Welcome to the January 22nd stop on the blog tour for Deadly Whispers in Lower Dimblebrook by Julie Butterfield, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
I’ll let Julie take it away first ith the guest post portion, and then I’ll be back with info about the book.
I enjoy writing romance and have no intention of stopping. But I am also a lifelong devotee of the gentle British Murder Mystery such as Miss Marple and Poirot. I love the glimpse they offer into traditional village life, the element of gossip, the secrets both kept and shared, jam making, arranging church flowers and of course – scandal! It’s a bygone age of old-fashioned courtesy, a much gentler existence where even villains carry wicker baskets and have rose strewn front doors!
So it’s hardly surprising that I have long since wanted to write a book in a similar setting and after a few years of failing to find the time, in 2019 I made myself knuckle down and produce not one but two cosy village mystery books that take place in Lower Dimblebrook, telling the story of Isabelle Darby, a newcomer to the village and seemingly unable to stay out of trouble! Deadly Whispers in Lower Dimblebrook is the first book in the series introducing us to Issie and the darker side of village life and Wilful Changes in Lower Dimblebrook is the sequel.
The plot for Deadly Whispers had been established for a couple of years and the initial chapters drafted on several occasions, but the change of genre was surprisingly challenging! My characters have always had a habit of doing the unexpected and I rarely have full control over their actions, but when writing a murder mystery it’s fairly critical that no-one says something they shouldn’t and let the cat out of the bag. Which is precisely what was happening during my initial attempts. Secrets were being divulged on every page and I had run out of suspects by Chapter 9, at which point I realised that a great deal of detailed planning was required, more than I usually allow for.
I always have a beginning, middle and end for my books, I have scenes in my head, events I want to convey and a vague idea of the journey needed, but the rest tends to evolve while I’m writing. Deadly Whispers was a very different experience. I had to be much more scrupulous and as a result a plot line was created that grew daily, stretching around my desk and along the wall with all characters and events under scrutiny. Every action, even if the reader had no idea it was happening, was written down with dates and times and sometimes even the weather! Each character was monitored and all were under strict instructions to behave and say nothing that could throw the murderer a lifeline.
But I’m glad to say I enjoyed the process every bit as much as I thought I would, even if I did have a few sleepless nights worrying about alibis and time lines and just how easy it really would be to murder someone! Being a gentle, cosy mystery, the characters and the setting are the driving force of the story and I loved creating the world of Lower Dimblebrook and dropping in characters that I hope everyone will enjoy. These are the people who bring that traditional feel to the story, the cornerstone of the village with their slightly old-fashioned behaviour, their steadfast friendship and their support of their neighbours. I love the idea that these characters will be returning with each new mystery and that my readers can get to know them as the series continues.
There is third book already being planned which will hopefully will be published in the Spring and then I’ll take off my murder mystery hat for a while and return to the slightly less grisly world of romance! Although who knows, I may have to inject a little crime into my next romantic comedy, just to keep my hand in!
About the Book
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Deadly Whispers in Lower Dimblebrook
by Julie Butterfield
Published 30 October 2020
Page Count: 221
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
When Isabelle Darby moves to the delightfully cosy village of Lower Dimblebrook, she’s searching for peace and quiet as well as a chance to escape from heartbreak. After making friends with Fiona Lambourne, another newcomer to the village, Issie is left reeling when tragedy strikes and Fiona is murdered, the second wife Anthony Lambourne has lost in unfortunate circumstances. And if that wasn’t bad enough, the local gossips insist that Fiona had been embroiled in an affair before her death, something which Issie knows not to be the case. Determined to clear her friend’s reputation and solve the mystery of the rumours, Issie takes on both the gossips and the handsome but stern DI Wainwright, making both friends and enemies along the way!
About the Author
Julie Butterfield belongs to the rather large group of ‘always wanted to write’ authors who finally found the time to sit down and put pen to paper – or rather fingers to keyboard.
She wrote her first book purely for pleasure and was very surprised to discover that so many people enjoyed the story and wanted more, so she decided to carry on writing.
It has to be pointed out that her first novel, ‘Did I Mention I Won The Lottery’ is a complete work of fiction and she did not, in fact, receive millions in her bank account and forget to mention it to her husband – even though he still asks her every day if she has anything to tell him!
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