A warm welcome today to author Helena Dixon who is interviewing Miss Underhay, the lead character of her popular Miss Underhay Mystery series. First, let’s take a look at the cover and find out a bit more about the book.
An escape to the country… ends in death.
Summer 1933. Fresh from the discovery that she has family living nearby, Kitty Underhay has packed her carpet bag, commandeered a chambermaid and set off on a visit to stately Enderley Hall. She’s looking forward to getting to know her relatives, as well as the assembled group of house guests. But when elderly Nanny Thoms is found dead at the bottom of the stairs after papers of national importance are stolen, Kitty quickly learns that Muffy the dog’s muddy paws on her hemline are the least of her problems.
Calling on ex-army captain Matthew Bryant for assistance, Kitty begins to puzzle out the mystery. And when more shocking murders follow, the stakes are raised for the daring duo as never before. Which of the guests stand to gain from the theft of the documents? And which, as the week progresses, stand to lose their lives?
A charming cozy historical murder mystery that fans of Agatha Christie, T.E. Kinsey and Lee Strauss won’t be able to put down!
Now let’s move onto Nell’s interview with Miss Underhay.
Thank you, Miss Underhay for taking time from your busy life to talk to us today. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
The pleasure is mine, thank you for asking me. My name is Kitty Underhay, I’m twenty-three and live with my grandmother, Mrs Treadwell. We own the Dolphin Hotel in Dartmouth, which has been our family home for over two hundred years.
I believe you lost your mother in mysterious circumstances?
Yes, my mother, Elowed, disappeared in June 1916 when I was a child. We have been searching for her ever since. My father, Edgar, has recently re-entered my life. He resides mainly in America but has recently introduced me to his sister, Lady Medford. I’m hopeful that she may have some information to aid our search.
Your name has been linked with that of Captain Matthew Bryant?
Hmm, someone has been tittle-tattling. Probably Mrs Craven, that woman has never cared for me. Matt and I are just good friends, I assure you. The loss of his wife and child during the Great War and his dreadful experiences during that time have left deep wounds on his psyche.
How did you and Captain Bryant meet?
My grandmother was concerned about some incidents that had happened at the hotel. Matt is the son of some old friends of hers, he had recently left the service and was kicking around at a loose end. She employed him to take care of security.
And to take care of you?
I assure you; I am quite able to take care of myself. This is 1933 and I am a modern, independent woman.
My apologies, Miss Underhay. Please tell us more about The Dolphin and Dartmouth, it sounds delightful.
The Dolphin is quite an historic building. It stands on the embankment and you can see it as you cross over the river Dart on the ferry. It’s half timbered and is the premiere hotel in the town. Dartmouth is very old. There is a castle which stands guarding the river mouth and one can take tea there now at the tea rooms. There is a small marina, called the Boat Float, a large Naval college on the hill leading out of town and several medieval buildings like those in the Butterwalk.
Not the kind of place you would expect to find embroiled in a murder?
Certainly not, that is what made the events all the more shocking. It caused quite the stir as you can imagine.
I hear Captain Bryant has now opened a business in Torquay? Will you be assisting him in his new venture?
Yes, Torbay Private Investigative Services. There are cases where a woman’s touch and intuition may prove very useful.
You seem a very busy lady, Miss Underhay, is there anything you would like to change about your life?
Please, call me Kitty. Obviously, I wish I could discover what happened to my mother, if only to give my poor grandmother some closure. Matt is assisting me in my search, after seventeen years, it’s hard to find new leads. I love The Dolphin and enjoy my work, but I must confess it sometimes feels as if it weighs me down. I enjoy helping Matt with his investigations even when it gets dangerous.
Thank you for talking to me today, and good luck with your future investigations and I hope you manage to discover what happened to your mother.
My pleasure. I’m sure you’ll excuse me if I have to rush off. Trouble with the kitchen staff again. Honestly, chefs are always so horribly temperamental. Give me a good plain cook any day.
Intrigued? Read what some readers are saying about the book:
‘Endearing, engaging characters; and a fast-moving plot line filled with unexpected twists and turns. This is a whodunit that you will not want to put down till it’s done!’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘I loved this cosy mystery. There were many twists and turns and I couldn’t wait to find out the identity of the perpetrator behind the crimes. I look forward to reading more in this series.’ Goodreads reviewer, 5 stars
‘Gripping from the very first page. It was quite difficult to put the book down… Very deserving of 5 stars and more.’ NetGalley reviewer, 5 stars
Grab yourself a copy here:
Helena Dixon splits her time between the Black Country and Devon. Married to the same man for over thirty five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, a crazy cockapoo and a tank of tropical fish. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. Her addictions of choice are coffee and reality TV. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 and Love Story of the Year 2010 as Nell Dixon.
She now writes historical 1930’s set cozy crime. Nell enjoys hearing from readers and you can read her news and contact her here:
Sassy, heartwarming romances set in glorious locations: Amazon Author Page