As a founder member of Mystery Women in 1997, promoting Crime Fiction has always been my passion.
Following the closure of Mystery Women, a new group was formed on 30th January 2012 promoting crime fiction.
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Published by Troubador Publishing Ltd,
28 February 2017. ISBN: 978 178 5898 372
Shake Hands or Die is unusual for a crime novel in that there is simply
not a single really nasty person to be had amongst the quirky and whimsical
inhabitants of the charming cathedral city of Hillford. Even the ambitious
young journalist, Fred Vestal, who manages to get himself drowned in garden
rubbish, is greatly loved by his Danish wife and is not really hated by
come down from London to make his mark and revitalize the local rag. When
Father John, the much-loved, Vicar of Saint Martha’s church, stages an
uninhibited children’s play involving a scantily dressed female in his church,
Fred grabs his chance and pillories the vicar in the local press. He
causes a sensation by accusing Father John of corrupting the young.
is found dead in the church’s compost heap Father John immediately becomes the
number one suspect for Fred’s murder - an accusation that Father John seems
strangely reluctant to deny.
Ellis, Sergeant Helen Roper and the unconventional Chief Superintendent Barbara
Smalledge investigate Fred’s death. CS Smalledge sees all, drops hints,
but says little about the unofficial, extra-curricular activities of her two
junior officers. Indeed, strong women who guide weak, but affable men feature
prominently in this book. Another Barbara also occupies a senior role, this
time as a lovable Archdeacon. This Barbara twists everybody, including Bishop
Edward, round her little finger. Not to be outdone, Father John has a
strong-minded girlfriend, Kate, who keeps him sane when he is accused of
and entertaining though this book might be, serious issues are also touched
upon. Those who relish clerical mysteries that are not too bloodthirsty should
enjoy reading this book and discovering why Father John won't shake hands with
is an active Kent County Councillor to around 13000 constituents, a position he
had held since 2005. Before this he taught English and Latin in a secondary
school. He currently lives in Canterbury with his wife.
Angela Crowtheris a
retired scientist. She has published many scientific papers but, as yet,
no crime fiction. In her spare time Angela belongs to a Handbell Ringing
group, goes country dancing and enjoys listening to music, particularly the
operas of Verdi and Wagner.