Tag Archives: Mystery Series

Dear Reader #3

Dear Reader,

A productive week with lots of ideas flowing. Sometimes, it goes like that. I have ideas and make notes on a regular basis, but occasionally the ideas come so thick and fast I have to place other writing tasks on hold and develop them. The main ideas this week centred on the storyboarding of The Fifth Man, my novel set in 1948, and my novel about the Spanish Civil War. I am researching the Spanish Civil War and yesterday I ordered this book as part of my research.

I’ve also had ideas for my next Sam Smith mystery, Snow in August. Book sixteen in the series, this novel will be set in west Wales. Writing will begin next week. It’s always exciting to start a new Sam Smith mystery. I like to have my covers in place as soon as possible because sometimes they offer suggestions for the characters and storyline. The book will be available for pre-order in the near future. Here’s the cover.

I also have ideas for Stormy Weather, book seventeen in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. The theme of this book will be climate change. Here’s the cover.

I’m the co-founder and co-editor of Mom’s Favorite Reads, and this week we published the June issue of our magazine. This is our retro issue with lots of great articles about the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, plus features about modern times. The magazine is free, so please take a look. We include some big names in our magazines and a future edition will include an exclusive interview with bestselling novelist Bernard Cornwell.

This week, my youngest son, aged eleven, came to me with a collection of songs he’d been listening to on YouTube. Many of them were country songs, including this classic by the Highwaymen. He has a great love of music, which I hope he will develop. Incidentally, he received his school report this week. His target was level four in Mathematics, Welsh, English and Science, but he achieved level five in all subjects, and solved mathematical problems in level six too. Of course, he inherited this ability from me 😉

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

The Muse #1

The Muse

#1

The Devil and Ms Devlin eBook Cover

The Devil and Ms Devlin, Sam Smith Mystery Series book fifteen, will be published on Easter Sunday. The book will be available for pre-order from 21st January 2019.

A lovely quote from Gene Tierney, discovered while researching her life and career, “A romantic picks the rose and is careless with the thorns.”

My books have sold well in France over Christmas with several making the top 💯. Also, a lovely review for Secrets and Lies, in French.

Beaucoup de plaisir à lire cette série qui n’a guère de prétention autre que de distraire le lecteur avec des personnages attachants et des histoires variées. C’est un roman policier variante eau de rose (l’harlequin du polar) qui fait passer un bon moment sur une plage ce qui n’a rien de méprisable, les bons moments sont toujours bons à prendre!

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I’ve read so many excellent books this year, it’s impossible to pick a favourite. However, if forced to nominate one I would select A Study of Household Spirits of Eastern Europe. Check it out. It’s truly delightful.
https://www.amazon.com/Household-Spirits-Eastern-Europe-Creatures-ebook/dp/B07H7V5KX6/

I love movies from the 1940s through to the 1970s. I also love Dana Andrews as an actor. Therefore, I was delighted to receive a DVD of Fallen Angel for Christmas. I’m sure this movie will influence a novel I’m researching. Set in 1948, my novel will feature one of the characters from my Ann’s War series and will have a noir feel, similar to The Third Man.

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One of the highlights of the past year has been working with my team of talented translators. In particular, I would like to send Christmas greetings to: Cristina, Anita, Tais, Irene, Laura D, Luc, Zachary, Laura N, Minea, Jill, Silvia, Eva and Christina. Thank you. I look forward to working with you again in the new year.

I’m co-founder and co-editor of Mom’s Favorite Reads. Lots of great seasonal content in our December magazine. It’s FREE. Check it out 🙂

 

Amazon’s #1 Private Investigator

Many thanks to all my readers for making Sam Amazon’s number one private investigator for the fourth time. As Joseph Conrad rightly said, “One writes only half the book; the other half is with the reader.” The Sam Smith Mystery Series goes from strength to strength, and this is due to my readers. So, once again, thank you.

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73 Free in Kindle Store
#1 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Mystery > Private Investigators
#5 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Women Sleuths
#15 in Kindle Store > Whispersync for Voice > Literature & Fiction

Casablanca

My Ann’s War mini series is a mystery series set against the backdrop of the Second World War and the Home Front. The first story, Betrayal, is set in March 1944. During that month, Casablanca, one of the most popular films of the war, and of all time, won Best Picture at the Sixteenth Academy Awards.

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One of the lines most closely associated with the film, “Play it again, Sam”, was not actually said. The line is, “Play it once, Sam, for old time’s sake.” And, “Play it, Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’.”

Another famous line from the film is, “Here’s looking at you, kid.” That line was not written into the draft screenplays, but has since been attributed to a comment Humphrey Bogart made to Ingrid Bergman as he taught her poker between takes.

 

Sam’s Sunday Supplement #19

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #19, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s World.

FACEBOOK HEADER SAM AND ANN

Digging in the Dirt, book twelve in the Amazon #1 Sam Smith Mystery Series, is now available for pre-order, price $0.99/€0.99/£0.99.
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 handsome bodyguard, and dismiss her troubled past.
Digging in the Dirt, a story of passionate love, and extreme hate.
In a Facebook group, we have been discussing the colour blue, which prompted me to write this blues. With apologies to all blues lovers. Picture, B B King.
The Hannah Howe blues.
Woke up this morning,
With the dog on my head.
He said, “You don’t look too good, girl.”
I said, “I’d better get out of bed.”
Staggered into the bathroom,
Bounced off the wall.
Opened the pill cupboard,
But could find no pills at all.
The dog followed me in,
Wagging his tail.
He said, “Good golly, Ms Howe,
You don’t half look pale.”
Wandered into the kitchen,
Where I spied a bottle of wine.
The dog said, “Are you sure?”
I said, “That’ll suit me just fine.”
Took a sip of the nectar,
It really hit the spot.
So I tilted my head back,
And I drank the lot.
Sat down to write,
But my mind was in a fog.
My canine said, “That’s what you get, Ms Howe,
When you sample the hair of the dog.” 😃

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Does the full moon influence criminal behavior? Psychology Today
Advice on writing from Stephen J Cannell, author and screenwriter on projects too numerous to mention.

This completes the Sunday Supplements for the time being. Many thanks to everyone who showed an interest in these posts.

 

Sam’s Sunday Supplement #18

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #18, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s World.

FACEBOOK HEADER SAM AND ANN

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

 

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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.

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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.

 

 

Sam’s Sunday Supplement #17

Welcome to Sam’s Sunday Supplement #17, a weekly digest of news from Sam’s World.

FACEBOOK HEADER SAM AND ANN

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.

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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.

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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.

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And finally…

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