Do you love mysteries? Are British “Cozies” mysteries must reads? Then Charlie Cochrane has just written a mystery for you! Today Charlie Cochrane has stopped by to talk about writing, story locations, and of course, The Best Corpse for the Job! Check it all out below and don’t forget to leave a comment with an email address to be entered in the contest.
Saving my bacon – tales of the eleventh hour by Charlie Cochrane
All of us make mistakes in our writing. Sometimes it’s just about making assumptions, like the provenance of the word blizzard. It sounds nice and old and sort of Shakespearean, so it never occurred to me to check whether my nice gay Regency vicar could use “blizzard” in my short story “The Shade on a Fine Day”. Turns out he couldn’t, as it’s late Victorian, of US origin. Rats. I’m not alone, though – PD James has allegedly featured a motorbike reversing down a road, when they don’t have reverse gear.
I’ve been saved from making a major blooper on several occasions. The little voice in your head which tells you to double check something should never be ignored. For example, I set Lessons in Seduction in and around Pegwell Bay, Kent. As a child, I used to go on day trips there from Ramsgate when we were on holiday and in my memory, the access to the beach was flat. My memory lied to me, as I discovered when I looked at pictures of the place – there were cliffs. Luckily I had time to go back and change some of the relevant bits of the story before sending it off, but it was a close shave.
I had just such an experience relating to “The Best Corpse for the Job”. In the original draft, the people who turn up to process the crime scene were called SOCOs (Scenes of Crimes Officers), but recently those title changed to CSIs (Crime Scene Investigators). In another bout of good fortune, I was out at a barbecue with someone whose daughter was a SOCO turned CSI, so I could pick her brain about what things should be called now. Thank goodness for word processing, “find and replace”, and all the other blessings of modern writing!
The other peculiar thing which happened when writing the story is related to the name of the school where the first murder takes place. To put it in context, the governors of a school in a typically leafy, middle England type of village are recruiting a new headteacher and one of the candidates gets done in. I called the school…well, I won’t tell you what I called it originally, because it was awfully like the name of a real village school. I do some freelance training and blow me down with a feather if I didn’t get asked, just at the time I was drafting Best Corpse, to go and do some training at (you’ve guessed it!) that place I will refer to simply as “a real village school”. It gets funnier. The training I was asked to take was “Selecting and Interviewing Headteachers”.
Find and replace, find and replace, find and replace…
Tea and sympathy have never been so deadly.
Schoolteacher Adam Matthews just wants to help select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already failed miserably at finding the right candidate, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straightforward decision turns tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.
Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And that handsome young teacher has him reminding himself not to fraternize with a witness. But it’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.
As secrets amongst the governors emerge and a second person turns up dead, Robin needs to focus less on Adam and more on his investigation. But there are too many suspects, too many lies, and too many loose ends. Before they know it, Robin and Adam are fighting for their lives and their hearts.
About Charlie Cochrane
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
Connect with Charlie:
- Website: http://charliecochrane.co.uk/
Facebook profile page: facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an e-book from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excepting The Best Corpse for the Job). Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 29. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. However, you must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Don’t forget to leave an email address where you can be contacted if selected in the body of your comment.
You can follow Charlie Cochrane on her The Best Corpse for the Job tour here!