Clare Havens

'The streets were dark with something more than night…' Raymond Chandler

Date archives July 2016


July 2016 update

Here is an excerpt from my July newsletter. To read more please sign up in the box on the right of this page!

This month I have been working on two short stories: one involving Kate Summers and the other residents of East Trimley, from my Constable Country Mysteries series and the other a vintage murder mystery set in Norfolk in 1930. In the Constable Country Mysteries story, as yet untitled, I am afraid to say that the much hated auctioneer Brian Fisher meets an untimely end. No one has ever really forgiven him for his outrageous treatment of Anne Venables, you might remember he advised her that a sketch she owned was worthless, only to buy it himself for a song and then ‘discover’ it was by artist John Constable and worth a king’s ransom! There are not too many tears being shed over his death, I am afraid, although there are plenty of suspects.

The vintage short story, Helena Beecham Investigates is the tentative title, was so much fun to write. I find I enjoy writing stories set in the 1930s immensely. It feels very natural to me and the words tend to flow smoothly. Helena and her friend Reggie Prendergast arrive at Carrick Lodge, the home of Major and Mrs Murray, old friends of Helena’s family. Major and Mrs Murray are also host to a Mr Archer, an unpleasant character who bullies his wife and sons and who has stepped on a lot of toes to get what he wants. We should not be surprised to hear that Mr Archer is found dead one morning. The problem facing Helena is that there is a whole houseful of suspects!

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Image courtesy Flickr Commons. Ingenues arrive at Central. Sam Hood. State Library NSW


June musings

Thoughts from my June newsletter…

I have been reading a diverse selection of books this month including Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Song for Mrs Pettigrew’ which intersperses fact and fiction and which I absolutely loved. I got the book out of the library but will be buying my own copy! Michael Morpurgo’s book explores ideas of loss and belonging, a theme also prevalent in Kate Morton’s novel, ‘The Distant Hours‘. A character in this book mentions the word Seledreorig, Anglo-Saxon for ‘sadness for the lack of a hall’, a sense of lack of belonging, lack of home. As someone who has moved around the world to live in different cities I can identify with this feeling.
‘The Anglo-Saxons had a gift for sadness and longing… Seledreorig… sadness for the lack of a hall… there’s no word like it in the English language, and yet there ought to be, don’t you think?’ To read more, subscribe to my monthly free newsletter in the bar on the right.