Sam Smith Mystery Series

Europe by Book

Today, I’m launching a new venture, Europe by Book. I’m starting with a Facebook page. A website and more outlets will follow.

This year, Plovdiv is the European Capital of Culture, so it is a good place to start our tour of Europe by Book.

In 1855, Hristo G. Danov created the first Bulgarian publishing company and printing-press. Furthermore, the city can boast Bulgaria’s first public library, the Ivan Vazov National Library, founded in 1879 and named after the famous Bulgarian writer and poet Ivan Vazov. Today, the library houses over 1.5 million books.

Do you have a favourite Bulgarian author, either from the past or present? Please comment so that I can share your favourites with my readers 🙂

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

Plovdiv Video

Some of the locations used in The Hermit of Hisarya
Sam Smith Mystery Series Sam Smith Private Eye

The Hermit of Hisarya #1

The Hermit of Hisarya, Book Five in the Sam Smith Mystery Series, takes Sam away from her home city to Plovdiv, Bulgaria. There, she uncovers a secret dating back to the Second World War. The secret has implications for the people of today and the trail leads to organised crime and murder. The book is currently available as an eBook with the print and audio book versions to follow in the new year.

Pictured is the Ancient Roman Theatre in Plovdiv, a cultural landmark of the city and a popular attraction for tourists. Partially restored with 3,500 seats the theatre is also used for modern performances. Along with Hisarya, Plovdiv features strongly in The Hermit of Hisarya, including a chapter set in the Ancient Theatre.


Sam Smith Mystery Series

The Hermit of Hisarya Pre-order

The eBook version of The Hermit of Hisarya is now available for pre-order from Amazon at the special price of $0.99/£0.99. The eBook will be published in December with print and audio book versions to follow in the New Year. Please follow this link for details.


Some people will stop at nothing in their pursuit of wealth and power. Indeed, the greedy will often resort to murder.

“You’ve been through a stressful time recently,” my fiance, Dr Alan Storey said. “I’m off to Bulgaria to attend a psychology conference so why don’t you accompany me and we’ll throw in a holiday as well.”

Great idea, I thought. However, when I arrived in Bulgaria my inquisitive nature compelled me towards a mystery dating back to the Second World War. That mystery involved Emil Angelov, the Hermit of Hisarya. As I delved into the past I stirred up some ghosts, which led to murder and the prospect of spending the rest of my days in a Bulgarian gaol.

The Hermit of Hisarya – a story of corruption, of murder, of a woman and her seventy-year-old dream, offering proof that the past, the present and the future are all intrinsically entwined.