Tag Archives: Severn House

Murder Take Three

Murder Take Three is out now in the UK.

1956. Having just started work as a professional private investigator, Donald Langham’s first client is American movie star Suzie Reynard, currently shooting a murder mystery film at Marling Hall, an Elizabethan manor house in the depths of the Norfolk countryside. The film’s director – Suzie’s lover – has been receiving threats and Suzie is convinced his life is in danger.

On arriving at Marling Hall with his fiancée Maria, Langham finds the film set awash with clashing egos, petty jealousies, ill-advised love affairs and seething resentments. Matters come to a head when a body is discovered in the director’s trailer.

It would appear to be an open-and-shut case when someone confesses to the murder. Donald and Maria are not convinced – but why would someone confess to a crime they haven’t committed? If Langham is to uncover the truth, he must delve into the past and another murder that took place more than twenty years before…

Murder Take Three is the fourth of my Langham and Dupré mysteries set in Britain in the 1950s.

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Jani and the Great Pursuit… and Novel News

Jani and the Great Pursuit will now be published by Solaris in March 2016, not later this year as originally planned.

On the crime novel front, Severn House have just commissioned the third Langham and Dupré mystery entitled Murder At the Loch (Well, I am now living in Scotland). It will appear at some point in 2016.

Here’s a bit about it…

During the bitterly cold December of 1955 Donald Langham is asked by his friend, private detective Ralph Ryland, if he’d care to assist him on a case. Ryland has been contacted by their old commanding officer, Major Cartwright, who has reasons to believe that his life is under threat – indeed, someone has already tried to kill him. Cartwright owns a castle on a loch in Scotland, and has asked Ryland to come up and stay, although he has said little about the actual attempt on his life. Langham has fond memories of serving under Cartwright in Madagascar and India and is concerned by the Major’s predicament.

Donald discusses the request with his fiancée Maria Dupré, who, though reluctant for him to be away, acknowledges his concern for Cartwright and urges him to go. She cannot accompany him as she must hold the fort at the literary agency until her boss, Charles Elder, is released from jail in a few days’ time.

Langham accompanies Ryland by train to Inverness, then they hire a car for the last leg of the journey. When they arrive at the snow-bound castle, they find an interesting situation.

Major Cartwright is attempting to raise the wreck of a German plane which crashed into the loch in 1944. That summer he had assembled a team of engineers who constructed a pontoon on the loch, along with gantries and lifting equipment. However, recent bad weather has put a halt to the progress of the salvage, and Cartwright had dismissed all but one of the engineers.

But soon after Langham and Ryland arrive, one of the guests is dead…

Murder At the Loch combines the elements of a classic murder mystery whodunit with a tale of wartime intrigue, espionage and skulduggery, as it turns out that the crashed Nazi plane was carrying a cargo that various parties, with vested interests, would rather not have brought to light.

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On the short story front, two short tales, “Reductio ad Absurdum” and “Running the Asylum” are out now at pennyshorts.com. “Beyond the Heliopause”, written with Keith Brooke, will appear later this year in Lightspeed. “Emotion Mobiles and Sally” is due out from Postscripts at some point, and “The Ice Garden” will appear in the anthology Improbable Botany edited by Gary Dalkin, probably next year.

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