THE BOOK: “Death of a Cabman.”
PUBLISHED IN: 2014.
THE AUTHOR: Nina Boyd.
THE EDITOR: Largely self-edited.
THE PUBLISHER: I have self-published my mystery series under my own imprint, Dora’s Books, being too impatient to look for a publisher, wait two years to see the book, and then find the publisher doesn’t do much in the way of marketing.
SUMMARY: A man is found dead at a livery stable in Edwardian Huddersfield. Who would want to kill a cab driver? There are plenty of suspects, but the police fail to find the murderer. Ethel and Amelia help Ethel’s sweetheart, Constable Fred Clough, to investigate the case, aided by Gertie, the new housemaid in Miss Carlton’s house. Life-changing events in their own circumstances are the backdrop for this exciting mystery, while local suffragettes protest against the 1911 census, downtrodden daughters decide to break free, a new club for single women is proposed, and long-lost relatives are discovered. This is the third book in the Ethel and Amelia Mystery series.
THE BACK STORY: “I was never a writer. I always thought other people could do it so much better than me. Then something extraordinary happened. I was living alone in a small city in the north of England, and feeling unhappy about the way my life was going. I was working from home as an indexer of medical text books, so nothing was very exciting. I took a daily walk around Ripon, which is a very pretty cathedral city, with plenty of old buildings and curiosities. Then it started to rain, very hard, and I took refuge in the Police and Prisons Museum.
It was rather a dull sort of place, with a dusty waxwork sergeant inside, and the offer of being locked in a Victorian cell. None of the exhibits interested me—who knew there were so many different helmets and police whistles? Then I saw her. Behind the bars of a postcard rack was a photograph of a hard-faced woman in police uniform. She had eyes that drew me in. Clearly a woman to be reckoned with! I bought the postcard, and looked up Mary Sophia Allen on the internet. There was very little about her: certainly no biography. So I decided to write my own.
Eventually the books was published, and I found myself writing another biography, this time about a famous Edwardian anti-vivisectionist. Publishers rejected this project, because they said nobody had ever heard of her. Well, they have now! I self-published, and although sales are not in the stratosphere, at least I know that Lizzy Lind af Hageby is not forgotten.
The research I did for these two books led me to a feeling of being comfortable in the 1910s. And so Ethel and Amelia were born, and I am now working on the fifth title in the Ethel and Amelia Mysteries series.
WHY THIS TITLE?: Self evident.
WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO READ IT: Beginning this book is like slipping into a warm, comfortable bath. Then, after she spends some time familiarizing you with her main characters, Boyd turns the heat up a bit. The murder victim isn’t exactly mourned by the community,. and most of the suspects are anything but solid citizens. Yet unlike the edgy sleuths who stalk through mystery novels these days, Constable Fred Clough and amateur detectives Ethel and Amelia come across not only as human, but eminently likable. A murder gives the book its title, but Boyd also slips in a lot of period history so deftly that it’s painless. A wonderful book to curl up with on a rainy day.
REVIEW COMMENTS: “This is another good read from Nina Boyd. The overall plot moves forward with the characters marrying, aging, dying. New characters appear. In this book my favourites are the two English Bull Terriers. The plot of this book is well crafted and the professional work of the Police, Fred and Inspector MacDuff fits well with the observations of Ethel and Amelia. This book is great for a couple of relaxing evenings.” (Lewis Thomson)
AUTHOR PROFILE: “I started my writing life as a mature adult, beginning with poetry, which led to the publication of a prize-winning collection (Dear Mr Asquith, Smith Doorstop Books, 2010). Unable to stick to one thing for long, I moved on to biography, writing first-time biographies of Mary Sophia Allen and Lizzy Lind af Hageby; and then to fiction, where I feel at home. I live with my writer husband, John Bosley, and a cat called Dora. Currently learning Swedish and Italian, I have a penchant for reading novels written in the 1930s. There are no skeletons in my cupboard worth dusting down.”
AUTHOR COMMENTS: “I did a great deal of research into Edwardian England when writing biographies of two prominent women. It seemed a pity not to use it in fiction; and I thought my home town of Huddersfield deserved its own mystery series. Once I got started on the Ethel and Amelia Mysteries, I couldn’t stop!”
SAMPLE CHAPTER: A portion of the book can be viewed on Amazon. (Search site under title).
WHERE TO BUY IT:
Death of a Cabman is available as a paperback and on ebook from Amazon, where potential purchasers can “look inside” the book.
PRICE: £ 5.99/$ 9.50
CONTACT THE AUTHOR: www.ninaboyd.com