Posted in Writing

New School Year, New Start for my School Mystery Series

As the new academic year starts in my local village school, I’m getting ready for a fresh start for my cosy mystery series set in an eccentric English boarding school for girls.

Until now there have been two books in this comedy cosy mystery series, which readers have described as a cross between St Trinian’s and Malory Towers for grown-ups! These first two books were originally published under the titles Secrets at St Bride’s and Stranger at St Bride’s.


This autumn, the multi-award-winning Boldwood Books will be reissuing them with bright new covers and snappier titles as Dastardly Deeds at St Bride’s (on 15th September)…

…and Sinister Stranger at St Bride’s (on 11th October).

Then on 14th November, an all-new third instalment of the adventures of Gemma Lamb and friends will be launched, called Wicked Whispers at St Bride’s. The cover for that one is still under wraps, but I’ll share it with you as soon as I can.


If the style of the cover looks familiar, it’s because it’s the hand-drawn artwork of the wonderful book designer Rachel Lawston, who last year created the cover of my standalone romantic comedy novella, Mrs Morris Changes Lanes.

cover of Mrs Morris Changes Lanes

I’m really looking forward to seeing what Rachel comes up with for Wicked Whispers at St Bride’s!

While I wait for that cover reveal, I’m already dreaming up ideas for the fourth book in the series, which I’ll be starting to write very soon.


All of this series will be published on multiple platforms and in multiple formats by the energetic, expert team at Boldwood Books, including ebook, paperback, hardback and audio – so however you prefer to read, there’ll be a format to suit your preference.

You’ll be able to buy them online and from bookshops, and if you ever have any problems tracking down the one you’re after, just let me know and I’ll help you out.


In the meantime, I’m 15k words into my next novel, which will be the eighth Sophie Sayers adventure, set in the Cotswold village of Wendlebury Barrow. Its working title is A Fling with Murder, although that may well change by the time I’ve finished with it. The Fling is an allusion to its Scottish setting – Sophie is whisking Hector out of his comfort zone in the Cotswolds to take him to meet her parents in Inverness, a city I love very much. This series is also about to get a relaunch and to become available in multiple formats. More news on that soon…

Now back to my writing desk, my notebook and fountain pen… there’s homework to be done before I can have my tea! 

Debbie at writing desk with pen in hand
(Yes, I do write my books by hand with a fountain pen!)


Dastardly Deeds at St Bride’s

🇬🇧 Amazon UK 🇺🇸 Amazon US

Sinister Stranger at St Bride’s 

🇬🇧 Amazon UK  🇺🇸 Amazon US

Posted in Reading, Writing

Talking About Myself: New Podcast Interview Now Live

Back in January, I was pleased to be invited onto The Writer’s Mindset podcast to speak about writing cosy mystery (or cozy mystery, to my American friends). I also talked a lot about why and how I write what I write, and recommended some mystery books by other authors that I enjoy reading.

The podcast has just gone live, and as you’ll see if you watch it, I had a great time chatting with host Kristina Proffitt. The interview is topped and tailed by her co-host Ellie Betts, and I join them about six and a half minutes into the show.

Click the image below to watch it on YouTube, or via The Writer’s Mindset website here.

Although The Writer’s Mindset is aimed at writers rather than readers, I hope that whether you are a writer or a reader, you will enjoy listening to our conversation.

Approval from Australia

headshot of B M Allsopp
BM Allsopp. author of the Fiji Island Mysteries

I was pleased to receive the following feedback from my author friend B M Allsopp in Australia, whose Fijian detective series I mention nine minutes into the show:

Your voice is much as I would have expected and your books are exactly as you intended. It’s probably rare for an author to have such accurate insight into her own work. Your exposition of the cosy genre was also absolutely clear and enjoyable.

You may remember BM Allsopp was the guest on my blog last year, when I ran a series of interviews with authors who write books set in different countries around the world:

Introducing a New Series of Author Interviews: Travels with my Books #1 – To Fiji with BM Allsopp

A Quick Correction

By the way, do bear in mind that this interview was recorded back in January, and you’ll hear at one point that I say I’m not sure whether there will ever be a Sophie Sayers book 9. Well, I’ve changed my mind – and I’ll be telling you more about my new plans for Sophie and friends in a future post, very soon.

What do YOU like best about reading or writing cosy mysteries? I’d love to know!