I Don’t Want the Job*

Confessions of a Mystery Novelist...

A popular image of the fictional police detective is of a dedicated professional who’s determined to solve the case and find the ‘bad guy.’ And a lot of fictional police officers are just that way. That perseverance and curiosity carry them through some very difficult cases.

But that’s not so for all fictional coppers. There are cases where the police detective is reluctant, or even unwilling, to investigate. A police detective might have any number of reasons for not wanting to look into a case, and we see several of them in crime fiction.

For example, in Isaac Asimov’s The Caves of Steel, we are introduced to New York police detective Elijah ‘Lije’ Baley. The futuristic world in which he lives is more or less divided between two groups of people. Spacers are the descendants of people who explored space and returned. Earthmen are the descendants of people who…

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The Gift Horse- rebranded!

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The Gift Horse has been rebranded and re-edited and is available to buy on Amazon. I think this is my favourite book. The plot is complex but absolutely feasible.

 

Here is the plot outline

 

Jockey, Charlie Durrant, is unwittingly catapulted into the murky world of race fixing when he is convinced that a horse he has ridden has been switched.  The horse showed absolutely no promise when worked at home but on the racecourse, his performance dramatically improves.  Some horses are like that, but Charlie has never noticed such a marked change.

The owner, attractive Tara Regan, seems completely oblivious. New to racing, she has been gifted her horse by her glamorous grandmother and ex-Bond girl, Caroline Regan. Charlie finds himself determined to find out what is going on, especially since he has promised Tara’s grandmother, one of his favourite owners, that he would help and advise her granddaughter negotiate the world of racing. 

Tara is training to be a psychologist and finds herself treating a compulsive gambler who appears to know something and leads the pair into real danger…

Comments about The Gift Horse;

‘Thrilling and brilliantly plotted.’

‘An intriguing read.’

‘I loved it! Great plot.’

I loved writing The Gift Horse. I think that Caroline Regan, who I see as a mixture of Honor Blackman and Joanna Lumley, provides the glamour and I also enjoyed writing about a trainee psychologist, Tara, who is based on a friend of mine. Charlie Durrant, jockey, is a cavalier character, who has a dark side due to his troubled past which he has to resolve.  I am fascinated by the world of racing which has so many dimensions and contrasts. There are the wildly rich owners and the poor stable staff, who coexist, often unharmoniously. This tension provides some interesting plots.

I hope you enjoy it!

 

 

 

Review of Bloodlines by Brian O’Connor *****

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Brian O’Connor. I am a sucker for racing books and have even been known to write a few myself! I do love reading them too.

This is about Liam Dee, an ex champion jockey who steps into a crime scene when a stable lad where he rides is murdered. Liam thinks he knows who was involved and befriends the investigating policeman in an attempt to help.

Are drugs behind the murder of this young Ukrainian male or is it something far closer to home? Fast paced, great racing scenes and with some romance thrown in, the climax is gripping when Liam comes to face to face with his foe.

I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys good detective stories with racing thrown in.

Definitely worth a read!

Rank Outsiders REVAMP!

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My Cup of Tea Press and me have been revamping Rank Outsiders, my first racing thriller.It has been re-edited and has a new cover. The cover is more in keeping with the genre and my other books will be rebranded in a similar way, thanks to Rosie and  Jamie from My Cup of Tea Press! Rank Outsiders is a racing thriller.

Jockey, Tristan Davies is concerned when several strange incidents at the yard, suggest that someone is trying to fix a race and prevent one of their stable stars from winning.  The horse is let out of its stable and narrowly misses a car, glass is found in his bedding and the horsebox has a puncture en route to the racecourse. Suspicion points to the horse’s relatively new stable lad, Kyle Devlin. Kyle is in care and supported by social worker, Poppy Ford. Poppy needs no encouragement to help prove Kyle’s innocence, so the pair decide to join forces to find out what is going on and find themselves unraveling a complex web of intrigue which has far-reaching consequences. When the two worlds of racing and social work collide, the stakes are very high indeed.

Praise for Rank Outsiders.

‘A great story, beautifully and ingeniously plotted.’

‘A thrilling read which is well paced and well plotted.’

‘I really enjoyed this book by Charlie De Luca and want to read more.’

 

Rank Outsiders in available to download on Amazon.

 

 

 

 

 

Grand National Tips!

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Well, it’s that time of year again when the forty horses line up for one of the world’s most spectacular sporting events, The Randox Grand National held at Aintree on Saturday.

The prize money overall is over a million and the prestige is huge, so there’s everything to play for. Runners and riders will be confirmed tomorrow.

The going is likely to be soft, verging on heavy in places and the four mile track with its huge fences, is one of the longest races. There are some great horses and jockeys in the field, so it will be a hard one to predict. Anything can happen!

Top weight is Minella Rocco from Jonjo O’Neill’s yard ridden by Noel Fehily. Likely favourites are Blaklion, trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies and ridden by son, Sam, Gordan Elliott’s, Tiger Roll and Sandy Thomson’s Seeyouatmidnight. That said, the Grand National is notoriously unpredictable, which is why it is such a thrilling spectacle.

Women are well represented with Katie Walsh riding Baie des Iles, Briony Frost riding Milansbar  and Rachael Blackmore riding  Alpha des Obleaux. All are highly capable and I would love a female jockey to win as it would really shake the sport up. The women all ride really well.

But it’s anyone’s guess and because of this, it’s always worth looking at the outsiders as many bookies pay out to five or more places. Here are my suggestions for each way bets with long odds.

Colin Tizzard’s The Dutchman ridden by Harry Cobden. Tizzard is in form and won the Cheltenham Gold Cup this year with Native River. Likely  to be 50-1

Sue Smith’s I Just Know ridden by Danny Cook also 50-1

Ross Sullivan’s Baie Des Iles ridden by Katie Walsh at 66-1

David Dennis’s Final Nudge ridden by Gavin Sheehan at 33-1

I also drew Perfect Candidate in the sweepstake at work, so shall be watching him too at 66-1!

The very best of luck to anyone deciding to have a flutter!

Editing your own work? Here are some tips.

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Probably in common with most writers, I struggle to edit my own work.  I am editing some of my own work and a book for a friend. Editing for a friend is SO much easier!  It must be because you are too close to your own work.

I have been researching this area and have come across some tips that may helpful to others.

When you have finished your book, set it aside for at least a month, or longer before even attempting to reread.

Read it out loud. I have discovered an app, Natural speaker, which might help here. I downloaded this and uploaded my book. The voices are a bit mechanical in the free version but it did help once I had my headphones in and computer open and at the ready.  This enabled me to correct the text as I listened to it. It was easier to hear clumsy sentences rather than read them.

Use spell checking and check everything.  I mean everything.  You may think you can spell but I  found some words I thought I knew, I had been spelling wrongly for ages! Annoying!

Start from the end and work backwards.  This is not as daft as it sounds as just reading the words without getting into the story can really help your focus. Once you start to follow the plot you can get caught up in it and miss the obvious!

Take your time and don’t set yourself impossible deadlines. Slow and steady wins the race!

Good luck with your editing. Do any of you have any tips you can share?

This would be much appreciated.

Charlie

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Easter!

 

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Well, it’s that time of year again! Looks like we may have a colder Easter than usual followed by a heatwave in April apparently. I haven’t yet taken the horses’ rugs off and they are looking tatty and in need of repair.  The rugs that is; not the horses. Plenty of time to do that once the Spring actually arrives.

I am looking forward to some time off, having an Easter egg hunt with the kids, maybe going to the races, and definitely riding and walking in the Lincolnshire countryside. I am having some off from editing ‘Making Allowances’ until the holidays are over.  I am also meeting up with fellow writer, Scarlett Brodie, who writes funny cosy crime novels as I m doing an interview with her for her next book, ‘Missing in Millfield.’ This is a great book, so look out for more news as the release date is coming fast approaching.

Then it will nose to the grindstone in preparing students for exams!

I hope you all have a good rest, plenty of chocolate and that you get to spend some time with your loved ones! Happy Easter!

Charlie