RUBIES IN THE ROSES BLOG TOUR
TITLE: RUBIES IN THE ROSES
AUTHOR: VIVIAN CONROY
Welcome to my stop on #RubiesIntheroses #Blogtour today I am excited to share my review as well as an author interview Q and A session! Thanks so much to the author for my ARC copy! Make sure you check out all the other stops on the tour, there are some amazing bloggers taking part with lots of exciting posts to share with you!
Hi Viv welcome to If In Doubt Read can you us a little bit about yourself in your own words
I write cozy mystery for HarperCollins UK. As a total dog fan I
often put dogs in my books like Dolly, the perky dachshund in the
Cornish Castle Mysteries. Chocolate and cheese are my best friends
whether I’m writing, hiking or relaxing with an episode of Death In
Paradise. I also spend a fair amount of time on Twitter where you
can connect with me via @VivWrites
Rubies in the Roses is your latest release. Can you tell us a little about the story?
Rubies in the Roses is the second instalment in the Cornish Castle Mysteries, but can be read as standalone. It’s set at a wonderful castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall where our heroine Guinevere with her cute doggie Dolly spends the summer to catalogue books for the castle’s owner Lord Bolingbrooke. There is also Bolingbrooke’s son Oliver, a cast of quirky human and canine characters and a mystery to solve: is a rare bejeweled wedding goblet hidden in the castle gardens? As claimants are at each other’s throats to find it first, Guinevere and Dolly dig in, but that is not without danger …
Where do you find inspiration for your stories and characters?
When pitching the Cornish Castle Mysteries to my editor, I knew I wanted to do a locked room mystery in the first book, Death Plays a Part, and I thought it would be fun if the murder happened in the castle’s dungeon during the reenactment of a medieval trial. I made the main character Guinevere a costume designer in a London theatre to have her familiar with scenarios, scenes, stage play so she’d be suited to solve a crime that was carefully plotted and executed. I wanted Guinevere’s profession not just to be her background story but aid her in solving the mysteries that she encounters on the island and at the castle.
Do you have a favourite place to write?
It doesn’t really matter to me as I forget everything around me when I am typing away. I always plot long-hand and in general enjoy taking notes in notebooks. My writing needs are the perfect excuse to buy sticky notes, coloured pens and other great stationery gadgets. Oh, and for those who are curious about the ‘music vs silence when writing’ question: I need silence. No music for me.
Can you name three of your favourite reads and what it was that you loved about them?
Only three?? I love Agatha Christie and her books rank high among my favourite reads, especially Death on the Nile (ingenious plotting) and Nemesis (coach trip, sinister spinsters in small village). Ellis Peters’ Brother Cadfael series I reread constantly: nothing beats a Sunday afternoon in the sun with a Cadfael in hand. Hard to say which is my favourite, but The Rose Rent has the best closing scene and Brother Cadfael’s Penance is the crown on a remarkable series.
(See, I snuck in four!)
What are your top three tips for aspiring writers?
1. Write what you love — don’t write to a trend or because an editor is asking for something. Your passion for the project will shine through and convince someone to buy it. Besides, you don’t want to sell and have to write books you don’t love to write.
2. Know your genre in and out — don’t spoil your own chances of selling by including elements that are inappropriate or by going too far away from what readers love and expect. Also: if you know readers’ expectations, you can play with those and genuine surprise and delight them.
3. Keep an eye on all the opportunities on Twitter — there are pitch contests, submission calls, manuscript wishlists telling you what editors and agents are looking for. I sold after seeing a submission call for books starting with a proposal. My submission led to a 3-book deal with A Proposal To Die For becoming a #1 Amazon bestseller in 5 categories in the USA and Canada. You never know when your chance might come so be prepared for it!
What is next for you?
In October the fourth book in my Lady Alkmene 1920s’ Mysteries releases, Fatal Masquerade, a masked ball adventure. You need not have read the other books in the series to get on board, so break out your dancing shoes and pearls and join a killer party!
Welcome to Cornisea island and spend your summer holidays in a Cornish Castle.
Guinevere Evans has a dream summer job: cataloguing books at a castle on a tidal island off the coast of Cornwall. With her perky dachshund Dolly by her side she explores the island’s colourful history, tries fabulous local food and sees the gorgeous sunsets.
But when an old friend of her employer drops in, claiming a rare bejewelled wedding goblet is hidden in the castle gardens, strange events start to take place: several people turn up claiming they have a right to the elusive goblet, and a dead body is found on the beach.
An unfortunate accident, or does this death relate to the struggle for ownership of the goblet? Is there even a goblet?
Guinevere and Dolly dig in and discover plenty of motives to lie, steal and yes, maybe even kill. Can they prove what really happened to the victim and what became of the precious rubies that are at the heart of the mystery?
I have to say I have never read any cosy crime novels but have been curious when I’ve seen them mentioned so when Viv asked if I was interested in being involved in the blog tour for her latest release I jumped at the chance to find out what this genre was all about!
now I am hooked! What an absolute delight to read! Dolly the adorable Datchund and Guinivere are quirky unique characters who I fell in love with almost instantly!Viv proves herself to be a brilliant writer able to weave a thoroughly entertaining mystery full of warmth, intrigue and entertaining characters.
Well paced and with enough breadcrumb clues and red herrings to keep engaged from start to finish I read it very quickly. My only regret is that I didn’t read the two books in order. Although this reads perfectly as a standalone I feel sorry that I didn’t enjoy them in order and feel I would have benefited from understanding more about he characters and their history.However I loved this so much I’m going to read it even if it is out of sequence.
A brilliant introduction into a sub genre that I now feel I’ve been missing out on for too long! Perfect for curling up by the fire in winter with!!