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 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.
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
It was announced in the Bookseller on 9 February 2023 that Emba Books UK had signed Fiona for a three-book deal for the first three titles in the new Miss Clara Vale Mysteries series. You can read the announcement in the Bookseller here.
The Picture House Murders, the first in the brand new Miss Clara Vale Mysteries, is available to pre-order now! Coming out in ebook, audiobook and print on demand on 29 August 2023. Published by Embla Books, an imprint of Bonnier Books UK.
Order your copy now: The Picture House Murders.
Murder is no occupation for a lady… or is it?
1929: Miss Clara Vale is a woman ahead of her time. Rather than attending Oxford to bag an eligible aristocrat (as her mother, Lady Vale, so desperately hoped), she threw herself into a degree in chemistry, with aspirations to become a scientist in her own right.
But the world isn’t ready for Clara. Unable to land a job in science because she’s a woman, she is stuck behind the desk at a dingy London library. Until her estranged uncle dies suddenly, leaving her his private detective agency in Newcastle upon Tyne, and a laboratory, in his will.
Clara couldn’t become a detective, could she?
The decision is made for her when one of her uncle’s old clients comes to her for help with a case surrounding the local picture house and invites Clara to see the latest show, before they discuss the details. But during the film, a fire suddenly engulfs the picture house, with tragic consequences. It seems at first an accident, but Clara soon begins to question if it was in fact a carefully orchestrated murder. She’s suddenly in the middle of a deadly mystery and will discover her scientific skills make her a sleuth to be reckoned with… Can she catch the killer before they strike again?
Set in the colourful world of early cinema, just as silent films are being replaced by talkies.
From Fiona Veitch Smith, the author of the Poppy Denby Investigates books.