May: a month of Mystery and Mayhem

It's May Day! Time for dancing around maypoles, skipping through bluebells, sunshine and blossom and cute, cuddly lambs . . .

Unless you're a mystery author in the Crime Club, that is!

In which case, May is time for dastardly deeds . . . poison plots, kidnapped dogs, dark secrets and locked rooms.

May is Mystery and Mayhem month!

I was so thrilled to be asked to contribute to an anthology of short mystery stories last year. I was allowed to write any kind of mystery I liked - as long as it had a baffling crime and young detectives at its heart, of course! When I found out who else would be in the line-up I was even more delighted. Eleven incredible writers, all of whom had written books I loved.
Just look at the list on the front of the book - who wouldn't want to be in a book with these authors?

I decided to write a historical mystery. Secrets of the Tombs has a historical elemet of course, but the stories are set in the present day.  The Mystery of the Pineapple Plot is actually set in the past - in 1761, to be precise. The location is the grand Catchpole Hall, and we join the cast of characters at a banquet in honour of eldest daughter, Eliza's engagment to the rather dreadful (but oh so rich!) Percy Ponsonby.

The grand finale of the banquet is a magnificent home-grown pineapple. It's Lord Catchpoles' pride and joy - (growing your own pineapples was a major high society craze in the 1700s and an extraordinarily expensive one at that!) so when something goes horribly wrong, there's a high price to pay. Eliza's younger sister, Catherine, and her friend, the young footman, Quality  (who arrived from Jamaica as a baby in a crate of pineapple cuttings) have to investigate - otherwise an innocent boy will take the blame.

I had so much fun writing this story. I hope you'll have fun reading it and following the clues to try to solve the crime along with Catherine and Quality. And look out for a new pineapple-themed competition coming soon.

To celebrate the publication of Mystery and Mayhem ton May 5th, a month-long blog tour starts today. The first stop on the tour is at JESMGIA where you can find out where some of the authors - including me - write our books.

 Find out what mole grips, airing cupboards and narrowboats have to with my writing day here at JESMGIA.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour by visiting each of these great book blogs throughout May. Also, over on the brilliant Middle Grade Strikes Back blog, there is an extra interview in which Robin Stevens and I talk to Andy Shepherd about all things Mystery and Mayhem.

Make sure you have plenty of time if you visit any of these blogs though, because if you're anything like me, you'll find heaps of other fascinating posts on all them, and you'll be there for hours having a lovely read. I love book blogs. so, to round off this post, I propose a toast of thanks (pineapple juice, of course!) to book bloggers everywhere!

And just in case you think that I haven't got into the May Day spirit at all, I did do some skipping through bluebells too - in the most spectacular bluebell woods ever, at Croft Castle in Herefordshire.