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Monday 1 February 2021

When Authors Turn To Crime... & another tour with Richard Tearle...

My posts will re-start on 6th April
Guest Posts on 4th May

but for now....

TOUR One...

TOUR TWO (scroll down) 

By pure c-incidence, at more-or-less the same time Alison Morton and I both decided to have a go at a different genre. Alison to write a thriller that was more contemporary than her Roma Nova alternative history series, and I thought I’d write something lighter than my historicals and Sea Witch Voyages, so I decided to have a go at a ‘murder mystery’  quick read novella. (If you can call murder ‘lighter’!)

I had also, for some time, wanted to write something where I could use my more than a decade of experience working as a library assistant. The two ideas gelled together and materialised as a ‘cosy mystery’ (more Midsomer Murders rather than Morse).

Here’s the result:

Eighteen-year-old library assistant Jan Christopher’s life is to change on a rainy Friday evening in July 1971, when her legal guardian and uncle, DCI Toby Christopher, gives her a lift home after work. Driving the car, is her uncle’s new Detective Constable, Laurie Walker – and it is love at first sight for the young couple.

But romance is soon to take a back seat when a baby boy is taken from his pram,  a naked man is scaring young ladies in nearby Epping Forest, and an elderly lady is found, brutally murdered...

Are the events related? How will they affect the staff and public of the local library where Jan works – and will a blossoming romance survive a police investigation into  murder?

A couple of lovely reviews also give a good idea of what the story is about:

Book of the Month

A delightful read about an unexpected murder in North East London. Told from the viewpoint of a young library assistant, the author draws on her own experience to weave an intriguing tale” Richard Ashen (South Chingford Community Library)

Lots of nostalgic, well-researched, detail about life in the 1970s, which readers of a certain age will lap up; plus some wonderful, and occasionally hilarious, ‘behind the counter’ scenes of working in a public library, which any previous or present-day library assistant will recognise!” Reader Review


When it comes to writing contemporary thrillers, Alison knows what she’s doing regarding characters, plot, research and sheer page-turning engrossing readability!

Deeply in love, a chic Parisian lifestyle before her. Now she’s facing prison for murder.

It’s three days since Mel des Pittones threw in her job as an intelligence analyst with the French special forces to marry financial trader Gérard Rohlbert. But her dream turns to nightmare when she wakes to find him dead in bed beside her.

Her horror deepens when she’s accused of his murder. Met Police detective Jeff McCracken wants to pin Gérard’s death on her. Mel must track down the real killer, even if that means being forced to work with the obnoxious McCracken.

But as she unpicks her fiancé’s past, she discovers his shocking secret life. To get to the truth, she has to go undercover and finds almost everybody around her is hiding a second self. Mel can trust nobody. Can she uncover the real killer before they stop her?

We’d love you to join us on our joint tour!

Alison and I are embarking on a joint tour during February, where we explain a lot more about our new books – and why and how we turned to crime!


2nd   Tony Riches with Alison 

3rd    Tony Riches with Helen   

4th    Clare Flynn with both of us  

5th    Derek Birks with both of us

6th    Graham Brack with Helen

7th     Elizabeth St John with both of us 

8th     Lucienne Boyce with both of us Should authors change names as well as genres?

9th     Anna Belfrage with Alison 

10th   Pam Lecky with both of us read an excerpt from each book

11th    Jacquie Brown with a review of Alison Morton's Double Identity    

and... Kathryn Gauci will feature both of us  in her newsletter (Sign up for it here: )

12th   Jo Barton with both of us A look at why we chose our locations and characters

13th   AA  Abbott reviewing Double Identity

14th   Cryssa Bazos with both of us

15th   Chris Longmuir with both of us 

16th   Anna Belfrage with Helen

17th   AA  Abbott with Helen

18th  Jacquie Brown with Alison Morton


"A stunning new thriller from the author of the award-winning Roma Nova series, fans of Daniel Silva, Stella Rimington and Chris Pavone will love Double Identity."


For all ebook and paperback retailers:


Will romance blossom between library assistant Jan Christopher and DC Laurie Walker – or will a brutal murder intervene?



My thanks to Mary Anne Yarde ad an anonymous good friend of Richard Tearle's for organising this tour...

Join The Coffee Pot Book Club on tour with…


By Richard Tearle, with Helen Hollick

February 15th – February 19th 2021

When a group of north London writers meet each month for a chat, coffee, and cake – what else is on their agenda? Constructive criticism? New Ideas? An exciting project? And maybe, more than one prospective romance...? 

Eavesdrop on the monthly meetings of the North Finchley Writers' Group, follow some ordinary people with a love of story writing, and an eagerness for success. Discover, along with them, the mysteries of creating characters and plot, of what inspires ideas, and how real life can, occasionally, divert the dream...

Buy from Amazon

reviews welcome

Tour Schedule

February 15th

Oh look, another book!

Books, Lattes and Tiaras

B for Book Reviews

February 16th

Let your Words Shine…

Gwendalyn's Books

February 17th

I got lost in a book

Candlelight Reading

Mary’s Bookcase

February 18th

The Book Bandit’s Library

Zoe’s Art, Craft and Life

The Books Delight

February 19th

Anna Belfrage – Stolen Moments

Judith Arnopp Official Blog

Thank you for joining the tour!