Monday 28 October 2019

4 Reasons Miss Marple is THE Queen of Amateur Sleuths

A few weeks ago I did a survey…

Sure, it wasn't exactly scientific, but after more than 100 responses to my question "Who's your favourite amateur sleuth?", I think we can safely say that Miss Marple is Queen of the Quizzes, Master of All Mysteries and the least amateur of all amateur sleuths.
And I'm not surprised.
Agatha Christie had already penned the perfect professional detective in Hercule Poirot (who appeared in her first book The Mysterious Affair at Styles), so it's no surprise that she got her amateur sleuth so spot-on. So how did she do it?
They're in it for love (not money)
There are a few core ingredients to a good amateur sleuth (AS). For starters, they really do need to be an amateur. They can't be a police officer or a detective or even a private eye (which is why Poirot does not make the list). They must be a layperson, someone incidental, someone who just happens upon mysteries and can't help but use their natural instinct for intrigue to get involved. But it must also be justifiable, reasonable, logical that they would get involved. Otherwise it's all a bit of a stretch.
That's why so many amateur sleuths are priests and doctors—people who naturally interact with the public and come across suspicious corpses.
Miss Marple is neither of these yet she ticks all the boxes, which brings me to another core ingredient:
They're nosey parkers
The best AS's are naturally nosey and Miss Marple is your classic nosey neighbour, the 'little ole biddy' next door who peeks through curtains and eavesdrops on gossip. It's no surprise she spots criminals sneaking about and overhears death plots. She's got a constant ear to the ground and knows everybody's business whether they know it or not. Which brings me to the next ingredient of a good AS.
They're invisible!
Well, perhaps not literally but it's hard to poke about when you're the centre of attention, which is why women of a certain age make terrific AS's (Jessica Fletcher anyone?). Invisible Woman Syndrome really does exist—just ask any woman (and some men, for that matter) over the age of 50 who have ever applied for a job or tried to order a drink at a busy bar. It's like you're not there! Which can be so frustrating—unless, of course, you're trying to solve a murder. Then you can use it to your advantage (mwahaha). 
They're disarming
Even when she does get noticed, Miss Marple comes across as sweet, harmless, even a little slow-witted. She's an 'elderly spinster' after all! Few people take her seriously and that is her superpower. Both cops and bad guys underestimate her, letting clues slip and being disarmed in her presence. Yet she's whip smart and playing them all! (It's a trick that works for pros like Vera Stanhope, Columbo and Monk.)  
And while there are plenty of AS's who disprove the rule—there's nothing invisible about Phryne Fisher, while Nancy Drew uses youth to her advantage—I still believe nobody does it better than Jane Marple. 
And, it seems, most of you do, too.

Meet MY Bookish Sleuths!

My Agatha Christie Book Club series features a club full of passionate amateur sleuths who clearly love a good mystery—hence the reason they've joined this particular book club—and each bring their own ingredients to the mix. 
Club founder Alicia Finlay has a rather eerie way of looking at the world, seeing the worst in everything and suspicious of everyone, which really helps when it comes to crime, while her stunning sister Lynette and classy club member Claire have a splash of Miss Fisher about them. They often use their 'feminine wiles' to flirt their way to the truth. 
Yet it's probably librarian Missy who most resembles Miss Marple. Missy might be young but she does waffle on, and can seem ditzy and airheaded. The truth is she's as switched on as Miss Marple and people underestimate her at their peril.
There's also a fastidious Poirot-style character in Perry and, one of Christie's achetypes, a dashing doctor with a penchant for poison—Anders.
Want to meet the whole gang and see how they got together? You can grab the first eBook and paperback in the series now from any good online bookstore, or at Amazon here.
Happy reading, everyone, and happy amateur sleuthing, too. Because when you think about it, we're ALL amateur sleuths!
xo Christina

Tuesday 8 October 2019

All 6 Ghostwriter Mysteries Up For Grabs + News On The 7th!

A young girl wakes up to find her entire family has vanished. Many years later Phoebe decides to tell her life story, and enlists the help of a ghostwriter.

Enter Roxy Parker…

The last time we met Ghostwriter Roxy, in A Note Before Dying, she'd fallen in love and settled into a quiet country life. 
Or had she? 
In Book 7 of the best-selling series, Roxy returns to Sydney, minus the love interest but with an adorable pooch by her side. She's home to write the life story of the aforementioned 'Forgotten Phoebe'—and, knowing our Roxy, uncover what really happened to Phoebe's missing family. 
But it's not the only reason she's back. Roxy has a very important announcement to make, and it's going to put a few noses—and at least one mother—out of joint!


As you can see, I've been busy concocting the next fun, fast-paced adventure for my Ghostwriter Roxy Parker, and to celebrate—and you know how much I love to celebrate—I'm giving YOU a chance to win ALL SIX!
For more on how to win, see below. It's very easy to enter, and writing book seven is coming easily, too. 
As many of you know, it's been a few years between Ghostwriter books and I know some of you have missed Roxy and her fab, fast-talking friends. I've missed them all, too, and have been having a blast reuniting with the cast, getting under Roxy's mother's nose (it's like a blood sport!), and throwing them all into the middle of my most perplexing mystery yet.
I'll be giving more info on the mystery in later emails, as well as a title and cover reveal, so be sure to stay in touch. And keep reading to be in the running.


To score a full set of Ghostwriter Mystery eBooks, all you have to do is tell me what you miss most about Roxy Parker. Is it her witty one-liners? Her motley mates? Or her uncanny knack for sniffing out crime?
Or maybe it's something else entirely?
I'd love to hear from you! Just jot me a quick email reply—just a few words is fine—and you'll be in the running!* Entries close in just one week and I'll announce the lucky winner in my very next email, so be sure to look out for it. 
Best of luck everybody and happy reading!
xo Christina


*Ts&Cs: You have one week to enter the competition. The best entries may be quoted in a future email. The winning entry and their name will be decided by the author and will be quoted in a future email. Ebook prizes only. You have four weeks to claim your prize. No further correspondence will be entered into. Thx :-)