mystery series

Want a free audio novel?

I have a few audio books going free (UK only at this time).

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It’s my first in the Rafferty & Llewellyn British mystery series. Now 16-strong in the ebook edition, it features DI Joe Rafferty, newly-promoted Essex detective, a victim whom the media has dubbed ‘The Faceless Lady’, Rafferty’s family, about whom the less said, the better, and his new Sergeant, Dafyd Llewellyn, who will be lucky if Rafferty hasn’t murdered him by case end.

If you’d like a copy just email me on the contact form above, agree to write a short review (good, bad or argh), and I’ll send you a code for audible, the audio-book people, so you can claim your free audio-book.

 

99c / 99p RAFFERTY & LLEWELLYN BOXED SET Books 5 – 8

As promised, my Rafferty Boxed Set is reduced from 6 December 2015 to 99c / 99p for a short time only.

 

BK_5-8_box_set_1600x2400_(Ebook) (1)ASKING FOR IT EBOOK COVER FROM SELFPUBBOOKCOVERS.COM 72dpi-1500x2000

 

 

As an extra girft my latest single Rafferty novel, ASKING FOR IT, is also reduced to 99c / 99p.

 

 

 

 

http://www.amazon.com/RAFFERTY-LLEWELLYN-BOXED-SET-BOOKS-ebook/dp/B0186AAGL8/ref=sr_1_9?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449340629&sr=1-9&keywords=geraldine+evans

http://www.amazon.co.uk/RAFFERTY-LLEWELLYN-BOXED-SET-BOOKS-ebook/dp/B0186AAGL8/ref=sr_1_19?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449340739&sr=1-19&keywords=geraldine+evans

http://www.amazon.com/Asking-Rafferty-Llewellyn-Geraldine-Evans-ebook/dp/B0178GCPVU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449340629&sr=1-1&keywords=geraldine+evans

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Asking-Rafferty-Llewellyn-Geraldine-Evans-ebook/dp/B0178GCPVU/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1449340932&sr=1-1&keywords=geraldine+evans

Happy Christmas!

Win a Kindle Fire!

Someone’s got to win!

So if you want to be in with a chance of winning a Kindle Fire or a $100 cash during February, you’ll find the link below.

You can also buy some awesome books at bargain prices (including Death Line, #3 in my Rafferty & Llewellyn British Detective series), though there’s no obligation to buy any book during the promotion.

My book has also been reduced in price at other Amazon stores (UK, Europe, etc) and at Kobo (though I don’t know if the same applies to the other books. You can choose to simply enter the kindle giveaway and then, if you decide to buy a book, just go to your own country’s site to purchase.).

You can enter this Rafflecopter Giveaway here: http://www.freekindlegiveaway.com/current-giveaways/

And here’s the Rafflecopter code:

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/17d5b1d669/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”17d5b1d669″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_mx2htzf4″>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>
<script src=”//widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js“></script>
Good luck and Best Wishes!

What do you think of the new website?

It’s not quite finished yet, but it’s getting there. I’m using the services of Fausga (www.fausga.com) as my designer, though I suggested the spilt mug of tea and the wording on the mug. It seemed appropriate as my DI Joe Rafferty is always swilling the stuff.

I love the sliding elements at top and bottom. In theory, I’m supposed to be able to update them any time I want myself. Hmm. We’ll see how that goes! I did take a look at the area where I make the changes so that I could put up All the Lonely People, my latest digital release, but I backed away sharpish! I think I’ll need to edge very slowly into that, maybe with a bit of hand-holding from my designer. Terrified, if I make a hash of it, that I’ll muck up the whole shebang.

This is now officially a self-hosted website, via Hostgator. If I’ve understood things correctly (big if), I should be able to do a lot more with this site than I could when it was hosted as a freebie by WordPress. But don’t expect miracles overnight. It really will be a case of making haste slowly.

PUBLISHED AT LAST! All the Lonely People, Rafferty & LLewellyn #12

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#12 Rafferty & Llewellyn series

Finally got over the last hurdles with this book and published it to Amazon last night. So pleased. And so relieved! I swear that malevolent fate that follows my poor DI Joe Rafferty around has transferred its attentions to me. 🙂

But it’s done now, in spite of the lost disc, in spite of the endless copy- typing to update the digital edition, in spite of my hatred of copy-typing and the unwelcome attentions from the fates, I finished sorting everything out. And it feels wonderful!

I’ll get busy today and upload it to the other retailers, too.

Heres the blurb and the links:

All the Lonely People

#12 of 15 in the Rafferty & Llewellyn British Detective Series 

A Little Laughter. A Little Mayhem. A Little MURDER…

For readers who like cozy mysteries, humorous mysteries and police procedurals. 

When Detective Inspector Joseph Rafferty visits his local pub for a quick drink, he’s looking to forget his troubles, not add to them. His ex-fiancée Abra is still refusing to talk to him, and he’s fast losing hope of a reconciliation. But Rafferty is not destined to enjoy his drink in peace. Because a man is found dead – stabbed in the pub’s car park – and a preoccupied Rafferty is to lead the investigation.

What at first appears to be an open and shut case quickly becomes a lot more complex. The witnesses all plead alcohol-induced amnesia, and Rafferty’s habitually cautious sidekick, Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn, isn’t helping either—casting doubt on all of Rafferty’s conclusions.

And as Rafferty wrestles with the case, he also has to wrestle with Abra’s determination to avoid their problems. Soon, he is in despair on both counts…

The twelfth book in the quirky, not quite so Traditional British mystery series. 

LINKS:

AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/All-Lonely-People-Detective-Llewellyn-ebook/dp/B00P5EPSXK/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415022404&sr=1-2&keywords=geraldine+evans

AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/All-Lonely-People-Detective-Llewellyn-ebook/dp/B00P5EPSXK/ref=sr_1_20?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415023098&sr=1-20&keywords=geraldine+evans

AMAZON CA: http://www.amazon.ca/All-Lonely-People-Detective-Llewellyn-ebook/dp/B00P5EPSXK/ref=sr_1_3?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415023311&sr=1-3&keywords=geraldine+evans

AMAZON AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/All-Lonely-People-Detective-Llewellyn-ebook/dp/B00P5EPSXK/ref=sr_1_22?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415023486&sr=1-22&keywords=geraldine+evans

 

 

 

 

 

FREE! DEAD BEFORE MORNING #1 in my 15-strong Rafferty and Llewellyn series

Just to let you know that DEAD BEFORE MORNING, the first in my 15-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn police procedural series, is now FREE! (only in the UK so far; I hope to persuade Amazon to price-match in other countries also, but no luck so far).

#1 in series

#1 in series

I expect to keep it free for the foreseeable future so you can have an introduction to my work. I f you like British procedural series that have a quirky take on family life and police work it could be worth your while to download it.

ABOUT THE RAFFERTY AND LLEWELLYN SERIES
Brit DI Joe Rafferty, working-class lapsed Catholic, is cursed by coming from a family who think — if he must be a copper — he might at least have the decency to be a bent one.

FREE #1 in series:

AMAZON UK: http://bit.ly/13D033d

And, if you like Tudor Biographical Historical Fiction, don’t forget that Reluctant Queen: The story of Mary Rose Tudor, the Defiant Little Sister of Infamous English king, Henry VIII, is a Goodreads Giveaway until 30 April 2014, with the chance to win one of ten copies of the pb edition.

‘A very readable account of a fascinating woman who dared to stand up to Henry VIII and survived. It is thoroughly researched, admirably written and the author’s love of the Tudor period shines through.’
HISTORICAL NOVELS REVIEW

ReluctantQueenPODCOVEERFINALCROPPED FRONT ONLY

Here’s the link to the Goodreads Giveaway page for the book:
https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/83791-reluctant-queen-the-story-of-henry-viii-s-defiant-little-sister

I’ve just returned from a week’s holiday in Venice. Beautiful place, but oh, those endless steps over the canals! My weary, couch potato legs proved unable for the challenge (an inability not improved when I decided to put myself on a starvation diet for the duration after checking out the restaurant prices). I had to keep taking a rest on the bottom steps and hope some great, gallumphing, fellow tourist didn’t stand on me!

WHY I DECIDED TO GIVE MY BOOK AWAY FOR FREE

Why free? Because you get reviews (good, bad, indifferent). And reviews sell books. That’s what we all hope, anyway!

 If you would like a FREE copy of DEATH DUES #11 in the Rafferty and Llewellyn procedural series (more cozy than noir), in exchange for an honest review, check out my StoryCartel Book Page:

http://storycartel.com/books/881/death-dues-11-in-the-rafferty-and-llewellyn-procedural-series/

DEATH DUES

REVIEW ‘Lively and fun, with absorbing interplay between DI Joe Rafferty and sidekick Sgt Llewellyn. Replete with strong protagonists, infused with British atmosphere, and filled with intrigue and personal concerns alike, Death Dues is a fine detective saga.’ D DONOVAN, eBOOK REVIEWER, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW http://www.midwestbookreview.com/mbw/jan_14.htm#donovan

 GEvans_DeathDues (2)

BLURB

When one John ‘Jaws’ Harrison is found with his skull caved in, in an alleyway backing on to rundown Primrose Avenue while on his way to collect debt repayments from the residents, Rafferty and his intellectual partner, Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn, imagine the case will be easily solved. Armed with a list of local debtors, they begin their investigations. But they hadn’t counted on the conspiracy of silence amongst the residents — most of whom had good reason to want Jaws dead.

 Rafferty is forced to make some unorthodox decisions and stretch his intuitive powers to breaking point to find the solution.

 PLEASE SHARE. TELL YOUR FRIENDS. TELL ANYONE YOU KNOW WHO LIKES MYSTERIES (ESPECIALLY ONES WITH A BIT OF HUMOUR). ESPECIALLY IF  THEY’RE FREE!

EXCERPT

Chapter One

Detective Inspector Joe Rafferty riffled through the quotes from caterers and venues, photographers and florists, and thought, Why so expensive? It’s only a wedding, not the Second Coming.

When he’d proposed to Abra the previous Christmas, he’d been astonished that she’d said yes. His beguiling, spirited Abra could have married anyone, yet she’d chosen him. He’d wafted around in a rose-pink cloud for days. Then it had been all hearts and roses. But now the cold reality of a modern wedding hit him in the face with the force of a frozen kipper.

He ran a hand over his unruly auburn hair and muttered under his breath, ‘I can feel my credit cards wincing from across the hall.’ And he hadn’t even looked at the honeymoon brochures yet.

Abra reached across the breakfast table, took his face in her hand and forced an involuntary pucker. But she didn’t kiss him. Instead, she said, ‘You won’t be a tightwad about it, will you, Joe? We don’t want a hole-in-the-corner wedding. People will say we’ve something to hide.’

With no kiss forthcoming, Rafferty eased his head out of her grasp, picked up the stack of papers and let them drop again. ‘If we fork out for what this lot are charging, we will have something to hide. Us! From friendly, neighbourhood bailiffs.’

Abra tossed her chestnut hair. She slid around the table onto his lap to poke him slyly in the ribs. ‘Aren’t I worth it, then, love?’

He buried his face in her long hair and breathed in its just-washed lemon scent. ‘Of course you’re worth it, my little peach melba. But I’m not Rockefeller. Only a humble copper still paying off the re-decoration of the flat.’

‘That’s another thing.’ She gave him a lingering kiss which put him on his mettle, before she said, ‘I think we ought to sell this place and buy a house.’

‘But we’ve only just decorated,’ he protested. ‘All the new furniture!’

‘Exactly. That’s the most sensible time to sell. When the flat’s looking its best.’

‘I’d prefer to enjoy it looking its best myself,’ he said, disgruntled. ‘Anyway, I thought we were discussing the wedding, not moving home. Isn’t getting married big enough?’ It’s certainly stressful enough, he thought.

‘Where’s your ambition?’ she challenged. Then immediately softened. ‘Sorry, love. I’m being mean. But try to look at it from my point of view, Joe. This flat’s not mine, and it never will be. I want a place that we’ve chosen together. A place that’s ours. Is that so unreasonable?’

‘No,’ he conceded. ‘But we still haven’t settled a date for the wedding, poppet.’ Rafferty pushed her hair behind her ears and kissed her nose.

‘What about May?’

Rafferty nodded with relief. ‘May’s fine.’ That was one thing sorted. He eased her off his lap onto his chair as he stood up from the table. ‘And now I’ve got to get to work.’ He slid his arms into his jacket and straightened the frayed cuffs. ’Earn the money to pay for it all.’

Abra looked up at him with a winner’s grin. ‘Love you.’

‘Reckon it’s my money you love, you hussy.’ He bent and kissed her. ‘But I‘m pretty keen on you, too. Just try not to put my Mr Plod salary in too steep a debt spiral or we’ll be climbing out of the pit from here to eternity.’

As he picked up his raincoat and felt in his pocket for his keys, he shook his head. These wedding costs were getting seriously out of hand. Abra seemed to hope for the pomp of Lady Diana Spencer’s wedding—but look how that marriage turned out. His lovely fiancée had been taken over by an alien being—a mischievous wedding sprite, and he didn’t know how to get her back.

Abra shuffled the wedding quotes into a neat pile. ‘I’m off work today, so you can leave these to me. I’ll whittle them down. Some are charging way over the odds.’ She flashed her dimples. ‘I’ll ring round and see if I can’t knock them down a bit.’

Rafferty swallowed the sigh with the thought: A lot would be better. He bent once more, gave her a lust-filled kiss and made for the hall.

He only hoped this marriage worked out better than his first.


The weather was playing tag with Rafferty. A fierce wind blew his hair into that just-out-of bed look that was so fetching on Abra, whipping his raincoat into a veritable Irish jig as rain lashed him from all sides. He wished he was feeling as lively as his raincoat. He put down his head and dashed to the car, trying to restrain his flapping mac. Please God, let nobody get themselves murdered today. He didn’t fancy hanging around street corners in a downpour, musing on the type of house Abra might choose in her current mood. Buckingham Palace? Windsor Castle?

He hoped she hadn’t meant it. It wasn’t as though the flat wasn’t big enough. With three bedrooms, it could easily house a family. His Abra might long for Princess Diana’s fairy-tale wedding, but Rafferty—like Prince Charles—was no Prince Charming. And Rafferty lacked that princely income.

He threw himself into the car and slammed the door against the wind and rain, then glanced at his watch. His work day not even begun, and he was already behind.

Elmhurst was an attractive Essex market town that even the grey day couldn’t make ugly. Its quirky, individual architecture seldom failed to cheer him. Rafferty sped through it, quickly correcting as his back wheels aquaplaned through a puddle that had overwhelmed the drains and slid around a corner. He pulled into the car park off Bacon Lane, the police station’s back entrance. Naturally, the car park was full. Even the Super had beaten him to work today, his shining Lexus parked in the bay nearest the station’s rear entrance, a space sanctified by both Superintendent Bradley and, presumably, God. Rafferty had trespassed once or twice on its holy space and been roundly rebuked.

He parked in the last open space on the street and ran head-down and splashing through puddles to the station’s rear entrance. He opened the door and hurried dripping up the concrete stairs, leaving with each squelching step little slippery droplets to catch the unwary. Perhaps the sainted Super would have reason to come down shortly and injure his dignity. Rafferty smiled. A man can dream.

As he walked along the second floor corridor, he wrung out his hair and raincoat, wishing, in spite of the wedding arrangements, that he was still at home, in bed with Alba with her long, chestnut hair let down and her silky nightie soft under his hands. He quelled the thought. Inappropriate for work, isn’t that what they called it these days? He opened his office door.

His sergeant, Dafyd Llewellyn, was already at his desk, as usual. Llewellyn looked both industrious and bandbox-smart, also as usual, with a workspace as neat as conscientious industry could make it.

By comparison, Rafferty felt like something the cat dragged in. He glanced at his own desk and almost laughed as he realised that, like Llewellyn, he too was a good match for his workspace. Sometimes even the usually restrained Llewellyn’s fingers gave in to the itch to straighten the towering piles of papers, folders, and other impedimenta that covered the surface and threatened to spill over the sides.

Rafferty smoothed his unruly hair into some sort of order and sat down, shaking out the soggy ends of his trousers. ‘So what have we got, Dafyd? Anything exciting today?’

‘Not yet,’ Llewellyn replied evenly. ‘Unless, of course, there are any further muggings.’

‘Less of the fate-tempting, if you please.’

‘There’s still that report Superintendent Bradley wants you to read and initial.’ Llewellyn’s voice had the slightest tinge of disapproval. ‘It’s been on your desk nearly a week.’

Rafferty pulled a face. ‘I suppose you’ve read it?’

Llewellyn nodded.

‘Give me the condensed version, then, there’s a good chap. You know how wordy these bloody reports are. Mostly bumf.’

Llewellyn proceeded to explain the lengthy report in his calm, level manner, but as he proved almost as wordy as the report itself, Rafferty stopped him at Section 3 Subsection iv c. ‘Can you simply nod if the powers-that-be have ordered another meeting to discuss their preliminary findings?’

Llewellyn nodded.

Rafferty sighed. ’Meetings and more meetings. It’s a wonder we have any time to solve crimes. I’ll initial it. They’ll still be discussing it come Doomsday. Anything else?’

‘Superintendent Bradley asked for you to pop in to see him, if you haven’t arranged a prior appointment.’

‘What’s the old bugger want now?’ Sarky git, he thought. Trust the Super to assume he was given to making spurious appointments so as to avoid him. He’d only done it twice. Or it might have been thrice. But even so—Rafferty thumped the weighty report. ‘Not to discuss this, I hope.’

Llewellyn’s lips twitched slightly. ‘I think not. I understood him to say that he wishes to speak with you about the recent spate of muggings against moneylenders’ collectors.’

‘He wants to know what I’m doing about it, I suppose?’ Truth was, Rafferty wasn’t doing a lot. The local loan sharks’ collectors were nothing more than bullying thugs adept at putting the frighteners on little old ladies. Mugging was too good for them. ‘Throw a few grand-sounding phrases together for me, Daff. You know I’m no good at that sort of thing. Loads of long words and Politically-Correct bollocks. The Super’ll like that.’

Llewellyn raised dark eyebrows that were as neat as the rest of him. Rafferty swore he plucked them. ‘Something along the lines of: “We’re proceeding with our inquiries and have a number of promising leads,” you mean?’

‘That’ll do for starters.’ He felt in his pocket for some change. ‘But before you do that, can you get the tea in? I’m gasping. You can think up a few more bunches of bullshit while you’re in the canteen instead of chatting up the lovely Opal.’ Rafferty stifled a grin at his sergeant’s blush. Opal was a Caribbean lady of lilting accent, ample charms and an irrepressible sense of fun that believed flirtation should have a dangerous edge. She had taken a fancy to Llewellyn and seemed to find his puritan soul a challenge. ‘One of the muggers was thought to be Asian, so perhaps you can work in something about ethnic sensitivities.’

‘Wouldn’t it be easier to investigate the muggings?’

‘Probably. But I hesitate to interfere with anybody making the streets of Elmhurst safer. Oh,’ Rafferty shouted just before Llewellyn closed the door. ‘Fancy a hot-cross bun?’

Mock-serious, Llewellyn frowned. ‘I think you’ll find it is now called a hot-lined bun. Religious symbolism is also on the veto list.’

‘Veto my arse.’ Rafferty slammed the door for added emphasis. But he knew that no matter how many PC-worded explanations Llewellyn came up for his lack of progress , he’d have to do something about the muggings eventually.

Llewellyn was back in the office within minutes, a cup of tea in each hand and hot cross buns balanced precisely dead centre.

‘Managed to escape Opal’s blandishments again, hey?’ Rafferty teased.

Llewellyn placed Rafferty’s cup on a folded paper napkin which he’d earlier had the prescience to clear some space for on Rafferty’s cluttered desk.

Rafferty pulled a thin file on the investigation towards him. He began to read, liberally scattering crumbs across his front, his lap and his paperwork.

He was interrupted by the ringing of the phone.

‘Ah, Rafferty. You’re in, then?’ It was Superintendent Bradley.

The intimation that he’d been late wasn’t lost on Rafferty. He crossed his fingers behind his back. ‘Bright, shining, and ready to go, sir.’ Hey paused to swallow more tea before adding, ‘I’ve put in a couple of hours’ working from home.’

This brought a stunned, disbelieving silence, and across the room Llewellyn shook his head.

‘Right.’ The Super’s voice barked unexpectedly, so that Rafferty almost dropped his tea. ‘You can start by coming along to my office. I’m sure Llewellyn told you I wanted to see you first thing.’

Rafferty kept shtum.

‘I want to talk to you about these muggings.’


Superintendent Bradley was in lecturing mode. ‘You’ll have to do better than this, you know, Rafferty.’ The Super waved a thin sheaf of papers under Rafferty’s nose. ‘Your reports are sparse—very sparse.’

Rafferty began his explanatory spiel. He wished the Super hadn’t rung before he’d had time to get Llewellyn to prime him with the correct verbiage, but he hadn’t, so Rafferty did his best.

Superintendent Bradley interrupted him almost immediately. ‘It won’t do, Rafferty. It won’t do at all. I’ve had the Deputy Chief Constable on my back about these cases. He’s a golfing buddy of one of the moneylenders whose collector was assaulted. Man by the name of Forbes. That’s the wrong side of the brass to be on, Rafferty. Which makes it the wrong side of me. Do I make myself clear?’

As crystal.

Rafferty nodded glumly and made his escape.

He’d barely got back to his office when the phone went again.

It was Abra. ‘Hiya. Missing you already.’

‘Ditto, darlin’. The Super’s really not up to the job of standing in for you, more’s the pity.’

‘He’s dragged you into his lair already, has he? Poor Joe.’ Abra paused tellingly, then said, ‘I’ve been ringing round a few of the venues, and I simply can’t get them to drop their prices. I wondered—’ A more delicate pause this time.‘ How much might I spend?’ She named a figure that made Rafferty’s eyes water.

‘For a measly chicken salad and a few olives thrown in?’ He didn’t even like bloody olives. ‘What do they do in their spare time? Rob graves?’

‘It’s a normal quote, Joe. What did you have served at your first wedding? Sausage butties all round at the corner chippie?’

‘Abra, darling. You know I’d rather nip up to Gretna Green and forget this whole thing.’

‘I suppose Gretna Green is good enough for a man who’s been married once already. But this is my first—my only—wedding.’ The note of tears in Abra’s voice worked its magic. In truth, they’d never been far away once she set sail aboard HMS Romance. ‘I want to do it properly with all our family and friends there to wish us well.’

That was two people Rafferty had upset, and it wasn’t even ten o’clock in the morning. ‘All right, sweetheart. But can we talk about it tonight? I’m up to my eyes here.’

‘Tonight, then. Promise, Joe?’

‘Cross my heart. Love you, Abra. I’ll see you tonight.’ Rafferty had just set down the phone when it rang for the third time right under his hand. He braced himself.

‘Inspector Rafferty? This is Constable Smales. There seems to have been a murder, sir. Just called in.’

‘Where?’ Rafferty sat up straight, knocking his bun to the floor.

‘An alleyway adjacent to Primrose Avenue.’

‘What happened?’

‘Constanble Green, who’s on the scene, reports it as blows to the back of the victim’s head. Quite a mess, sir.’

‘Any idea of the victim’s identity?’

‘Not yet, sir. His wallet’s missing. Lizzie Green thinks he’s a man called John “Jaws” Harrison. Works as a collector for Malcolm Forbes, one of the local loan sharks.’

Oh great, thought Rafferty. Now he really would have to take action.

‘All right, Smales. I’ll be out there right away.’

Rafferty gulped his lukewarm tea, picked up his bun from the floor and dusted it off, before cramming its remains into his mouth. Muggings were one thing. But now they’d escalated to murder he knew he’d have to do more than a ‘little something’ He’d likely need the bun’s sustaining carbohydrates during the following busy hours.

All about the indie life v traditional publishing: See my article on the storyreadingapesblog

I wrote an article about my experiences both before and after I took up the indie author lifestyle for thestoryreadingapesblog. I enjoyed writing it and I’ve had some lovely, appreciative comments for my honesty (Rafferty’s family wouldn’t be impressed!). If you’re contemplating the indie life yourself, you could do worse than take a look. Here’s the link:

http://wp.me/p3mGq7-1QU

 

New Rafferty & Llewellyn ebook: DEATH DUES #11 in the series

Just published!

Latest Rafferty & Llewellyn ebook. £0.77 / $0.99 / Euro 0.86

Bargain Price for two days only!

‘Evans writes clearly and realistically. The wry humour in the badinage between Rafferty and Llewellyn keeps the story moving.’

BOOKLIST ON DEATH DUES

 GEvans_DeathDues (2)

A Rafferty & Llewellyn cozy procedural #11

With his wife-to-be’s wedding budget spiralling out of control and his superintendent demanding the swift resolution to the series of muggings of local loan sharks, DI Joe Rafferty is anticipating a long and trying week. And sure, enough, he isn’t disappointed.

 When one John ‘Jaws’ Harrison is found with his skull caved in, in an alleyway backing on to rundown Primrose Avenue while on his way to collect debt repayments from the residents, Rafferty and his intellectual partner, Sergeant Dafyd Llewellyn, imagine the case will be easily solved. Armed with a list of local debtors, they begin their investigations. But they hadn’t counted on the conspiracy of silence amongst the residents — most of whom had good reason to want Jaws dead.

 With the Super breathing down his neck and fiancée Abra sending his blood pressure to boiling point, Rafferty is forced to make some unorthodox decisions and stretch his intuitive powers to breaking point.

LINKS:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00G2JOHCU

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00G2JOHCU

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00G2JOHCU

https://www.amazon.de/dp/B00G2JOHCU

https://www.amazon.fr/dp/B00G2JOHCU

https://www.amazon.in/dp/B00G2JOHCU

https://www.amazon.es/dp/B00G2JOHCU

https://www.amazon.it/dp/B00G2JOHCU

https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00G2JOHCU

 

CRIME FICTION: CREATING A CRIME SERIES 3 OF 3

When I left you last time I was about to reveal what location I had chosen for my Rafferty and Llewellyn mystery series and why I chose it. I’ll start off by saying that I felt there was only one place I could use as a setting for such a character as working-class DI Joe Rafferty and his ‘bargain’ loving family. Essex. Anyone reading this who isn’t British will understand why it should seem his natural habitat after reading the following.
The Brits out there will all have heard of the ‘ Essex Man’ euphemism as a term for people who are stupid and common with criminal tendencies. Politically incorrect it may be, yet it’s stuck.
You may recall some of the ‘Essex’ jokes that were popular some years ago. Jokes like:
Q         what’s the difference between Essex and Mars?
A          there might be intelligent life on Mars
Or
Q         what is an Essex girl’s idea of a really classy meal?
A          a wooden chip fork with her takeaway.
Get the picture?
But, unlike the stereotyped depiction of the working classes in ‘Essex’ jokes and many of the older British crime novels, as chip-eating, adenoidal and terminally stupid, I wanted to show that there is intelligent life, Not only in Essex, but among the working classes themselves.
As far removed from the intellectual, Sherlock Holmes type of sleuth as it’s possible to be, Rafferty is a typical down-to-earth British copper. Okay, he’s not exactly deeply intellectual or highbrow, but intelligence, like most things, comes in different guises. His working-class background has given him a street-wisdom of a kind that’s often far more valuable in police work than the more academic intelligence. And with a family attuned to picking up ‘bargains’ of the dubious sort or to getting into bother of the criminal sort, he’s often thankful for this street-wisdom which helps get him out from under.
Anyway, all this furious thinking produced Dead Before Morning, a crime novel which features a prostitute bludgeoned beyond recognition, a suave, social-climbing doctor and an idle hospital porter who had, like Del Boy Trotter from Only Fools and Horses fame,  a few ‘nice little earners’ of his own.
In this first novel, Rafferty has just been promoted to the rank of inspector in the CID (Criminal Investigation Department, the plain clothes branch). His beat is Elmhurst, a fictitious town based on Colchester in Essex, the old Roman town where that original ‘Essex Girl’, Boadicea, used to hang out and harry the centurions.
Apart from Rafferty’s working-class background and his family’s teeny weeny tendency to dishonesty, there was another reason why I chose to locate him in Essex.And that was that Essex has lots of interesting historical connections. Many of the towns and villages in Essex are associated with the early settlers in America. And, because of its port links, the entire area Has always been close to the religious dissent stemming from Europe.
A bit of a dissenter himself, having been force-fed Catholicism from the cradle, Rafferty is against religion of any persuasion as a matter of principle. So it’s no wonder he feels at home in an area with such strong dissenting traditions.
Whatever the critics made of it, I must have done something right, because on only its second outing, that first Rafferty and Llewellyn crime novel was taken from Macmillan’s slush pile and published. It was also published in hardback and paperback in the States. In December, I also published it as an ebook.
I took a chance and did it my way when I created that first Rafferty and Llewellyn novel but it paid off. I’m now an established author from being a no-nope nobody whose formal education ended at the age of sixteen. It just shows what a bit of determination can do.
You can see now, I hope, how one decision about a character helps you make other decisions, not only about the lead character himself, but also about the other characters who will populate your series. And about where in the world they’re going to play out their roles.
To help me keep details of streets, pubs, etc, I drew my own detailed map. Which is something you might perhaps consider doing. It certainly saves a feverish hunt through an entire previous book or typescript trying to find where such and such a pub was situated. Or even what it was called. You can base it on somewhere real if you like. As I have said, my fictitious town, Elmhurst, is roughly based on Colchester in Essex. I have taken some elements of the town, like the castle and made up others. Now I’m not even sure what is real and what is made up! It’s all got so woven together.
You will understand from all this that my Rafferty books have a strong vein of humour running through them.
Now, strongly humorous crime novels are not to everyone’s taste. This sort of crime novel isn’t always highly regarded by critics.
But this was my book and this was how I wanted to write it. And given the perennial difficulties in the publishing world, it’s something to say that rather than making thecommon mistake of following either the herd or a fading trend – I did it my way – and actually got published.
The choice is yours. Do you want to be ‘original’ and do your own thing? Or do you want to be the same as what has gone before?
One of the reasons I write the kind of crime novel I do is that my mind has a natural tendency to see the humour in a situation. Especially a situation that contains a large dollop of Sod’s Law’. In Rafferty’s – and my- experience – Sod’s Law really does Rool OK.
Maybe your experiences are the same. If so, why fight it? In the end you have to be true to yourself.
Dead Before Morning, that first novel in the Rafferty and Llewellyn mystery series, was published in 1993. Altogether, I’ve had eighteen novels published with another just finished, seventeen of them crime, fourteen in my Rafferty & Llewellyn series and two in my Casey & Catt series.
Yes, there have been disappointments along the way, but that’s part of the life of the average writer. And the disappointments make the good times so much sweeter.
Who knows, if I hadn’t done it ‘My Way’ back when I created my first Rafferty novel, the publication of all my other novels might never have happened
I wrote the kind of book I liked to read. The kind where the writer makes me laugh, makes me cry, makes me wait, even, but most of all makes me care about the characters. Admittedly, that’s just my preference. You might prefer your crime novels to concentrate firmly on stimulating the brain rather than the funny bone. But i didn’t see any reason not to try to do both.
This approach provided the bonus that I had far more fun with Rafferty than I imagine the more high-minded writers have with their characters.
And writing is meant to be fun, isn’t it? It’s meant to be enjoyable. If it isn’t why do it?  After all those dead-end jobs I mentioned in my first post I was determined that I would end up doing something I liked.
There’s no reason why, just like me, you shouldn’t ‘do your own thing’ and attract a publisher who goes ‘mm. This is different.’
So, go and have fun. And give me another crime novel that provides the occasional chuckle. If you do you’ll be guaranteed one fan.
Oh. I forgot to tell you how to commit the perfect murder as I promised in the first post of this three-parter. First you –
Oh! Darn it.  Look at the time. I must fly! Till next time.

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The Author

Geraldine Evans is a British writer of police procedurals that contain a lot of humour and family drama Her15-strong Rafferty & Llewellyn series features DI Joe Rafferty, a London-Irish, working-class, lapsed Catholic, who comes from a family who think - if he must be a policeman - he might at least have the decency to be a bent one. Her 2-strong Casey & Catt series features DCI 'Will' Casey, a serious-minded, responsible policeman, whose 'the Sixties never died', irresponsible, drug-taking, hippie parents, pose particular problems of the embarrassing kind.

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