I was going to write a blow by blow account of the progress of the new book in the new series THE HOUR OF THE FOX but I only got as far as 5,000 words before I was laid low with a mystery illness (this was back in January) and I’ve only just emerged. I’m surprised to find that after burning in my brain for so long it’s almost writing itself – whether it’ll be any good or not will remain a mystery until it’s finished – but at least the words are flowing and some surprising, frightening and to me intriguing characters are pushing their way into the story.
The main pupose of this new one is to remind everybody about the way in which King Richard II, once called ‘the beautiful boy’ when he was ten – is now being deposed by his big, bad, bully-boy cousin Bolingbroke, the earl of Derby and heir to the massive Lancastrian estates. Richard was not the first nor the last English king to be murdered by those ambitious enough to kill on their way to the crown but to me he’s the most poignant because he had such an obvious love of beauty and civilised values, rare at that time in England. See the Westminster Hall hammer-beam roof, see the Abbey itself, see the Wilton Diptych, see the wonderful portrait still hanging at the West Door of Westminster Abbey, read the works of Chaucer, and so much more, fostered or commissioned by him. To read some of the chronicles – and to read between the lines as we have to do – is heart-breaking. I did not feel I had the right to tell his story from his point of view Who am I to talk like a king? So it’s going to be a multi-viewpoint narrative from fictional by-standers and participants in the extraordinary events of that fateful summer and autum of 1399.
I really hope that when it’s finished readers, especially those who are following Hildegard of Meaux into her tenth adventure, will enjoy it. We’ll have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, if you want to pre-order the tenth Hildegard medieval mystery – MURDER AT WHITBY ABBEY – you can do so on Amazon in hardback form. It’s out in June and, though a bit pricey, don’t forget it’s postage free on Amazon Prime.
Looking forward to hearing from you again soon with news of a few book events up and down the country.
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