by Frances Evesham
Book 1: Murder at the Lighthouse
Everyone knows the dead woman under the lighthouse, but no one knows why she died. What brought the folk-rock star back to Exham on Sea after so many years? Who wanted her dead? Does the key to her murder lie in the town, or far away across the Atlantic?
Amateur female sleuth Libby Forest arrives in the small town after years in a disastrous marriage, to build a new life making cakes and chocolates in Exham on Sea. She finds a body under the lighthouse and discovers her own talent for solving mysteries, helped by Bear, an enormous Carpathian Sheepdog, and Fuzzy, an aloof marmalade cat.
Libby joins forces with secretive Max Ramshore and risks the wrath of the townspeople as she puts together the pieces of the jigsaw to solve the mystery of Susie Bennett’s death.
“A short and entertaining read, with great characters who I think have lots of potential for future stories.”
“Murder at the Lighthouse is a light and entertaining read (but don’t be fooled, you need to keep your wits about you!) that opens a series introducing characters that I wanted to get to know better, in a charming setting that hides many secrets.”
“A delightful read, this is an excellent murder mystery thriller. The author builds the tension with ease, and in an expert and eloquent style. If you like Miss Marple, this amateur sleuth will enthrall you.”
Book 2: Murder on the Levels
When two cyclists die on the Somerset Levels, the Exham bakery gets the blame. Libby Forest runs into danger as she sets out to solve the mystery, save the bakery and rescue her career, helped by Bear, the enormous Carpathian Sheepdog, Fuzzy, an aloof marmalade cat and the handsome, secretive Max Ramshore, and a cast of local characters, including Mandy the Teenage Goth, her new boyfriend, Steve, Frank the baker and Detective Sergeant Joe Ramshore, Max’s estranged son.
CIR: What inspired this book?
EVESHAM: My home town of Burnham on Sea, in Somerset, although, as I keep reassuring my neighbours, all the characters are pure figments of my imagination. Most of the places mentioned are real, but even those locations and place names are sometimes altered.
CIR: What would you compare this book to?
EVESHAM: Agatha Christie meets Midsomer Murders. My hero writer is Agatha Christie, for the wonderful plots, and I hope the Exham on Sea stories encapsulate the Englishness of the television series, Midsomer Murders.
CIR: What was the hardest part of writing this story?
EVESHAM: Finding the right names for characters is a challenge, and so important. My favourite, in Book 2, is Chesterton Wendlebury, based on the names of two villages in the English countryside. I have a few more terrific place names up my sleeve for later books in the series.
CIR: Did this require any research, and what kind?
EVESHAM: I spent many hours sampling cakes and chocolates for this series. It’s a hard job, but someone has to do it.
CIR: Is there more coming?
EVESHAM: There certainly is. The next installment will be released in May/June 2016, and many more are planned. I just love writing this series.