Sam Smith Mystery Series Sam's Sunday Supplement

Sam’s Sunday Supplement #5

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement, #5, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s world.

Yesterday, April 1st, was Sam’s birthday and to help her celebrate Sam’s Song reached #3 on the Amazon private detective chart. I’m also very proud to make this list…Robert B Parker #15, Marcia Muller #17, Hannah Howe #22, James Patterson #25, Max Allan Collins #48 Amazon’s hot new releases 😃 This relates to Mind Games, which is now available for pre-order. Please click on the book cover on the sidebar for the Amazon link.


As usual, Sam has been wandering the streets of Cardiff this week. She also ventured to Monmouth. The Romans established a fort in Monmouth and a thousand years later the Normans built a castle there. The House of Lancaster took possession of the castle and, in 1387, King Henry V was born there. One of Monmouth’s claims to fame is its medieval stone-gated bridge, pictured, the only one of its type remaining in Britain.

While researching details about Cardiff Docks I stumbled across the following information, along with this fascinating film clip, which offers a flavour of the docks in 1926. In relation to women, 420 prostitutes worked the docks in 1860, while during the Edwardian era local women had the back-breaking job of unloading sacks of potatoes. During the Second World War women served as porters, wheeling trollies to and from the warehouses.

Mind Games features a young female chess player, though chess is incidental to the book and you don’t need any knowledge of the game to enjoy the story. That said, chess is full of interesting characters including Vera Menchik, the first women’s world champion. Vera defeated many male grandmasters including world champion Max Euwe. Sadly, Vera died in 1944 during a Nazi air raid.


Mind Games also features a storyline about Faye, Sam’s assistant. If you have read the books in the series you will know that Faye has endured a difficult relationship with her mother. This link might help people in a similar situation  Psychology Today
I would like to end this week with these beautiful words. More news next week. As ever, thank you for your interest and support.





Hannah's Diary Sam Smith Mystery Series

Books Ten, Eleven and Twelve


January was an exciting month for the Sam Smith Mystery Series with bumper sales and top twenty chart positions in ten countries, including #1 on the private detective chart. February has started well with lots of writing and editing. Currently, I’m polishing the Stardust manuscript for publication on March 1st while working on the outline of Mind Games and developing ideas for Digging in the Dirt.

Mind Games is centred on a chess player, though you don’t need any knowledge of chess to understand the plot. Essentially, Mind Games is a love story, of sorts. If you read the book you will understand what I mean by that statement.

Digging in the Dirt features a murder set in the world of archaeology. One of the subplots to this book might include the story of Alan’s grandparents, and their activities during the Second World War. This strand ties in with the theme of the main story, the way the past affects the present and the future.

As ever, thanks to everyone who’s read a Sam Smith book, and if you haven’t read one yet, here’s a shopping link. Book one, Sam’s Song, is free while the other books in the series are only $0.99/£0.99 each 😃



Hannah's Diary

A Story Begins

This afternoon, I completed a three page outline for Mind Games, book eleven in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. I always start a novel with a three page outline, which I expand into a thirty-three chapter (on average) storyboard. A first draft taken from the storyboard follows before I write the novel.

Mind Games is centred on a young female chess player and her relationships with her father, coach and would-be lover. The mystery element focuses on blackmail, while the theme of the story is love, in its myriad forms.

Meanwhile, I include three atmospheric pictures of Plovdiv in this post. Plovdiv features in The Hermit of Hisarya, book five in the series. The images depict the Old Theatre and the streets of the Old Town.

Finally, I would like to thank you for your support during 2016 and wish you a Happy New Year.





Hannah's Diary Sam Smith Mystery Series

Believe in Yourself

I love chess, and I love this quote from chess grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura

P.S. Chess will feature in a forthcoming Sam Smith Mystery, in the book Mind Games