Tag Archives: Private Detectives

Recommended Reading #2

Recommended Reading, books that have captured my interest and authors I admire.

Sparky by Millie Slavidou

Sparky is a newly-hatched dragon with a problem: he can’t breathe fire. Not wanting to stand out from all the other dragons, he leaves the nest and sets off on an adventurous journey to solve his problem. Finally, he meets Nicky, who is determined to help him on his quest to find the secret of fire.

Will Sparky ever discover how to breathe fire?

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

Promised Land by Robert B Parker

If you like my Sam Smith Mystery Series then you will enjoy Robert B Parker’s Spenser series. Promised Land is book four in the series and offers a good insight into all the main characters at their best.

Harvey Shepard’s wife has run away and private detective Spenser has been hired to find her. A seemingly easy mission, but there may be more to this case than meets the eye.

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

The Unborn Hero of Dragon Village by Ronesa Aveela

The day fire and ice erupt from the sky, everything changes forever for twelve-year-old Theo. He discovers that dragons are real when Lamia, a three-headed monster, kidnaps his sister. A witch and a talking magpie help him open the portal to Dragon Village, a land he knows only from myth, a place filled with terrifying creatures. A young woodland nymph befriends him when he arrives. He must learn to trust his instincts as he searches for a way to defeat Lamia before the dragon sacrifices his sister. In his journey, he uncovers secrets that reveal that only he can save the mystical land.

In this book, you will discover some of the terrifying creatures from Bulgarian and Slavic mythology. Some you may know by other names: Samodivi are Veelas from Harry Potter fame, only here they’re shown as supernatural creatures of the forest.
Baba Yaga, Harpies, and other creatures find their way into these pages, as well as the dreaded Lamia.

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

Tangwstyl by Mansel Jones

Tangwstyl is a story of love and murder, of loyalty and betrayal. Set in the medieval town of Kenfig in the year 1399, the story centres on a prophecy made by Merlin and the birth of a girl, named Tangwstyl. Based on historical fact, Tangwstyl tells the story of King Richard and a plot to assassinate him, of Owain Glyn Dwr and his struggle for personal and national justice, and of the medieval Church and its desire to suppress all forms of heresy. Tangwstyl also tells the story of the common men and women of Kenfig, ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, events that would alter long held beliefs and reshape lives.

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

The Curate Barley Mysteries by T E Hodden

Griffin Barley is a friendly local Vicar, the curate of an inner city church, in a troubled parish. His mentor wants him to find a wife, his sister wants him to find a life, and trouble just keeps finding him. These are the adventures of a sleuthing priest, who has no desire to keep finding mysteries.

Discover more in my Amazon store

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/AA1855BF-6029-4F24-968E-4BF861BE8BC7

The Detective’s Gambit

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I’m a chess addict and my Sam Smith mystery, Mind Games, is about a chess player. Chess and mysteries have a common thread, the solving of a puzzle. With that in mind, I decided to research the connection between private detectives and chess. 

August 1957 saw the television premiere of The Chess Player, series one, episode eight of the Richard Diamond Private Detective series. In this episode, the wife of a wealthy industrialist hires Richard Diamond to discover who is trying to murder her husband. The plot is standard for the genre. However, David Janssen’s portrayal of Richard Diamond is engaging and it foreshadows his starring role as Richard Kimble in the television series The Fugitive. In The Chess Player, Julian Tyler, the industrialist husband, mentions that he played Capablanca and that he introduced a new variation to the Ruy Lopez.

When not tangling with femme fatales or dodging bullets, Raymond Chandler’s private detective, Philip Marlowe, could often be found brooding over chess puzzles. Marlowe preferred puzzles to over the board games with real opponents, which served to highlight his mistrust of his opponents, and humanity as a whole. 

Chess served as a literary motif in Chandler’s novel, The High Window, while Marlowe himself confessed, “I like liquor and women and chess and a few other things.” Maybe Chandler, and Marlowe, had a love-hate relationship with chess because, in The Long Goodbye, Marlowe stated, “Chess is the most elaborate waste of human intelligence outside of an advertising agency.” Yet Marlowe constantly returned to chess, including in the novel and television movie, Poodle Springs, a story written by Robert B Parker, another great of private detective literature.

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There are other examples of chess and the private detective, although in truth they are not numerous. In my Sam Smith Mystery Series, Sam (Samantha) is a budding chess player, keen to learn about the game. Chess is the ideal game to use as a metaphor in detective fiction. Furthermore, knowledge of the game suggests a certain level of intelligence. To win through, both the chess player and the private detective know that they have to make the right moves, and that one slip could be fatal.

 

Books Ten, Eleven and Twelve

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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 amazon.com 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 😃

https://www.amazon.com/Hannah-Howe/e/B00OK7E24E

 

 

Sam Smith Newsletter #1

The first Sam Smith Newsletter is now available from this website. Please click this link to view the newsletter: http://eepurl.com/chSxJD

If you would like to subscribe to future newsletters please complete the form on my contact page. Thank you. https://hannah-howe.com/aboutcontactnewsletter/

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Newsletter Extract

An extract from the first Sam Smith Newsletter. The Newsletter will be published, free, in early November and you can reserve your copy by following this link. https://hannah-howe.com/aboutcontactnewsletter/

Sam Smith Characters #1

Dr Alan Storey

Dr Alan Storey provides the relationship strand to the Sam Smith Mystery Series. Alan is a psychologist who practices Humanistic principles, that is a belief in the positive attributes of happiness, contentment, ecstasy, kindness, caring, sharing and generosity. Humanists focus on the individual, especially the concept of personal choice.

Humanistic Psychology developed in the 1960s and it differs from other branches of psychology in that the psychologist acts as a confident or counsellor and the client (not ‘patient’) must consciously and rationally decide for themselves what is wrong and how the problem should be addressed.

In his early forties, Alan is a widower with a teenage daughter, Alis. As well as the romantic element, Alan also provides psychological insight, when required, on the various people Sam encounters. Although there is a ‘whodunit’ element to the series, I like to focus more on people’s behaviours and reasons for their actions.

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Page One, Line One

This week I made a start on a new Sam Smith novel, Smoke and Mirrors, book nine in the series. This book has a dramatic start and the plot is more labyrinth than some of the earlier novels. When you write a series you want to add variety around the familiarity of the central characters, which is why I try to change the locations occasionally and the tone of the stories, while remaining true to the original concept.

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My routine usually consists of writing a chapter a day and editing the previous day’s chapter. Therefore, each day represents a complete chapter. Another round of editing and proofreading take place before the book is ready, but I try to alter as little as possible for the simple reason that these are Sam’s stories, she is the narrator and the words represent her actions and thoughts.

Books Are Us

Phew, a busy weekend! Sins of the Father was published this weekend and the book has broken my personal record for sales on a publication day. Along with that I have the proof copy of the print version to assess, for publication in August, and I’m working with Suzan Lynn Lorraine on the audio book version of Ripper. Suzan has excelled herself with the narration and I think Ripper will be our most impressive audio book to date. I must also mention Lucy Llewellyn at Head and Heart Publishing Services and thank her for her considerable creative contribution to the audio book cover. In addition, I’ve also completed a 125 page outline for the next book, Smoke and Mirrors. Wonderful to be writing and collaborating with such talented people.

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