#AuthorTakeOver · #BlogTour · Crime Thriller · Guest Post · HEad of Zeus

#BlogTour Death Chamber by Lesley Thomson @LesleyjmThomson @HoZ_Books #GuestPost

I am delighted to pass over the blog reigns to author Lesley Thomson today.

Too nice to murder.                                                                                                        Lesley Thomson

It’s often marvelled that crime writers can be so nice yet write stories of murder and mayhem. I wonder though, if you put your characters into scary and dangerous situations, how nice are you?

The Death Chamber is set in Winchcombe, a village in the idyllic Cotswolds. There’s an early Neolithic long barrow (that gives the book it’s title), a scarecrow, a run-down house and a church in the middle of nowhere. The perfect ingredients for a scary story.

In this novel I snatch Stella and Jack from their beloved London to solve a cold case in the countryside. I’m a Londoner who now lives in a little town in Sussex. I like how, even in the centre, I can see the edges: in every direction the Downs rise behind the rooftops. Having said that, I also like the streets lit at night and neighbours living next door. Like Stella, I’m not keen on total darkness or when silence is broken by the shrieks of a creature meeting its death or meting out death on another animal.

I often get asked if Stella or Jack,  the detectives in my series, are based on me. I’ve always answered with a firm no. I’m not keen on cleaning and you wouldn’t want to board a District line train driven by me. However, when I took them from their stomping ground, I recognised that we do have something in common.

Stella can negotiate cramp offices with a portable ultra-violet sanitiser. She gets into the darkest corners for a deep clean, but like me, trouble climbing a stile. Although she’s not one to chat with neighbours, she didn’t relish the remote house in the woods that, heartlessly, I plonked them both in.

In The Death Chamber, as with first five novels in The Detective’s Daughter series, I found the locations before the story.

For a chocolate box area in the Cotswolds, there are a surprising number of abandoned buildings. I discovered three. One was a ramshackle half-timbered affair, just visible through the trees from a quiet country lane. I clambered through brambles for a closer look, (tripping into a ditch and stepping in a cow-pat). As I prepared to take pictures, I was horrified to see that a man in a hat had been watching my clumsy progress. After several deep breaths and my heart rate returning to normal I realised that he was not a man, but a scarecrow. Fabulous! He went straight into the story.

By this time I’d discovered Belas Knap (the death chamber) and my plot was forming. The old house was remote and had no electricity, I called it Crow’s Nest. What with the cry of an owl at night and a breeze rustling through the woods, it was the last place on earth I’d want to find myself.  But I had no trouble consigning Jack and Stella to this fate.

That thing about crime writers being nice people…

Thank you so much for this, Lesley! How wonderful to get a little insight into how you put your characters into the situations they find themselves in.

Here’s the blurb …

Queen’s Jubilee, 1977: Cassie Baker sees her boyfriend kissing another girl at the village disco. Upset, she heads home alone and is never seen again.

Millennium Eve, 1999: DCI Paul Mercer finds Cassie’s remains in a field. Now he must prove the man who led him there is guilty.

When Mercer’s daughter asks Stella Darnell for help solving the murder, Stella see echoes of herself. Another detective’s daughter.

With her sidekick sleuth, Jack, Stella moves to Winchcombe, where DCI Mercer and his prime suspect have been playing cat and mouse for the past eighteen years…

Be sure to follow the rest of the tour: 

Go and get your copy NOW!

About the author …

Lesley Thomson grew up in west London. Her first novel, A Kind of Vanishing, won the People’s Book Prize in 2010. Her second novel, The Detective’s Daughter, was a #1 bestseller and the series has sold over 750,000 copies. Lesley divides her time between Sussex and Gloucestershire. She lives with her partner and her dog.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below :-)

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