Digging in the Dirt will be published on the 16th September as a paperback and eBook, with an audio book to follow. The eBook is now available to pre-order. Here is the blurb:
Someone had posted a dead rat through Jana Jakubowska’s letterbox, and scrawled obscene graffiti on her garden wall. Harmless pranks, or something more sinister? Her boyfriend, Tom Renwick, hired me to find out.
During my investigation, I met Jana’s charming four-year-old daughter, Krystyna, her estranged former lover, Matt Taylor, and a local hoodlum called Naz.
As the case unfolded, the trail led to murder, and a situation that placed Krystyna in danger. The Rat Man had revealed his ruthless streak, but surely he wouldn’t harm a child?
Meanwhile, Faye Collister, my friend and colleague, was trying to reconcile her feelings for Blake the Bodyguard, a handsome hunk, and dismiss her troubled past.
Digging in the Dirt, a story of passionate love, and extreme hate.
I have teamed up with Author Reach 😃 What does this mean for you, dear reader? For a start it means a FREE book. Simply follow the link and you will receive a copy of Sam’s Stories, which includes the stories Over the Edge, A Bad Break and Of Cats and Men, chronicling Sam’s early days as an enquiry agent. You should receive a confirmation email followed by the book instantly, but please check your junk folder because sometimes emails wander into the junk folder.
Used fictitiously in Sam’s Song as Castle Gwyn, Castell Coch is a nineteenth century Gothic Revival castle built above the village of Tongwynlais in South Wales. The ruins of the original Norman castle were acquired by the Bute family during the Victorian period. At that time, the Bute family were the richest family in the world and with the aid of architect William Burges they developed their fantasy to create a fairytale castle.
Pictured: the main entrance, the banqueting hall, the drawing room, a bedroom and the castle in its beechwood landscape.
In A Parcel of Rogues Mac builds a coracle. For what reason? All will be revealed in chapter twenty-three 😃
And while you are here, please check out my recently updated Audio Book page 😃 https://hannah-howe.com/audio-books/
Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #18, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s World.
The writing of Digging in the Dirt, Sam Smith Mystery Series #12, is nearly complete so my thoughts are turning to A Parcel of Rogues, book #13. All my books are based on psychological or sociological issues and that will continue with A Parcel of Rogues. I also use real-life situations in my books, in fictitious form, and that will also continue. New characters will be introduced alongside old favourites and I hope this will keep the stories fresh. Meanwhile, I’m also researching material for Boston, book #14
In Digging in the Dirt, Sam finds herself in a cave surrounded by flowstones, stalactites, stalagmites and helictites. Helictites, pictured, swivel on their axis during development, thus defying gravity. Delicate with their radial symmetry, they are brittle, fragile in their beauty.
Who was Jack the Ripper? Joseph Barnett, William Bury, Severin Klosowski, Montague Druitt, Sir William Gull, James Maybrick, Walter Sickert, Dr Francis Tumblety, Prince Albert Victor, Aaron Kosminski (pictured in the Illustrated London News, 1888), or A.N. Other? The crucial question is, why did the murders stop? Maybe Jack discovered that there was something good on television at 11.30 pm on a weekday night, and decided to stay in. Clearly, this is a facetious answer because a) everyone knows that the Victorians did not have television and b) everyone also knows that there is nothing good on television at 11.30 pm on a weekday night. So why did the murders stop? Maybe Jack, appalled by his actions, committed suicide. That’s possible, though the psychopathic mind does not, generally speaking, regard murder as appalling; a psychopath does not have a conscience. Maybe someone murdered Jack. Again, possible because Jack was walking dangerous streets at night in areas prone to violence. Against that is the argument that Jack was a professional person, familiar with the human anatomy. If a professional person was found murdered on an East End street, surely that would attract great attention and suspicion? Or maybe Jack was placed in an asylum on matters unrelated to the murders. The Victorians were big on asylums and were quick to place anyone they considered not normal – define ‘normal’ (!) – in an asylum. My Victorian ancestor, Mary, suffered psychological problems after the birth of her fourth child and spent the rest of her life, a further thirty years, in an asylum. So it is possible that someone observed Jack behaving abnormally – it’s highly likely that he displayed such behaviour on a regular basis, away from the murders – and Jack was placed in an asylum. For what it’s worth, I favour the asylum theory. And Jack’s identity? I would select A.N. Other.
Meanwhile, here is my modern Ripper
Amazon Review: If I could rate this more than five stars I would. Hannah Howe’s Sam Series just keeps getting better and better!
I absolutely love how she entwines a mystery, thriller with the drama of Sam’s personal situation. There are some real surprises in this story (and I’m not revealing any of them), but as a reader, the more I read in each series, the more engaged I am in Sam Smith, her loved ones, and the author cleverly reveals snippets of her life that open you up more and more, wanting more and more from the next book.
The Ripper story itself is great! Its a story we well know of, there is a killer, someone out there after prostitutes and leaving a deadly trail in their midst. But there is more to this story than meets the eye and that’s what makes the Sam Smith Series truly wonderful.
I listened to this on audible and the narrator does an excellent job!
A must read in any format!
It is always satisfying when readers enjoy your books and you feel that you have brought some pleasure into their lives. A review of The Big Chill on Amazon.
I started with book 1 then 2 and 3. Hannah Howe is a wizard with the way she creates suspense and intrigue. As I start each of her books in this series I can’t seem to put them down. My 4th of July weekend has joyously been consumed by reading several of her books. I don’t know when I’ve enjoyed time like that as much as right now. If you are looking for very well written mystery books, this series would be very hard to beat. Get them in order and read at your own pace but, do yourself a favor and read them. I very seldom give a 5 star rating but have to in this case.
Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #17, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s World.
This week’s Supplement has a pictorial feel to it. I hope you enjoy 😃
Murder. Research from the Australian Institute of Criminology reveals that most murders stem from revenge, a domestic argument, alcohol or drugs, jealousy or financial gain. However, a fifth of murders display no obvious motive. More men than women are killed over drugs or alcohol, or for revenge or gain, whereas more women are killed through domestic violence, or for no apparent reason. Gruesome, but true.
Sam has been in Penarth in Digging in the Dirt. Pictured, the pier, the Italian Gardens, the marina and a view of Cardiff from Penarth.
Doggerland is mentioned in Digging in the Dirt, Sam Smith Mystery #12. Doggerland, an area now beneath the North Sea, connected Britain to Europe during and after the last glacial period. It was flooded by rising sea levels around 6,500–6,200 BC, a mere blink of an eye ago in historical terms. Vessels have dragged up remains of lions, prehistoric tools and weapons, and woolly mammoths, pictured.
Art for art’s sake. Approximately 32,000 years old, this cave painting in Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc, France is considered by the Guardian newspaper to be one of the world’s ten greatest paintings.