THE DEAD WOMAN OF DEPTFORD, the sixth book in the Ben and Lizzie Ross series is in bookshops now! It is set in the late 1860's and took quite a good deal of research on that part of London.

 

Sadly, much, indeed most, of old Deptford has disappeared.  Ben and Lizzie, returning today, wouldn't recognise it. The busy docks and ship building yards are no more. Many streets of original houses were levelled in the name of progress in the nineteen fifties. But turn a corner and unexpectedly you find yourself walking by a surviving stretch of early nineteenth century houses, or spot a street name suggesting Deptford's colourful past. Deptford's two magnificent churches have also survived. 

 

I really enjoyed writing this book and I hope readers enjoy this latest tale of Victorian mischief and murder.

To date I have written four series of detective novels. Two of them are ongoing: Campbell and Carter and the Victorian Ben Ross and Lizzie Martin novels.

 

I am often asked if I'll be writing any more Mitchell and Markby or Fran Varady novels. I am not sure. When I wrote the first of the Mitchell and Markby stories, (Say It With Poison), I intended Meredith to be the only main character. But when I started I quickly found that I needed a professional police detective as well. So, Alan Markby entered the story. The two worked together well and remained together for fifteen books. 

 

I wanted the characters to develop throughout the series, so they gradually grew a little (not much!) older, and closer together emotionally. 

 

After fifteen books I needed a break. If I were to write about either of them again, it would have to be the right story and I'd still need the characters to be moving forward as individuals. It would not be easy. I do miss them, but will they ever reappear? Time will tell.

 

Fran Varady, too, after seven books needed to be 'rested'.  It is more difficult for me, as a writer, to take her forward, because the essence of her situation is that she is down on her luck. Slowly, book by book, her situation has slightly improved. But if it improves too much, she is not the same person.