Two years have passed since the tragic events that took place in A Murder To Die For and the little village of Nasely has returned to cosy normality. But strange things are going on in nearby Black Dog Wood. There are rumours that it’s become a popular dogging spot, and there have been alleged sightings of a mythical werewolf-like monster. And then someone discovers a blindfolded skeleton, bizarrely buried standing up ...
Events take a further turn for the macabre when the secretary of a prestigious girl’s boarding school is found murdered and all of the evidence points to the local MP as the culprit. His only chance to avoid prosecution for a crime that he claims he didn’t commit is to hire ex-homicide detective Frank Shunter to uncover who the real murderer is.
Meanwhile, the identity of the blindfolded skeleton may reveal a startling truth about the fate of murder-mystery writer Agnes Crabbe’s long lost novel, Wallowing In The Mire …
You can read The Diabolical Club as a sequel or as a stand-alone novel but, once again, Stevyn Colgan promises to take us back to South Herewardshire for a comedy murder-mystery that skips merrily along the fine line between farce and tragedy.
What people said about A Murder to Die For:
‘Stevyn Colgan bestrides the territory of English rural comedy, one foot on the throat of Joanna Trollope, the other knocking the bonnet of Miss Marple off her silver head. Divine black village comedy.’ – Stephen Fry
'Only the British can mix humour and homicide so charmingly. The perfect tonic if you need a pick-me-up. Just add gin.' – Sandi Toksvig
The morning was cold but dry and bright and it seemed to Frank Shunter that it was the perfect day to rake up the leaves on the lawn and add them to his compost heap. He still had a hundred and one small jobs to do indoors on the new extension but the weather was too good to waste. An ancient radio stood on a wall belting out a crackly version of the altogether appropriate Autumn Almanac by The Kinks. There was a perfectly good digital radio in the kitchen but Shunter persevered with his old, paint-spattered, and held together with duct tape radio. He had once claimed that the radio was a metaphor for his life; that just because something was old and there were newer options available, there was no reason to throw it away if it still worked. But having made this declaration, he was now lumbered with terrible sound quality until the radio was truly beyond repair.
Mrs Shunter emerged from the kitchen with two steaming mugs of tea and he propped the rake up against the wall and stretched.
‘Perfect timing,’ he said, pecking her on the cheek. ‘I was thinking of taking a break. No biscuits?’
‘And undo all the good work you’ve done?’ said Mrs Shunter, patting his stomach. ‘I hope you’re minding your back.’
‘I am,’ said Shunter, blowing on his tea. ‘I’m not a masochist. I know when to stop and … hang on …’
He turned the volume control on the radio. The local news was on.
‘… where the body of a woman, identified as Phoebe Kingshaw, a secretary at Harpax Grange School, was discovered last night. A man is helping police with their enquiries. A confidential telephone number has been set up for anyone who might have any information. Miss Kingshaw had been at the school for just a few weeks and …’
‘I know that face,’ said Mrs Shunter, folding her arms.
‘What?’ said Shunter.
‘That’s the same face you pulled two years ago when that author woman was murdered in the village.’
‘I was only having a listen. I’m not getting involved,’ said Shunter.
‘You said that last time and look what happened. Explosions, police shoot-outs …’
‘Hardly my fault,’ said Shunter. ‘And I did help to catch the murderer.’
‘You stick to your composting,’ said Mrs Shunter. ‘Let the youngsters deal with it. You’re too old for all that kind of thing now.’
‘I’m fifty-six. I’m not Methuselah.’
‘Just behave. We don’t want a repeat of things, do we?’
As his wife walked back indoors, Shunter turned the radio up to make a point about obsolescence. And then turned it down because it sounded atrocious.
Happy World Book Day! Here's me as Paddington Bear.
Actually I look more like Jamiroquai's grandad.
The campaign to fund THE DIABOLICAL CLUB kicked off on the 11th January and hit the 33% mark - a whole third of the way there - about a month later. What a great start! But the pledges have stalled now and it's taken three weeks to crawl up to 35%. Which is a shame as, judging by the feedback…
'Where do you get your ideas?'
It's the question that all writers fear. And it's the question that's most difficult to answer.
Neil Gaiman used to say that he got his 'from the Idea-of-the-Month Club,’ or 'from a little ideas shop in Bognor Regis.’ Other writers have given glib replies claiming that there is a secret society who send you ideas once you've been published. The rather more…
What a difference three weeks makes, eh?
Thanks to you lovely people, we're 25% funded already. To provide some sort of comparison, A Murder To Die For took twice as long to reach the quarter mark. But we can't rest on our laurels - if we want the book to come out sooner rather than later, we need more supporters.
Tell your friends.
Promote it on social media.
And PLEASE leave reviews…
I suspect that, for most - if not all of you - this isn't the first time we've said hello. A Murder To Die For, the prequel to The Diabolical Club, isn't even in the shops until 25th January, so I imagine that most of you have pledged because you read the first book. And, presumably, liked it enough to come with me on this damnable crowdfunding roller-coaster all over again. Thank you.
These people are helping to fund The Diabolical Club.