I had really hoped to be doing a St Valentine’s Day book launch, the next book is Thirteen Fourteen Maids A Courting, and what possible better publication date could there be than February 14 for a title like that?
The main maid courting in this one is Kirsty, Edge’s lovely young niece, who is taking a brief holiday break from her job with Police Scotland to be wooed in the romantic surroundings of Tenerife. Unluckily for Kirsty my books are whodunits, not love stories, so it will be no surprise to any regular reader that Drew vanishes, leaving her alone in the Canaries, unable to speak a word of Spanish and finding surprisingly little professional cooperation being offered by the multiple policing services on the island.
Edge, Donald, Vivian and William fly to the rescue (by private jet – all part of the story) and things, unsurprisingly, get complicated. In fact so complicated that there is no chance I’ll make this excellently appropriate deadline, the draft isn’t even at beta reader stage yet. It was almost impossible making Eleven Twelve’s Halloween deadline, but it seems I never will learn to plan ahead properly.
Oh well, maybe next February! I have thoroughly enjoyed writing Thirteen Fourteen but have learned a short sharp lesson about writing books set in another country: I have now been to Tenerife three times and the phone lines hum between visits with difficult questions. How many morgues in Adeje? How many hospitals? Why would the Guardia Civil not call in the Policia Nationale instantly if there’s a possible kidnapping? How do you start a Segway? Why is the area where bananas are cultivated called a plantation, if the estate owning multiple plantations is also a plantation? Is the whole estate a finca, or just the villa? All the time humbly aware that there will be at least one crashing error which will make canny readers roll their eyes and say for goodness sake, did she do no research at all?
When I do visit it is an effort to remember that sipping the addictive Café Canario (espresso coffee layered with condensed milk and topped with cream) while tourist-watching on the beautiful beaches and boulevards doesn’t butter those research parsnips.
I just hope the book does well enough to justify at least one of the trips as business expenses, I’d hate to make HMRC officials rupture themselves laughing at the very thought. Be nice to someone special on Saturday, and have a great day.