Dear friends and followers,
It is with great pleasure that I announce to you that THE "CAT’S PAW" CAMPAIGN IS LIVE!
So do please go and tell ’em that yes, you really would pay to read this. Most of you have been through the funding campaign for "A Gentleman’s Murder", and all of you know how it works. Every pre-order represents a vote to see the book published.
More importantly, this will show that "A Gentleman’s Murder" was not just a flash in the pan: that this really could be my life ... tell me you love me.
But you must be wondering, what is "Cat’s Paw" about?
It’s the story of one Roger Linwood as he returns home for his adoptive father’s funeral, only to find that the old man’s death was murder, and that a clause in his will leaves the entirety of the Linwood estate, in the case of an unnatural death, to whichever one of the three Linwood children -- Roger, Alan, or Caroline -- first identifies his killer. But the case seems fairly clear: the only person with access to the scene was Lady Linwood, their adoptive mother, a woman so frail and emotionally devastated that her guilt seems quite unthinkable. Of course, nothing is quite what it seems ... not even the world of Roger Linwood’s idyllic childhood.
While the story is set in the same period as "A Gentleman’s Murder", and while it does involve a murder investigation, this isn’t a Peterkin sequel. It’s quite a bit darker, with an edge of Gothic horror. My plan had been, in fact, to work on the next Peterkin mystery, but this story cut in line and insisted on being told.
The muse will not be denied.
The Inkshares Mystery/Thriller contest goes live tomorrow!
And so does "Cat’s Paw".
Watch this space, or follow the project. Remember, it’s the pre-orders that convinces Inkshares of the viability of a book project. In the case of a contest, it’s the number of individual people placing orders that counts, not the number of orders; so the more of you there are, the better.
Also maybe check out the other books going into the contest. Right now, I’d like to draw your attention to "Gumshoe Rules", by Z. Z. Traver. It’s classic hardboiled, but I suspect there’ll be a slight postmodern spin to it as well. It apparently revolves around something called the Z-Machine ... which a handful of you might recognise as an interactive fiction reference. I’ve already put money on it, and you should too.
It was always my intention to follow up "A Gentleman’s Murder" with a sequel featuring Eric Peterkin on another sleuthing mission. That is still my intention; however, what was supposed to have been a short story to warm myself up seems to have turned into a full-blown novel, so it appears my next book will be a stand-alone novel instead.
Well, Agatha Christie’s second novel wasn’t a Poirot story, was it? Think of it as a palate-cleanser.
The working title for this next book is Cat’s Paw, and it’s a tale of Gothic suspense rather than a straight-up whodunnit ... something somewhat darker in tone than anything Eric Peterkin would get up to. I encourage everyone to go follow the project now. It appears that Inkshares is planning to kick off a mystery contest this coming Friday, and I intend for Cat’s Paw to be a part of it. Pre-orders will open then.
1921: Sir Lawrence Linwood is dead, and his three adopted children -- Alan, Roger, and Caroline -- have returned to the remote village of Linwood Hollow for the funeral. What begins as a bittersweet reunion turns sinister when the visiting chief inspector assures the family that Sir Lawrence was murdered -- and that the evidence points to their own mother, a woman so frail and emotionally devastated that any idea of guilt seems unthinkable.
Is Lady Linwood really stricken by grief? Or is it fear? If she didn’t do it, then it can only be one of the three Linwood siblings. Whichever of them identifies their father’s killer will be named the sole heir to his estate, but how badly does each of them want that prize?