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Hello Vicki, it’s lovely to chat with you here on the VP blog. I’m here to find out a bit more about your work in progress, which I understand is the third novel in the Charters Mystery Series. For those who haven’t read the first two – why not?! – tell us a little more about the sleuths, Alasdair and Melissa Charters (and Sheba the dog) and how they first got involved in solving murder mysteries.

Hello Amanda, it’s lovely to be here! Well, Melissa is a true aristocrat, an Honourable and the granddaughter of a Baron, and rather naïve. Despite this she likes to think of herself as a socialist. She has a large family that are always getting into scrapes or know people who do. They are a young couple who married in haste during WWI. Alasdair has a skill for languages and after a spell in the trenches he was recruited by the SIS to be a spy. It was during one of his missions behind enemy lines that he was blinded. He also has what we would call PTSD but what was then known as ‘shell shock’. A condition he takes considerable care to hide. Melissa is desperate to get out and about and persuading him to sleuth achieves exactly that. They have a faithful retriever called Sheba who they are training to be a sort of proto guide dog, and she is certainly a character in the books.

Book Three is set in a cliff top hotel in Bournemouth I believe. Tell us a little more about the plot.

One of the characters from book two, Blind Pool, reappears, and Melissa decides to help him by staying at a hotel in Bournemouth which he is involved with. Of course, having settled in for a relaxing time in sunny June, murder doesn’t take long to catch up with them. I like to create a real sense of place as part of my plots and Bournemouth will definitely be front and centre.

Blind Witness by Vicki Goldie

Blind Pool by Vicki Goldie

Your books are written in the ‘Golden Age’ murder mystery style – the early 20th century whodunnit which often takes place in a country house setting – and, as is fitting, have been described as ‘funny and charming’ by the author, Gail Aldwin. Can you tell us about the unique characteristics of this sub-genre of detective novels and why you enjoy writing them?

 

Books of this genre seem also to be garnering the title ‘Cosy’. If murder can ever be cosy!

I am a huge fan of the ‘Golden Age’ mysteries and do collect books from that era. Personally, I love the Art Deco period and have collected items from that period since I was a teenager – a long time. I really like the idea of having a relatively small group of suspects and then pulling the murderer out of the hat like magic. Of course, Agatha Christie was the master at that!

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