I’m delighted to see that The Picture House Murders has reached the #1 Best Seller spot in historical mysteries on Amazon UK. How heartening that so many people are loving this book. Thank you to all my readers – old and new – who have made this happen. I’m tickled pink and Clara is quietly chuffed.
Join Fiona as she takes you to various locations for the setting of the Miss Clara Vale Mysteries – while wearing vintage style clothing she made herself from original 1920s patterns. In this video she visits the Spanish City in Whitley Bay, near Newcastle upon Tyne, which is the location of the picture house that burns down with such tragic consequences in The Picture House Murders. You can read about how Fiona made her fabulous outfit here.
Fiona shot a short ‘on location’ video at the Spanish City in Whitley Bay, near Newcastle, one of the key locations in The Picture House Murders.
Fiona made the dress she is wearing from a 1927 Mrs De Pew pattern.
She loved the turquoise chiffon on the cover, but couldn’t find any suitable fabric (at a reasonable price!). So instead she chose a navy blue polyester silk. The trickiest part of the construction was the sash and flounce which are integrated with the dress and not just a draped scarf as it appears. The sash is made up of multiple pleats, a bit like a cumberbund. The draped scarf is threaded through a faux tortoiseshell buckle (found at a haberdashery shop) and sewn in place.
The hat is her own sunhat and she borrowed her daughter’s parasol. The gloves were bought a few years ago but were too sparkly white to look vintage. So she soaked them first in tea (which didn’t work well) then in strong coffee!
Hope you all agree she looked smashing!
Miss Clara Vale and I are delighted to be on the @instabooktours for The Picture House Murders! Thanks to all the Instabloggers and reviewers for taking part. Turn up the volume for this one, it will have your toes tapping! Music is ‘I’d Rather Be Blue’ by Alfredo & His Band (1929). Enjoy!
Join Fiona as she takes you to various locations for the setting of the Miss Clara Vale Mysteries – while wearing vintage style clothing she made herself from original 1920s patterns. In this second video she visits the Royal Station Hotel in Newcastle upon Tyne, where Clara sets a honey trap for one of the main suspects in The Picture House Murders. You can read about how Fiona made her fabulous outfit here.
One of the reasons I chose to sign a contract with Bonnier Books is that they are an ethical publishing company committed to becoming carbon neutral. So I was delighted, yesterday, when I received an email from them telling me that for every book they publish they plant 10 trees – and I could choose where ‘my’ trees go! They partner with a number of reforestation projects around the world, and their latest one is in the Eastern Cape, on the outskirts of Addo. This is where my husband’s family live and where we met, at Rhodes University, over 30 years ago now.
So, thank you for buying The Picture House Murders. You will be contributing a couple of leaves to those trees!
Lights, camera, action! It’s publication day for The Picture House Murders, the first in the Miss Clara Vale Mysteries. Is it too early for champagne? While I ponder that, you can get your copy now! Ebook, print or audiobook via Amazon, or order a copy through your local bookshop. Embla Books, Bonnier Books UK
As part of Fiona’s writing process, before she start writing a new book she looks for an original map from as close to the period in which she is writing as possible. It helps her to visualise the location and to be aware of the historical differences of locations from what they are now. She found this fabulous map in Reid’s Newcastle City Guide (1928). See below the main locations of The Picture House Murders and follow Clara as she solves the case.
The Picture House Murders has received a glowing review from the library review site, Library Thing. You can read the full review here.