Related to: 'The Turning Tide'

Julie Sarkissian blogs about the problems facing the protagnist of her debut novel, DEAR LUCY

Something's Wrong With Lucy - But What?

Lucy is different – that much is clear. She speaks like a child, doesn’t recognize social boundaries, flies into rages, and treasures rotten food. Her cognition is impaired, her vocabulary is very limited and she cannot read or write. But what – precisely – is wrong with her is left up to the reader. Lucy is the protagonist of my novel, DEAR LUCY, and from the first sentence of the book I ever wrote it was obvious that Lucy was cognitively different. The way Lucy describes herself is as “missing too many words.” Her mother calls her “difficult.” Readers of early drafts of the book had a few theories as to Lucy’s condition; autism, Williams Syndrome, Down Syndrome. But Lucy’s mother has kept her from going to school and Lucy has never seen a doctor. So in the fictional reality of the book there is no official diagnosis. But as the novel progressed I wondered – should I have one? I was torn. If Lucy was presenting enough symptoms to point to a real condition, was I ignoring the obvious not to fold that condition into my development of her character? Was it insensitive of me to allude to aspects of certain real, life-altering conditions but not assign a specific condition to Lucy? I worried about appropriating aspects of serious conditions without treating those conditions with proper respect and acknowledgement. And though any clinical diagnosis would probably not be explicit in the novel, I wondered if I would be ignoring an opportunity to bring attention to a real disorder when people asked me about Lucy’s condition, the way The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time did for autism. On the other hand, I had concerns that if I chose a diagnosis for Lucy, I would be ascribing to her qualities that she wouldn’t have otherwise presented. Lucy had her own will over my writing and over the novel. I didn’t want to yoke Lucy’s expression by keeping her behavior and abilities consistent with a clinical condition. Accuracy would also become a critical issue if Lucy’s condition was named. Ultimately I chose not to diagnose Lucy, though I worry the artistic freedom provided by that decision comes at the price of being judged for being too liberal with my treatment of cognitive disorders. Now that publication is a few months away, I am apprehensive of how my treatment of Lucy’s cognitive limitations will be judged. I have yet to talk to a reader who has a learning different child, or works with learning different people, and that conversation is one I will be honored, and not a bit anxious, to have.

Hodder & Stoughton

A Step So Grave

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson

'McPherson's wit has been compared to that of PG Wodehouse or Nancy Mitford, and her finely researched and choreographed narratives to the work of Agatha Christie . . . an absolute delight . . . these are the perfect reads for a night by the fire.' ScotsmanWedding bells are set to ring as Dandy Gilver, family in tow, arrives in windswept Wester Ross on Valentine's Day. They've come to celebrate Lady Lavinia's fiftieth birthday and to meet her daughter Mallory, a less-than-suitable bride-to-be for Dandy's son Donald.But soon love is the last thing on Dandy's mind when the news breaks that Lady Lavinia has been found dead, brutally murdered in the middle of her famous knot garden. Strange superstitions and folklore abound among the Gaelic-speaking locals. But , Dandy suspects that the tangled boughs and branches around Applecross House hide something much more earthly at work . . .

Hodder & Stoughton

Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1930s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie.'A delightfully uplifting mystery with a distinctly P.G. Wodehouse-ian feel. Navigating ancient castles, and family feuds, Dandy Gilver must also contend with a ribald staging of Shakespeare's Macbeth. I loved the sense of fun, the wonderful use of language . . . satisfying on many levels.' Vaseem Khan, author of the Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector ChopraScotland, 1934. Aristocratic private detective Dandy Gilver arrives at Castle Bewer, at midsummer, to solve the tangled mystery of a missing man, a lost ruby and a family curse. The Bewer family's latest wheeze to keep the wolf from the door is turning the castle keep into a theatre. While a motley band of players rehearse Macbeth, the Bewers themselves prepare lectures, their faithful servants set up a tearoom, and the guest wings fill with rich American ladies seeking. Meanwhile, Dandy and her sidekick Alec Osborne begin to unravel the many secrets of the Bewers and find that, despite the witches, murders and ghosts onstage, it's behind the scenes where the darkest deeds are done.'The perfect read for those who enjoy the bygoneworld charm of Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh and Agatha Christie.' - The Lady on Dandy Gilver and a Most Misleading Habit'Catriona McPherson is a writer as talented as she is versatile. Dandy Gilver tackles a Golden Age era puzzle with her usual aplomb when the Scottish play offers a Shakespearean twist to a mystery with plenty of classic ingredients.' Martin Edwards'Dandy Gilver is a fabulous character. a cross between Nancy Drew and the Australian crime cracker Miss Fisher. She is both relentless and brilliant.' Amazon Reviewer

Hodder Paperbacks

Dandy Gilver and a Most Misleading Habit

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1930s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Alexander McCall Smith and Agatha Christie.'The perfect read for those who enjoy the bygoneworld charm of Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh and Agatha Christie.' The Lady Scotland, 1932. Aristocratic private investigator Dandy Gilver strikes again with her witty sidekick Alec Osbourne to solve sinister goings on at a convent on a bleak Lanarkshire moor. The convent was set alight following a mass breakout at a neighbouring psychiatric hospital on Christmas Eve, resulting in the death of the mother superior. Most patients were returned safely but a few are still at large. . . As Dandy interviews each nun in turn she senses a stranger is still lurking in the corridors at night - could they be the same person who left blood-red footprints in the sacristy? One of Catriona McPherson's creepiest - and funniest - mysteries yet.Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.

Hodder Paperbacks

Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson
Hodder Paperbacks

Dandy Gilver and The Reek of Red Herrings

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1930s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie.On the rain-drenched, wave-lashed, wind-battered Banffshire coast, tiny fishing villages perch on ledges which would make a seagull think twice and crumbly mansions cling to crumblier cliff tops while, out in the bay, the herring drifters brave the storms to catch their silver darlings. It's nowhere for a child of gentle Northamptonshire to spend Christmas.But when odd things start to turn up in barrels of fish - with a strong whiff of murder most foul - that's exactly where Dandy Gilver finds herself. Enlisted to investigate, she and her trusty cohort Alec Osborne are soon swept up in the fisherfolk's wedding season as well as the mystery. Between age-old traditions and brand-new horrors, Dandy must think the unthinkable to solve her grisliest case yet.Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.

Hodder Paperbacks

Dandy Gilver and a Deadly Measure of Brimstone

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1920s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie.Perthshire 1929 and the menfolk of the Gilver family have come down, between them, with influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy. Dandy the devoted wife and mother decides it is time to decamp; Dandy the intrepid detective, however, decides to decamp to the scene of a murder she would dearly love to solve. The family repairs to the Borders town of Moffat, there to drink the sulphurous waters straight from the well and to submit to the galvanic wraps and cold salt rubs of the splendid Laidlaw Hydropathic Hotel.But all is not well at the Hydro. The Laidlaw family is at war, the guests are an uneasy mix of old faithfuls and giddy upstarts, and the secret of the lady who arrived but never left cannot be kept for long. And what of those drifting shapes in the Turkish bath? Just steam shifting in the air? Probably. But the Hydro was built in the lee of a Gallow Hill, and in this town the dead can be as much trouble as the living...Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.

Hodder Paperbacks

Broke

Mandasue Heller
Authors:
Mandasue Heller

What would you do to protect your own?Amy only wants a happy family - instead, she's in a nightmare of pain.Her marriage to Mark isn't the best - he can't hold down a job, he's got a bit of a temper. But she doesn't want to know just how bad things are until his gambling habit brings Lenny Yates to her door. He makes it brutally clear how she can pay off Mark's debts.But Amy's troubles are only beginning. Now there's another woman in Mark's life, who wants Mark for herself. She is ready to steal Amy's man, her self-respect and even her children. As the stakes rise, Amy will either lose everything, or she'll have to learn how to stand up to her enemies . . .

Hodder Paperbacks

Unspoken

Lisa Jackson
Authors:
Lisa Jackson

Shelby Cole thinks she put Texas behind her. She left ten years ago, her world shattered and her illegitimate baby dead. Now she's getting anonymous letters saying that her daughter is alive. Shelby's not the only one coming home. Falsely accused of murder and sent to prison for ten years, an enemy from her past intends to settle old scores.Shelby's search for the truth is met with stonewalling and hostility, especially from her powerful father. She can't shake the suspicion that someone has lured her back for their own reasons. Her only ally is a figure from her past - someone she has every reason not to trust. And in the midst of dark family revelations she uncovers a terrifying scheme of revenge.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Night Before

Lisa Jackson
Authors:
Lisa Jackson
Mulholland Books

Killer Ambition

Marcia Clark
Authors:
Marcia Clark
Hodder Paperbacks

The Morning After

Lisa Jackson
Authors:
Lisa Jackson

She wakes in a dark, closed space. From above her comes the muffled sound of cruel laughter, followed by the sound of earth being thrown. Pure terror takes over as she realizes she's being buried alive, and her last breath is a scream that no one but a sadistic killer will hear.To Nikki Gillette, this disturbing story is a ticket out of small-town Savannah and on to the big time. She's already given the killer a name - The Grave Robber - and she's spending every minute dogging tough cop Pierce Reed's investigation.Another body is found. And another. Each gruesome discovery unnerves Nikki a little more . . . there's something familiar about it, something she should know. Now, as a serial killer pulls her ever deeper into his sick game, she has now idea how close she's getting to the truth - or how deadly it will be.

Hodder Paperbacks

Tomorrow, the Killing

Daniel Polansky
Authors:
Daniel Polansky
Hodder Paperbacks

Breakdown

Sara Paretsky
Authors:
Sara Paretsky

Carmilla, Queen of the Night, is a shape-shifting raven whose fictional exploits thrill girls all over the world. When tweens in Chicago's Carmilla Club hold an initiation ritual in an abandoned cemetery, they stumble on an actual corpse, a man stabbed through the heart in a vampire-style slaying.The girls include daughters of some of Chicago's most powerful families: the grandfather of one, Chaim Salanter, is one of the world's wealthiest men; the mother of another, Sophy Durango, is the Illinois Democratic candidate for Senate. For V.I. Warshawski, the questions multiply faster than the answers. Is the killing linked to a hostile media campaign against Sophy Durango? Or to Chaim Salanter's childhood in Nazi-occupied Lithuania? As V.I. struggles for answers, she finds herself fighting enemies who are all too human.

Hodder Paperbacks

You Don't Want to Know

Lisa Jackson
Authors:
Lisa Jackson
Hodder Paperbacks

Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1920s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Alexander McCall Smith and Agatha Christie.'1920s lady detective Dandy Gilver lands a sleuthing gig in a setting straight out of Enid Blyton,. Cosier than a pair of WI-knitted mittens, Corpses serves up murder most foul - and is also good for several giggles.' TIME OUT Before she was a detective, before she was a reluctant wife and distracted mother, before she was even a debutante, Dandy Gilver spent one perfect summer with the Lipscotts of Pereford. The golden memories of it have sustained her through many a cold snap in Perthshire. So when two of the Lipscott sisters beg her to help the third, she can hardly refuse. Sweet, pretty Fleur Lipscott: where is she now? The astonishing answer to this is that Fleur - still Miss Lipscott, indeed more Miss Lipscott than ever - is buried alive in the tiny seaside village of Portpatrick, working as a schoolmistress at St Columba's College for Young Ladies.But she is one of the few remaining, for St Columba's has been shedding mistresses as a snake its skins and the exodus is far from over. With mistresses vanishing and corpses mounting up, can Mrs Gilver, detective, pass herself off as Miss Gilver, English mistress, to solve the one and stop the other?Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.

Hodder Paperbacks

The Map of Lost Memories

Kim Fay
Authors:
Kim Fay

The one thing to remember about an adventure is that if it turns out the way you expect it to, it has not been an adventure at all . . .Shanghai, 1925.Irene, a museum curator (and, unofficially, a treasure hunter) is searching for a set of legendary copper scrolls which describe the forgotten history of Cambodia's ancient Khmer civilisation. Her mentor has sent her to China to enlist the help of Simone, a mercurial Frenchwoman who - along with her notoriously violent husband, 'the most dangerous man in the Orient' - has a reputation for both stealing artefacts and starting revolutions. Irene and Simone set off through the Cambodian jungle to search for the scrolls, but it soon becomes clear that each is determined to acquire them for her own reasons, and that once they have located them it will be every woman for herself . . .Gripping, evocative, lavish and thrilling, this is an unforgettable book that was listed as one of Amazon's top 100 Breakthrough Novels before it was even finished.

Hodder & Stoughton

Bury Her Deep

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson
Hodder Paperbacks

Dandy Gilver and an Unsuitable Day for a Murder

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson
Hodder & Stoughton

Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson
Hodder Paperbacks

The Winter Ground

Catriona McPherson
Authors:
Catriona McPherson

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1930s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Alexander McCall Smith and Agatha Christie.'McPherson is an exemplary crime writer' Scotsman BAD LUCK? BAD TIMING? OR GOOD OLD-FASHIONED MURDER? When a circus comes to spend the winter at the neighbouring estate to Gilverton, Dandy Gilver's two sons are cock-a-hoop and they are not alone in their excitement. The allure of Tumbling Topsy Turvy, Tiny Truman and the Troupe Prebezhensky also draw the attention of the fast set, who would never normally be seen dead with the nouveau riche Mr & Mrs Albert Wilson. 'The name, darling, tells you everything you need to know.'But when Dandy Gilver is asked to investigate a series of nasty tricks taking place in the circus she discovers, under the colourful charms on the surface of circus life, a hotbed of passion and resentment she cannot begin to understand. But, when one of the artistes suddenly dies, Dandy must somehow get behind the smoke and mirrors to find answers in a world where nothing is as it seems. 'Dry wit . . . sparkling dialogue and meticulous description.' Herald 'The most engaging and ingenious crime-cracker I've met in ages' Scotland on Sunday Dan Brown meets Barbara Pym . . . Dandy is brisk, baffled, heroic, kindly, scandalised and - above all - very funny - GuardianCatriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.