Thanks for stopping by my website, home to the Honeychurch Hall and Vicky Hill mysteries. I’m still in the process of updating it (masses of apologies, I know I’m taking forever). I do have a good excuse however. After twenty-five years living in the USA I finally moved back to Devon—and yes, the Vizslas came too. It was a massive upheaval as you can imagine plus, in the middle of it all I had a Honeychurch book to finish (more on that in a moment) - and the first book in a new series (tentatively titled Tregarrick Rock) to write AND finish.
We’ve settled in a tiny hamlet in the South Hams that is mentioned in the Domesday Book. It’s surrounded by fields, woods, rivers and a gazillion green lanes, an extensive network of hidden tracks, that run for miles. The pups (now 3 1/2) are beside themselves with excitement for all the new smells. They’ve now met cattle, sheep, horses, pheasants and a very bold fox.
Now I’m finally coming up for air I can tell you about the latest book that was published t in the UK—Dangerous Deception at Honeychurch Hall. This is the fifth book in the series. The USA publishing date won’t be until April 2019. For those familiar with the series, you’ll see that the UK cover is very different from the USA. It’s the same story however!
In this fifth Honeychurch Hall mystery, antique dealer, Kat Stanford is dating Lady Lavinia Honeychurch’s eccentric brother Piers Carew who runs a neighbouring country estate in rural Devon. Unfortunately, Kat has a rival professionally and romantically—Piers’s ex-girlfriend, the impossibly beautiful, Cassandra Bowden-Forbes who is in town conducting valuations at the same antique fair as our heroine. Cassandra is also spearheading an anti-fly tipping campaign for Piers’s father Aubrey—a staunch environmental activist and hard-line local magistrate.
When a decorated war veteran publicly accuses Kat of “granny farming,” i.e. deliberately under-valuing a trio of rare mascot bears that Kat knows to be copies, Kat becomes suspicious. In addition, several dustbin liners of embarrassing personal items appearing to belong to her, are discovered ensuring an almost certain fine. Kat is convinced that Cassandra is involved.
Things go from bad to worse when witnesses place Kat at the scene of two deadly—but seemingly unconnected—accidents. The first being Aubrey’s fatal fall from his horse, and, the second, discovering the war veteran’s body at his home.
However, Cassandra has cast-iron alibis and besides Piers is adamant that she is innocent. Suspicion shifts to the new housekeeper who has secrets of her own as well as a mysterious stranger who has been seen stalking the grounds.
In a chilling climax that finds Kat and her mother Iris facing almost certain death, Kat makes the terrifying discovery that Cassandra will do anything—including murder—to become Piers’s wife.
New to Honeychurch Hall? The Honeychurch Hall Mysteries features former celebrity antique dealer Kat Stanford, and her romance writer mother, Iris. Set on a crumbling English country house estate, the books aren’t just about solving the mysteries. I wanted to highlight the fading glory of these grand old houses and the struggles to keep them afloat. The series also explores the intricacies of mother-daughter relationships
The Vicky Hill Mysteries star a young reporter who escaped to a sleepy English market town when her parents went on the run for armed robbery. Stuck writing the obituary column, Vicky Hill craves adventure and is determined to snag a front-page scoop—the juicier the better. Each book introduces a traditional, albeit eccentric, British custom. Snail racing? Worm charming? Who knew!
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And finally … I’ll be sending out a newsletter shortly with a fun contest that will involve the British Postbox … and also news on my new mystery series that is set on a small fictional island in the Isles of Scilly. This series chronicles the adventures of two sisters in their late thirties who unexpectedly inherit a crumbling art deco hotel.
Wishing you all a wonderful festive season!
Until next time!
Murder at Honeychurch Hall
Set against the backdrop of Agatha Christie’s beloved Devon, TV celebrity Kat Stanford discovers that her newly widowed mother Iris has recklessly bought a dilapidated carriage house on a country estate known as Honeychurch Hall. Although times have changed at the manor house, a line still exists between those upstairs, and those down. Iris’s arrival is greeted with suspicion—but that’s not all. Iris harbors an even bigger secret that not even her daughter knows: Iris writes under the pseudonym, Krystalle Storm, and is a best-selling author of racy bodice-rippers.
Throw in a feisty, octogenarian countess, a precocious seven year old who is obsessed with the famous fighter pilot called Biggles, a treasure trove of antiques; as well as the paparazzi, always hungry for celebrity news. Add the occasional haunting from the resident family of ghosts, and there is more than one motive for murder. Yet at its core, the story explores the relationship between a mother and daughter facing new and uncertain beginnings and makes a good case for the notion that those nearest and dearest to us are often the most duplicitous of all.
Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall
When the body of a transport minister is discovered in the grounds on the Honeychurch Hall estate, suspicion as to his unusual demise naturally falls on the residents. After all, who could possibly want a high-speed train line and rolling stock depot built in their front yard?
News of the murder soon reaches our heroine Kat Stanfords nemesis Trudy Wynne. A ruthless tabloid journalist and the ex-wife of Kats discarded lover, Trudy is out for revenge. She is also interested in exposing and humiliating Kats mother Iris, who is secretly the international bestselling romance writer Krystalle Storm.
As the body count begins to build, Kat becomes inextricably embroiled in the ensuing scandal. Is the ministers death the result of a local vendetta, or could it be connected to her mothers unusual past?
A Killer Ball at Honeychurch Hall
When antique dealer Kat Stanford discovers the partially mummified body of a young woman in an abandoned wing at Honeychurch Hall, suspicion falls on those who had been living there half a century ago. In those days the Bushman Traveling Fair and Boxing Emporium camped on the estate grounds, so Kat is not surprised to learn that her mother Iris knew the victim.
Meanwhile, the unexpected appearance of retired sailor and local lothario Bryan Laney sets female hearts aflutter. Despite the passing years, time has not dampened his ardor for Iris but the feeling is not reciprocated. With stories of hidden treasure and secret chambers, misguided loyalties and spiteful deception, past and present collide. As Kat becomes embroiled once more in her mother’s tumultuous bygone days, she comes to realize that life is never black and white, and that sometimes, lies become necessary to protect the ones you love.
Murderous Mayhem at Honeychurch Hall
When the only typewritten copy of Iris Stanford’s new manuscript “Ravished” fails to arrive at her London publisher, her daughter Kat tracks the registered package back to the tiny village post office where it would seem it never left. Iris is justifiably paranoid that Muriel Jarvis, the postmistress and a notorious busybody, will expose her secret identity as international best-selling romance writer Krystalle Storm.
But Muriel has her own problems. The sudden death of Fred, her husband of forty-nine years, has not only left her heavily in debt but facing the possibility that Lord Rupert Honeychurch will evict her from the flat above the post office where her family has lived in for generations. Desperate for money, Muriel recklessly embarks on a disastrous course of action with fatal consequences.
Meanwhile, as preparations get underway for the annual re-enactment of the Royalist Honeychurches vs. the Carew Roundheads on the grounds of the Honeychurch Hall estate, Eric unearths the gruesome remains of a woman thought to have vanished during the English Civil War. Her discovery re-ignites old rivalries between the two great families of Devon and upsets Rupert’s wife, Lady Lavinia Carew and her dashingly handsome brother, Piers.
As always, Kat is the voice of reason, but as tales of bizarre thefts, blackmail, rampant infidelity murder abound, Kat’s loyalties are challenged on every front—even concerning matters of her own heart. In a spine-chilling climax, past and present collide as Kat is forced to fight for her life, and in the process, discovers that love really can conquer all.
A Vicky Hill Exclusive!
Aspiring investigative journalist Vicky Hill faces two challenges. The first is to escape the stultifying boredom of funeral reporting for the Gipping Gazette by making a career-enhancing front-page splash. The second is to lose her virginity-a heavy burden for a woman of twenty-three.
Vicky’s chance for a scoop comes with the discovery of three grisly chicken corpses, which are bizarrely connected to the unusual death of elderly Sir Hugh, the local hedge-jumping enthusiast. As Vicky delves deeper into village affairs, she is thrilled to find the sleepy English market town harbors more than its fair share of secrets.
Yet Vicky has a secret of her own. As only daughter of The Fog – a notorious criminal, currently on the run in Spain – enlisting the help of the police is never an option. If that wasn’t enough, rival reporter, the voluptuous Annabel Lake, thinks nothing of using sexual wiles to gain vital information and thwarts Vicky’s efforts at every turn.
With hooded figures meeting at midnight, a stash of stolen silver and a rising body count, Vicky discovers she has opened Gipping’s Pandora’s box.
Casting safety aside and with only her pluck, wit and determination to fall back on, Vicky must decide just how far she is prepared to go to clinch the story of a lifetime.
Vicky Hill: Scoop!
Obit writer Vicky Hill suspects foul play when she learns of a suspicious death: a champion hedge cutter, electrocuted after accidentally slicing through a power cable. Yeah, right. To get the real story Vicky’s willing to suffer through bad dates and mortal danger.
Vicky Hill: Exposé!
It’s snail racing season in the small town of Gipping-on-Plym. And obituary writer Vicky Hill is racing, too – to solve a mysterious death.
When an early-morning call wakes Vicky from the arms of her dream man, reality had better be worth it – and it is. An anonymous tipster tells her about the secret funeral of local celebrity Scarlett Fleming – coordinated by her husband, Doug. The entire town is baffled by the sudden death and oddly discreet funeral. After all, Scarlett was never one to stay in her shell.
Vicky’s suspicions heighten when she learns of the Flemings’ shaky finances – and that Doug has almost as many admirers as Scarlett had enemies. While canvassing suspects and juggling three suitors, Vicky must stay one step ahead of a killer once she realizes she’s no longer writing an obituary – she’s writing an expose!
Vicky Hill: Thieves!
When a slew of silver thefts hit the small town of Gipping-on-Plym, it’s up to aspiring investigative journalist Vicky Hill to figure out if the culprits are gypsies, tramps, or thieves…
Unaware that their temporary dwelling is also serving as the official gathering site for the upcoming annual “Morris Dance-a-thon,” the gypsies set up their illegal campground at The Grange, much to the dismay of almost everyone in town. And when silver is stolen shortly after the gypsies arrive, blaming the despised nomads makes more than a little sense.
But when the body of an unnamed woman is found in a shallow stream, Vicky suspects there’s a connection between the murder and the recent silver thefts. And since both her boss and the local police refuse to investigate, Vicky takes on the case by herself. It’s a criminal conundrum suited only for the mind of Vicky Hill, and she’s determined to uncover the answers and clinch her fourth national exclusive!
Vicky Hill: Accused!
Murder is in the air when hedge-jumping champ Dave Randall accuses Jack Webster, Dave’s archenemy of attempting to sabotage his life-long dream of competing at the upcoming European Games. But Vicky is used to Dave’s histrionics and turns a blind eye to Dave’s cries for help. After all, she has bigger fish to fry—namely the mysterious death of worm charming diva, Ruth Reeves, whose sudden inheritance has made her very
unpopular with old friends and neighbors alike. But when Dave claims he’s framed for not just one death but two Vicky believes he just might be wrongly … Accused!