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Saturday 2 April 2016

B is for... Bloodie Bones

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Bloodie Bones 
by Lucienne Boyce

Throughout April I have invited 26 authors who had been selected as Editor's Choice by the Historical Novel Society Indie Reviews
 to help me out with the 2016 A-Z Blog Challenge...

Except to be a little different I interviewed 
their leading Character/s...

Today's Character is from :

HH : Hello! I believe you exist in Lucienne Boyce’s novel – what is the title of the book, and would you like to introduce yourself - who you are, what you do etc? 
Good day. My name is Dan Foster and I’m honoured to say that I am to have  an entire series devoted to some of my most interesting cases – The Dan Foster Mysteries. The first of these is Bloodie Bones. I’m a Principal Officer attached to Bow Street Magistrates’ Court – what most call a Bow Street Runner, though we’re called a few other things I won’t mention here in case any ladies read this. I’m also a pugilist – what you might know as a bare knuckle boxer. I’ve never wanted to turn professional – I’ve seen too many good fighters ruined by fame and fortune – but the science comes in handy in my business. My dad, Noah Foster, runs a gymnasium and he trained me up from a boy.

HH : Where and when are you? Are you a real historical person or did your author create you?
Bloodie Bones is set in the autumn of 1796. Though I’m usually attached to Bow Street Magistrates’ Court I’m often sent to deal with cases in other parts of the country. In Bloodie Bones I’m working undercover in Barcombe, a Somerset village a few miles from Bath. I’m not a real historical person but I work with many historical characters – magistrate Sir William Addington and Bow Street Runners such as John Townsend and Patrick MacManus for example. I also meet some well-known fighters – in Bloodie Bones I fight a young Hen Pearce of Bristol, known to the Fancy as the Game Chicken, who went on to defeat many prime milling coves to become champion of England. (You can find out more about the people and history behind the stories on the Dan Foster Pages on Lucienne’s website

No, I won’t say which of us wins! Hen has a brave, humane nature, and in the ring he’s unmatched for bottom, strength and form. I’m proud to know that in future books we’re to become good friends and even work together to solve a case.
But I meet all manner of people in my business. During the case Lucienne Boyce is writing up at the moment – the second Dan Foster Mystery – I met Mary Wollstonecraft. There was  nothing hyena-like about her at all, she was bewitching and I was sorry indeed to hear of her untimely death in childbed. And in the book after that it looks like I might be meeting the Prince of Wales and some of his lady friends: blue stockings they call them.

HH. In a few brief sentences: what is the novel you feature in about?
In Bloodie Bones I’m sent to Barcombe to investigate the murder of Lord Oldfield’s gamekeeper, Josh Castle, which His Lordship is certain was carried out by a poaching gang. Lord Oldfield has recently enclosed Barcombe Wood, which means that local people have lost a source of food and fuel, and for some of them it’s the difference between survival and ruin. So feelings are running high and Josh’s murder comes in the wake of a series of violent protests. It’s my job to get inside the poaching gang and bring ’em to justice, and it’s a ticklish business I can tell you, when there’s murder and riots and shootings. But it seems to me that it isn’t only the local poachers who had a grudge against Castle. There’s some mystery in that gamekeeper’s life, and I think it might have had something to do with his death...

HH :  I ‘met’ my pirate, Jesamiah Acorne on a beach in Dorset, England -  how did your author meet up with you? 
Lucienne Boyce has always been interested in radical history and the history of protest, in the boundaries between law and justice. Choosing someone whose job is to uphold the law at a time of great social change and unrest – enclosures, industrialisation, pressure for reform – seemed a good way of exploring those themes. As a Principal Officer, I have often to struggle with my sense of injustice and my duty to uphold the law, and I’m not sure that one day something won’t break and I’ll have to make a choice between them. My own background means that I understand what it is to be hungry and homeless, to be ragged and cold, to be treated as a scrounger and a beggar. In the second Dan Foster Mystery, I ask: which is the greater crime: that our streets are overrun by thieving children, or that our rulers would rather hang than feed them?    

HH : Tell me about one or two of the other characters who feature with you - husband, wife, family? Who are some of the nice characters and who is the nastiest one?
It’s hard for a man to talk about his marriage, when he knows that marriage was a mistake. Truth is, though I didn’t see it at the time, I married the wrong sister, and there’s nothing to be done about it now but do my best by Caroline in spite of her – illness – and try to put Eleanor out of my mind.
So I’ll tell you about my dad instead. I call him dad, as he is to me, though I never saw Noah Foster till I was, by my reckoning, thirteen. I’d been living on the streets since I could remember, making a living by thieving. I’d gone to Blackheath for the Oliver v Death fight, meaning to dive into a few pockets, but I got into a fight with a bigger lad who said I was trespassing on his patch. He gave me a punishing, but though I lost, Noah saw I had a natural talent – and I didn’t cry quarter. So he took me in, gave me a home, taught me to fight like a man, not an animal. It was the making of me, that discipline – and it’s been the saving of me in many a tight spot too.

HH : What is your favourite scene in the book?
I enjoyed listening to the tale of Bloodie Bones in the village inn. Who doesn’t like a good ghost story? “If you cheats or robs the poor, he’ll crush you bone by bone, like he done the old Lord.” That’s what their bogeyman was to the folk of Barcombe, a figure who’d take revenge against Lord Oldfield.
But my favourite scene? Nabbing the villain.

HH : What is your least favourite? Maybe a frightening or sad moment that your author wrote.
Can’t say I much liked being set on by four masked men in a country lane. But can’t say either such things never happen in my line of work.

HH : What are you most proud of about your author?
Bloodie Bones has been shortlisted for the 2016 Historical Novel Society Indie Award. and long listed for the M M Bennetts Award for Historical Fiction 2016.
HH : How exciting - Congratulations!

HH : Has your author written  other books about you? If not, about other characters?
How do you feel about your author going off with someone else!
As I say, Lucienne Boyce is currently working on the second case in the series, in which I’m on the trail of the murderer of a Principal Officer from Hatton Garden office. He’d been working undercover in the London Corresponding Society, a group campaigning for parliamentary reform, and I have to go in after him. Before I know it, I’m drawn into the Home Office’s spy network, much against my will, and end up at the Nore during the sailors’ mutiny in the spring of 1797. All I want to do is catch a murderer, but with France poised to invade England, the Navy immobilised by mutiny, and the radicals blamed for it, I don’t have much choice. But I prefer straightforward crime any day.

HH : As a character if you could travel to a time and place different to your own fictional setting  where and when would you go?
When I met Mary Wollstonecraft she and her friends talked about how it should be possible for couples to part when they’re no longer happy together, and be able to remarry as well. I’d like to go somewhere it was possible for me and Eleanor to be together without crime or sin. But who can believe there will ever come such a time?

For more information see
To preview Bloodie Bones and find out more about Dan Foster’s World see

Bloodie Bones is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle at

For other buying options see

Twitter: @LucienneWrite


Here is the company we will be keeping on this 
A-Z Blog Challenge!

A 1st  Friday - Aurelia  - Alison Morton
B 2nd Saturday  - Bloodie Bones - Lucinda Boyce
C 4th Monday - Man in the Canary Waistcoat Susan Grossey
D 5th Tuesday - Dubh-Linn  - James Nelson
F 7th Thursday - Fortune’s Fool- David Blixt
H 9th Saturday - The Love Letter of John Henry Holliday - Mary Fancher
K 13th Wednesday - Khamsin- Inge Borg
L 14th Thursday - Luck Bringer   - Nick Brown
N 16th Saturday - A Newfound Land  - Anna Belfrage
O 18th Monday - Out Of Time  - Loretta Livingstone
P 19th Tuesday  - Pirate Code  - Helen Hollick
Q 20th Wednesday - To Be A Queen – Annie Whitehead
R 21st Thursday  - The Spirit Room - Marschel Paul
U 25th Monday  - A Just And Upright Man - John Lynch
X 28th Thursday – The FlaX flower – AmandaMaclean

So call back tomorrow 
To meet the next exciting Character! 
(unless it is Sunday - in which case, I'll have something different 

but just as interesting !)


  1. Brilliant! Well-crafted, Lucienne, and a great plug for the book. I loved it, by the way. Radical Historical Fiction should definitely be recognised as a specific sub-genre, I reckon. And maybe we need a Radical HF LitFest?? Hmmm

    1. THanks Dave - I like the idea of a RadHistFest!

  2. I can hear Dan's voice shining through. He's a toughie, isn't he? But with a great heart it seems. I hope he does find personal happiness...

    1. Another good book for the TBR pile.....

    2. Thank you Alison! Can't let on yet how Dan will fare in the personal happiness stakes ...

  3. Thanks Alison and Dave for these lovely comments. And I love Dave's idea of a Radical HF Lit Fest.

  4. So going to purchase this and explore the author a bit more! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you Ginger Dawn, glad you liked the blog and hope you enjoy the book!

  5. Definitely another book for my TBR list. I suspect it is going to get a lot longer by the end of the month.

    1. I think you'll find another 25 books have been added Loretta!

    2. Thanks Loretta. Yes, my TBR pile is teetering, so many lovely things to read!

  6. Bloody Wonderful! My new morning ritual: Coming to Helen's blog and meeting all these exciting new characters - and their authors.
    Love Dan Foster's speech pattern. I can see him strutting about a bit, trying to sound modest although I think he's actually quite pleased with himself.
    Congratulations, Lucinda, on the Indie Award listing!
    Another great article, Helen. I'll be a long and eventful month.

    1. Lucienne - Apologies for giving you a different name (somewhere in my distant memory, it rang a bell), haven't had my second cup of coffee yet as it is still early here in the US.

    2. Thanks Inge - and don't worry, I know Lucienne but I've had her name down as Lucinda on my list!

    3. Hi Inge, no worries re the name. Glad you liked the blog. And what a perceptive comment about Dan!

  7. Congratulations on the success of this book - by the sounds of it, thoroughly well-deserved. Good luck with the finals!

  8. Barcombe and gamekeepers. Strange as I grew up in Sussex and was taught to shoot by a gamekeeper... and there's a Sussex village called Barcombe with great pubs. Anyway, have to add another book to my To Readlist...but first I have your other recommendations.

    1. Thanks for dropping by - I can heartily recommend A for Aurelia (1st April's post) but actually all the books featured on my A-Z challenge are very good!

    2. Hallo Roland, thanks for reading the blog. I didn't know about the Sussex Barcombe! The village in Bloodie Bones is based on a village near Bath. I was told that my grandad tended not to like the local gamekeeper in his youth!

    3. Some gamekeepers were not that likeable but I was a kid... and the right side of the law.

      Helen: was in the same writing group as Alison Morton, so lucky to hear an early version read by the author. :-)

  9. Yet another wonderful read that I can warmly recommend! And Dan DESERVES some happiness, Lucienne. Just sayin'...

    1. Thank you Anna. Well, I hope you'll find a bit of a surprise in the next book which might cheer him up a bit!

    2. Ooh that sounds intriguing Lucienne! (I agree with Anna!)

  10. When I met Mary Wollstonecraft ... what a winning line! This sounds a rollicking good read! Good luck in the competitions.

  11. Hallo Victoria, and thank you! Dan was rather taken with Mrs Godwin (Mary Wollstonecraft).

  12. I am sure Dan Foster would get on with my character, but I will be fascinated to see how Dan fares out of his familiar London environment - the capital was like a different country back then, wasn't it? And I'm as intrigued as the others to hear about this surprise in the next book...! (This is Susan Grossey, by the way - I can't seem to leave comments under my own name, but perhaps it's something to do with undercover law enforcement activities!)

    1. Hallo Susan, and thanks for the comment. Yes, I'm sure Sam and Dan would get on well!


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