A pair of dancing shoes

Monday, 26 February 2018

Victorian dancing shoes

The day before she died, Mary Ashford bought a pair of dancing shoes. Nothing so fancy as these later Victorian ones, perhaps; but still a very fanciful and extravagant buy for a girl from a poverty-stricken background. She was going out that night, and it was a special event. She worked on a remote farm and the opportunties for dancing must have been very few and far between. After a long day…

Time, precious time

Monday, 19 February 2018


There was something very odd indeed about the issue of time in the case of Mary Ashford.

Every armchair detective knows that where any suspect was at any point of time - and indeed where the victim was at that moment - is crucial to solving a case. There were many witnesses to the location of both Mary and her suspected attacker on the morning of her death. The complicating factor was that…

What Lies Beneath..........

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Modern day penns lane looking up towards the original site of the 'fatal field' and stile.mary and thornton were seen here between 2am and 3am.

Have you ever wondered about the past history of your street, your area? Who lived here, what they did, or what it was like 200 years ago?

This is a modern-day picture of Penns Lane near Erdington. 200 years ago, it was a narrow country lane with dense trees either side, and a scatter of cottages. To the west stood a wire-rolling factory: a very small enterprise then, but one which would eventually…

Mary Ashford's life

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Mary ashford's cottage who killed mary ashford

Mary Ashford was neither rich nor famous. She was a hard-working girl from a poverty-stricken background, anxious to be respectable and make her own way in the world. On the day she died, she had walked many miles to and from market. One of the most poignant details of her death, for me, was the fact that she had saved up to buy a pair of dancing shoes for a dance in the local pub that evening…

Happy New Year

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Beautiful morning 008

Happy New Year to all my supporters - and potential supporters!  I took the photo here some time ago, when I first started researching the Mary Ashford case. From what I can gather from drawings and descriptions of 1817, the lane near which Mary met her death was very like this. This was actually a road near my own house in Dorset, but it so struck me as being close to the image in my head that…

guess who

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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A world-famous Dorset author lived here, and a visit here with me is part of one of the pledges......

change of scene

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

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I wonder if there is a person out there who doesn't identify with this photo. Supposedly one of the most stressful events in life, probably because for a few weeks we tear up one pattern and try to make another; and for a few months (or two-and-a-half years, in my last move) we feel we're at the mercy of a chain of people we've never met. This is my house today,and its my 27th move. I never planned…


Sunday, 26 November 2017

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I have an account at Instagram. Take a look at elizabeth_cookeauthor to see what's occupying me at the moment.

Inspirational places

Saturday, 25 November 2017

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It's too beautiful a day today - bright sunshine and clear skies - not to share one of my inspirational places. I'm here today to clear my head after the excitement of the launch yesterday! It's Burton Bradstock looking gorgeous, as befits the World Heritage Jurassic Coast. I often walk here, and swim here in summer, and the novel I'm currently working on was prompted by this beach. 

Launching the book

Friday, 24 November 2017

I'm so thrilled to be part of the Unbound process, and today - launch day - marks a completely new process in my writing career. Crowd funding is like a big group of friends all over the world getting together. All with the same idea, the same enthusiasm: to hold a book in their hands that they've almost willed into being. Very exciting.

WHO KILLED MARY ASHFORD has been on my mind for some time…

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