Please welcome Charlie Cochrane and
Jury Of One
Inspector Robin Bright is enjoying a quiet Saturday with his lover, Adam Matthews, when murder strikes in nearby Abbotston, and he’s called in to investigate. He hopes for a quick resolution, but as the case builds, he’s drawn into a tangled web of crimes, new and old, that threatens to ensnare him and destroy his fledgling relationship.
Adam is enjoying his final term teaching at Lindenshaw School, and is also delighted to be settling down with Robin at last. Only Robin doesn’t seem so thrilled. Then an old crush of Adam’s shows up in the murder investigation, and suddenly Adam is yet again fighting to stay out of one of Robin’s cases, to say nothing of trying to keep their relationship from falling apart.
Between murder, stabbings, robberies, and a suspect with a charming smile, the case threatens to ruin everything both Robin and Adam hold dear. What does it take to realise where your heart really lies, and can a big, black dog hold the key?
Get the book:
Playing fair with the readers, by Charlie Cochrane
I really enjoy reading classic age mysteries; one of my great pleasures is nipping into second hand book shops and turning out some forgotten gem. One of the authors I enjoy is Georgette Heyer, although her romances aren’t my cup of tea. She wrote some pretty good murder mysteries, too! (Funny how writing romance and writing crime seems to go together. Both Agatha Christie and Ruth Rendell wrote romance under a different pen name, but that’s a whole other post.)
However, recently I got rather miffed with one of Miss Heyer’s books, because I knew who the murderer was almost from the first page and the more I read the more bleeding obvious it became. I’ve never been let down by this particular author before and I hope I won’t be again as I work through her canon, but I have to confess it’s happened to me with other writers.
It’s not always a matter of knowing who the culprit is from too early on – sometimes it’s a romance book where the entire storyline seems telegraphed from the start. Yes, I know the standard romance is boy meets girl (or boy meets boy or girl meets girl), boy loses girl, boy gets girl back (or any gender variation) so there’s no surprise in the overall story arc but there have been occasions you can spot the plot twists coming like an oncoming train down a straight track! That really isn’t playing fair with readers who’ve spent their hard earned cash on your book.
Mystery readers (like readers in any genre) have certain expectations. They want to have a reasonable chance of guessing the killer but not have it spoon fed to them. They want to have time to weigh up all the suspects so it’s annoying if a book jump cuts to the killer being identified – which reminds me of another story that made me miffed. A cosy crime, amateur detective thing, well written up to the bit where all the suspects and their motives had been lined up for us. At which point the murderer suddenly confessed! I thought I’d missed a whole chapter and went back to check. Nope. Just an abrupt leap from suspicions to certainty. I was less than happy. Why hadn’t the editor picked that up?
So I utter this plea with my reader hat on. Authors and editors, please treat us fairly. We’re not dumb, and we have our proper expectations. Don’t mess with them.
More about the author:
As Charlie Cochrane couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie's Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
Leave a comment for a chance to win a download of Lessons in Love (Cambridge Fellows Mysteries #1) in audio! Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 26, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!
Promotional post. Materials provided by the publisher.