It’s been in the shops for a few days, but the official release date is today! The Mystery of Four is already an Eason No 1 bestseller (yay!) and my 8th book to be published (there are currently two more in the pipeline). I loved writing this one – I try and look for contrasts each time I begin a book, I want every book to be different and to stretch me as a writer.
When I sat down to start plotting The Mystery of Four, I was really interested in Golden Age inspired stories and the concept of the ‘locked room’. In this case, the ‘locked room’ is an isolated country house in County Wicklow in Ireland – the mountains that I see outside my window make the perfect setting – they are wild and rugged and scattered with country houses and villages just like Kilfenora. Once I started writing, the characters literally arrived on the page, including my son’s cat Merlin and the fabulous retired actress, Clarissa Westmacott. The characters are all larger than life in The Mystery of Four – they continually surprised me and made it a lot of fun to write.
For me, stories come from a series of lightbulb moments, they can be anything that sparks my imagination, paintings, articles I read, an overheard moment of conversation, or something I see on TV. These lightbulb moments form a stew of bits of ideas and bits of characters that then blend to produce a story. Often, as with Remember My Name or in fact, Little Bones, there’s a plot point that starts me thinking, but with The Mystery of Four, it was more a mixture of things that came together – starting with a TV documentary, dipping into a BRILLIANT book by Amanda Lees called The Dictionary of Crime, a series of paintings and an Agatha Christie novel, Murder is Easy – and ending with a significant cat who slipped into the shadows on the first page as I started writing.
It’s always nerve wracking sending a new book out into the world, but The Mystery of Four is already getting great reviews. Instagram reviewer @bookishcharli gave it 5 stars!
She says: Recently murder mysteries have been super addicting to me, I can’t put my finger on it but I just can’t get enough of them in my life, especially when they continuously keep you guessing right up until the final moments. Add in a whole cast of unusual characters for me to be suspicious about, a secluded country house setting, and pacing that is about as perfect as it can be for a mystery novel and I can’t fathom rating it anything other than 5 stars. Which I did. The suspense was beautifully built up to the point that I was having heart palpitations while reading it, or maybe it was the amount of caffeine in my at 2am because I needed to be alert to finish it, I don’t know. Either way if you’re a fan of a good murder mystery then DEFINITELY pick up a copy of this one.‘
Here’s the blurb:
‘A vivid cast of characters, endless intrigue and all the fun of a Golden Age mystery await you at Kilfenora House’ Catherine Ryan Howard
‘Witty, twisty and featuring my favourite antiheroine in a long time’ Alex Marwood
Murder is easy … when it doesn’t look like murder
Tess Morgan has finally made her dream of restoring beautiful Kilfenora House and Gardens into a reality.
But during rehearsals for the play that forms the opening weekend’s flagship event, her dream turns into a nightmare when a devastating accident looks set to ruin her carefully laid plans.
There are rumours that Kilfenora House is cursed, but this feels personal, and becomes increasingly terrifying when more than one body is discovered. Could someone be closing in on Tess herself?
Clarissa Westmacott, ex star of stage and screen, certainly believes so, particularly when she learns that purple-flowered aconite has been picked from the Poison Garden. And Clarissa will stop at nothing to protect the friend she has come to see as a daughter…
You can pick up your copy here at Easons (free delivery UK and Ireland) or if you are further away, Kenny’s Bookshop is an independent family run business in Galway who have excellent international shipping rates 🙂
The Eason limited edition has glorious blackberry tinted edges, order fast to get your copy! These are the (many!) copies I signed in Easons Dundrum earlier in the week 🙂
I do hope you enjoy!