and on ‘pre-order’ on Amazon (which means you can order it but it won’t be delivered to your Kindle until June 14th, release day).

The second and subsequent books have Maddie recently relocated from suburbia to a small village in the Oxfordshire countryside. I have always adored murder mysteries located in English villages. And I lived in such a village (close by two other villages somewhat similar to where Maddie lives) for five years – good experience for Maddie’s adventures.

Here is a small story about the numbering and timing of the stories. I have just finished writing Death in Cold Waters, the first in the series. However, I had already written three others which, chronologically, occur later than Cold Waters. The 1st book takes place while Maddie is still a Probation Officer, and provides several reasons why she escapes to her village location as an estate agent for the rest of the series. My good friend and author of thrillers and short story books, Thomas Ryan, suggested I should re-number the books in the series so this book can be the first. I had thought of it as s ‘prequel’ to the series. He pointed out that a prequel is often of a shorter length, such as a novella, and perhaps not always a well thought out and full story, which certainly this one aims to be.

So – I now have new covers changing the number in the series for Death at Cherry Tree Manor ( now Book 2) and Death at Valley View Cottage, (Book 3). They are due out in July and August, 2020.

If you’re interested in getting a copy of Death in Cold Waters for the discount at Smashwords, here’s the url. Although it will be $3.99 after June 14th, the pre-sale price is half that at $1.99.

As a reader of my blog, though, I have set it up that you can get it for only 99¢ by signing up for updates of times when books are available for a decent discount !