Sunday 23 October 2022

Spruced Up For Murder by Helen Golden BLOG TOUR #SprucedUpForMurder @rararesources #GuestPost


Death at Francis Court Now Confirmed as Murder!

Speculation is rife that the victim, estate manager Alex Sterling (44), was found by Lady Beatrice (35), the Countess of Rossex, niece of King James. Lady Beatrice, who has finally come out of hiding following her son’s departure to boarding school, has been managing the project to refurbish and redesign the Events Suite at Francis Court, alongside Perry Juke.

Heading up the murder investigation is Detective Chief Inspector Richard Fitzwilliam. Rumour has it that he and Lady Beatrice have a fractious history…

Awful man! How dare Fitzwilliam suggest Lady Beatrice’s sister is the number one suspect for Alex’s murder. It could be any one of the staff who were on-site that morning. Well, she’ll show Mr High and Mighty Fitzwilliam! With her attention to detail, her clever dog Daisy, Perry’s imagination, and his partner’s contacts at Fenshire CID, they’ll find the murderer before him. And then they’ll see who’ll look like a fool. Because it won’t be Lady Beatrice, will it?

A cozy British Whodunnit with a hint of humour from new author Helen Golden.

Spruced Up For Murder by Helen Golden was published on 6 October 2022. As part of this Blog Tour organised by Rachel from Rachel's Random Resources, I am delighted to share a guest post from the author.

Reading cats and dogs by Helen Golden

As someone with two dogs and two cats who seem to dictate most of my life, I couldn’t imagine writing my series, A Right Royal Cozy Investigation, without at least one animal in it. But as an author, which makes a better companion to write about, a dog or a cat? 

Please don’t judge me, but I have given my main character Lady Beatrice, a little West Highland terrier, Daisy, as her canine best friend. Daisy is cute, over fed and has a nose for sniffing out clues. She doesn’t talk (talking animals freak me out a little if I’m honest  — my dogs have seen me naked. I really don’t want to know what they think of that!) but, of course, she’s a good listener. Now it’s not that I prefer dogs to cats, it’s just that I find it easier to use a dog in a novel, than I do a cat. Let me explain…

Often a fictional animal is used by an author to reflect their human. Let’s take for example, Fang, Hagrid’s slobbering boarhound in the Harry Potter books. Fang’s a big dog with a gentle soul, rather like his master, and although he’s rather cowardly he would risk his life for the soft-hearted Hagrid and vice versa. And let’s be honest, in real life, you often come across a dog and their owner who are like two peas in a pod. My husband was a scrappy northerner when he was younger and whenever Alfie, our long-haired Chihuahua, is on the lead and starts lunging and barking at another dogs, in my head I can hear him saying, “Are you looking at me?” and I look at my husband and laugh at the resemblance. 

When you considering the most famous dogs in fiction — Lassie; Snowy (Tin Tin); Nana (Peter Pan); Timmy (The Famous Five), and Toto (Wizard of Oz) to name but a few, our furry, four-legged best friends have been written as protectors, confidants, comic sidekicks, and often a vehicle through which our human characters can show the softer side of themselves. 

Lady Beatrice, like most of us, anthropomorphises her little dog and that’s fun to write. And even though dog experts will tell you that your dog is only interested in you for what you can do for them, I want to believe that when my dogs go nuts when I walk in the door they are saying, “Oh great, mummy’s back. We’ve really missed her because we love her so much.” When what’s probably going through their heads is, “Oh good, the person who feeds us is back.” Brutal, I know.

And what about cats, you ask? Don’t they give the same satisfaction as dogs in fiction? Well, it doesn’t seem to be a secret that cats are out for themselves. But then cats are considered more intelligent than dogs and they have that spooky way of knowing that my stepdaughter is coming home a good 5 minutes before she gets here even though she had no regular getting home time. That should be a great opportunity for an author. And some do it well. For example, The Cat Who series by Lilian Jackson Braun really shows how the relationship between her main character Jim Qwilleran, and his brilliant Siamese cat Koko, work together to solve mysteries. 

But here’s the thing. When I’m writing, just like in real life, I feel I have more control over a dog than I do over a cat. Even in my head, cats seem to have a will of their own and I find it difficult to make them do what I need them to do to make the plot work. Maybe I’m just being lazy? I know what I’ll do, I’ll add a cat into my next book. It will be a big ginger tom who swipes at people he doesn’t know but is a teddy bear with his owner. Because we all know a cat like that, don’t we?

Author Bio – 

Hello. I’m Helen Golden. I write British contemporary cozy whodunnits with a hint of humour. I live in small village in Lincolnshire in the UK with my husband, my step-daughter, her two cats, our two dogs, sometimes my step-son, and our tortoise.

I used to work in senior management, but after my recent job came to a natural end I had the opportunity to follow my dreams and start writing. It's very early in my life as an author, but so far I'm loving it.

It’s crazy busy at our house, so when I’m writing I retreat to our caravan (an impulsive lockdown purchase) which is mostly parked on our drive. When I really need total peace and quiet, I take it to a lovely site about 15 minutes away and hide there until my family runs out of food or clean clothes

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