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Blog Tour – ‘Class Murder’ by Leigh Russell

I am beyond thrilled to be kicking off this blog tour.  ‘Class Murder’ is being published as an eBook on the 7th December 2017 by No Exit Press and will be out in paperback on the 29th March 2018.  Having previously read a couple of Leigh Russell’s books I am really looking forward to this one.

To celebrate the publication of the TENTH novel in the DI Geraldine Steel Series, Leigh Russell has written an exclusive list of TOP TENs – a different one for each of the ten days of the Blog Tour.  First though, here’s what ‘Class Murder’ is about.

 

Book Blurb

‘Leigh Russell has become one of the most impressively dependable purveyors of the English police procedural’ – Marcel Berlins, Times

Detective Geraldine Steel is back in Class Murder – her tenth case!

With so many potential victims to choose from, there would be many deaths. He was spoiled for choice, really, but he was determined to take his time and select his targets carefully. Only by controlling his feelings could he maintain his success. He smiled to himself. If he was clever, he would never have to stop. And he was clever. He was very clever. Far too clever to be caught.

When two people are murdered, their only connection lies buried in the past. As police search for the elusive killer, another body is discovered. Pursuing her first investigation in York, and reunited with her former sergeant Ian Peterson, Geraldine Steel struggles to solve the baffling case. How can she expose the killer, and rescue her shattered reputation, when all the witnesses are being murdered?

~~~~~

TEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT GERALDINE STEEL

1. She cooks a wonderful Thai curry

2. She likes to read in bed

3. When she’s not working she listens to music in the car

4. She visits her grandmother’s grave once a year

5. Her first kiss was with a boy called Dan when she was thirteen

6. She is haunted by the memory of a killer who got away

7. She had a parrot when she was a child

8. Her favourite subject at school was Biology

9. She often wears black at work but her favourite colour is purple

10. She fell out of a tree and broke her arm when she was twelve

 

About Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English and American Literature. She worked as a secondary school English teacher for many years, and is now a creative writing tutor for adults. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in North West London. She is a Royal Literary Fellow and CWA debut judge. Her first novel, Cut Short, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award in 2010. This was followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, Murder Ring and Deadly Alibi in the Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel series. Cold Sacrifice is the first title in a spin off series featuring Geraldine Steel’s sergeant, Ian Peterson, followed by Race to Death and Blood Axe.

 

Links

‘Class Murder’ can be pre-ordered from:-

Amazon UK – http://bit.ly/ClassMurderAmazon

No Exit Press – http://bit.ly/ClassMurderNoExit

 

Website – http://www.leighrussell.co.uk/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/leigh.russell.50

Twitter – https://twitter.com/LeighRussell

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2919056.Leigh_Russell?from_search=true

 

Blog Tour – ‘Deadly Alibi’ by Leigh Russell

The wonderful Leigh Russell is back.  ‘Deadly Alibi’, the ninth book in the DI Geraldine Steel series was published in paperback by No Exit Press yesterday the 25th May 2017.  I am delighted to be participating in this blog tour and have I got a treat for you.  First though, here’s what the book is about.

 

Book Blurb

A hand gripped her upper arm so suddenly it made her yelp. Biting her lower lip, she spun round, lashing out in terror. As she yanked her arm out of his grasp, her elbow hit the side of his chest. Struggling to cling on to her, he lost his footing. She staggered back and reached out, leaning one hand on the cold wall of the tunnel. Before she had recovered her balance he fell, arms flailing, eyes glaring wildly as he disappeared over the edge of the platform onto the rails below. . .

Two victims and a suspect whose alibi appears open to doubt: Geraldine Steel is plunged into a double murder investigation which jeopardises not only her career, but her life.

When her previously unknown twin Helena turns up, her problems threaten to make Geraldine’s life turn toxic in more ways than one.

 

Competition

Hopefully the blurb has left you dying to read more.  If so, you’re in luck as I am running a competition in which you can win 1 of 3 x paperback copies of ‘Deadly Alibi’.

To enter just leave a comment telling me why you want to read this book.

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 4th June 2017.

The winners will be notified within 7 days of the closing date.  Their details will be passed on to No Exit Press who will send out the prizes.

 

About Leigh Russell

Leigh Russell is a CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award nominee, a CWA Dagger in the Library longlisted author and People’s Book Prize finalist. She is the author of the internationally bestselling Geraldine Steel series: Cut Short, Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead, Fatal Act, Killer Plan, and Murder Ring. Cold Sacrifice was the first in a spin off series featuring Ian Peterson and followed by Race to Death and Blood Axe. Leigh studied at the University of Kent gaining an MA in English and American literature.

 

‘Deadly Alibi’ is available to buy from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Deadly-Alibi-gripping-thriller-Geraldine-ebook/dp/B01M5AMWY3/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1495739398&sr=1-1&keywords=deadly+alibi

 

Blog Tour – ‘Murder Ring’ by Leigh Russell

Blog Tour Banner

I am thrilled to be taking part in this blog tour to celebrate Leigh Russell’s new book, ‘Murder Ring’ which is being published in paperback on the 26th May 2016 by No Exit Press.  I am really looking forward to reading it.  As part of this tour I have interviewed Leigh.

 

Can you tell me a bit about ‘Murder Ring’ please?

Murder Ring is the eighth book in the Geraldine Steel series. While each of the books works as a stand alone, Geraldine’s life story unfolds slowly in the background. So Murder Ring is a tense murder investigation, in which I tackle the issue of gun crime for the first time, and make use of a fairly new technique in forensic science to help solve the case. In the book, Geraldine also makes a disturbing discovery about her own life. As with all my books, my villains are a mixture of really nasty, and pitiably dysfunctional characters.

 

Did you have to do any research for this book and if so what did it entail?

I started with researching into gun crime in London, a topic raised in the book. One of the interesting features of crime fiction is that it takes a look at social issues. A lot of what I discovered was available online and in the news, information about gun crime in London, and children in possession of guns, and I took advice from a contact of mine who’s a police ballistics expert. Apart from that, I researched different locations in London, and of course the latest developments in forensic science, which are always useful.

 

Can you relate to any of your characters?

Not really. To be honest, I’ve no idea where my characters come from. The crime reviewer of The Times describes my books as ‘psychologically acute’, although I don’t research my characters at all. They seem to invent themselves, arriving fully developed in my mind and revealing themselves on the page. With some of them I think I’m exploring different aspects of my own character. With others, I hope I’m not!  But I just place my characters on the page and let them take it from there.

 

I understand ‘Murder Ring’ is the 8th book in the Geraldine Steel series to be optioned for TV.  What character traits should the actress playing Geraldine ideally have?

My only request to the television production team was that Geraldine be portrayed by an actress who is credibly an intelligent, driven career woman in her late thirties. It would be great if the actress resembled the character as she is described in the books, but the essence of the character is more important to me than her physical appearance. Producing a television series is a very different artistic endeavour to writing a book. I know something about writing books, but have no experience of working in television so am happy to leave that to experts.

 

How long on average does it take you to write each book?

I deliver two manuscripts a year, which gives me six months to write each one. My typing is very fast, meaning that I could physically produce a full length manuscript in four weeks, but I don’t think it would be worth reading. What makes a book is not the typing, but the thinking and research that goes into it. So I wouldn’t be able to produce a book I was pleased with in less than six months.

 

Where do you get your ideas from?

That’s a good question, to which I wish I knew the answer! There’s always the worry that I’ll be due to write a new book and not be able to think of anything, but I don’t think too far ahead. Instead I go from book to book and hope for the best, and so far so good is all I can say. Someone once wrote of me that ‘Leigh Russell can see dead bodies anywhere.’ Of course that’s an overstatement, but I often get ideas from spotting places where bodies could be dumped.

 

What made you decide to write crime novels?

There was no decision to write crime novels. In fact, I never had any intention to write at all. I just had an idea one day, started writing, and haven’t been able to stop since. Eight years and twelve books later, with the next two already finished, I’m still writing every day.

 

You’re so busy writing lots of books and doing loads of signings.  How do you manage it all?

I like to work hard, and I love writing. Although it’s my full-time job these days, I still don’t regard writing as work. Book signings can be hard work physically, but they’re fun as I get to go out and meet other book lovers. And it’s lovely meeting fans of my own books! Sometimes even I wonder how everything gets done, but most of the time I just get on with it.

 

Presumably you read a lot as well.  Who are your favourite crime authors?

Unfortunately these days I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like. My tastes in reading are not confined to crime, although most literature includes crime of some description. In my opinion, the greatest crime writer of all was Shakespeare. In terms of the detective genre, there are so many brilliant authors writing these days, it’s difficult to pick just a few names. I admire Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Val McDermid, Ruth Rendell, Simon Beckett, and many more.

 

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Recently I told my husband that I had a completely clear day in my diary and was taking a day off. ‘You mean you won’t be writing?’ he asked me. ‘No,’ I answered. ‘I’m gong to spend the whole day writing.’ And that’s my idea of a day off. Other than writing, I enjoy spending time with my family, and I like to sit in the garden.

 

Have you got any advice for anyone who wants to pen a crime novel?

I have so much advice to offer on the subject of writing, that I teach creative writing every summer for a week or two on a beautiful Greek island. In terms of the crime genre, crime fiction is plot driven, so it’s a good idea to work out a strong storyline before you start writing. Research is important, as is making sure characters behave consistently. Finally, try to write clear prose. In that respect George Orwell’s advice can’t be bettered. ‘If it’s possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.’

 

Where do you see yourself in five years time?

In five years’ time, I’ll be writing the fourteenth Geraldine Steel story, and the eighth book in my Lucy Hall series, and the third Geraldine Steel television series will be appearing on the small screen. And I’ll be a grandmother!

 

‘Murder Ring’ can be pre-ordered from Amazon UK:-

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Murder-Ring-DI-Geraldine-Steel/dp/1843446774/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1462989567&sr=1-1&keywords=murder+ring

Blog Tour – ‘Journey to Death’ by Leigh Russell

Blog Tour Banner

I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour today.  I have read a couple of Leigh Russell’s books, both of which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Below is an exclusive prequel from Leigh.

~~~~~

Lucy and her father were sitting at the kitchen table in her parents’ house.

‘Lucy?’

‘Shall I make some tea?’

‘No, sit down again. I want to talk to you. You know your mother and I are going on holiday?’

‘Yes, of course.’ Lucy smiled at him. ‘And you’re going to have a lovely time.’

‘The fact is, your mother’s worried about going away and leaving you here on your own.’

Lucy sighed. ‘I’ll be fine. You can’t possibly cancel your trip. You’ve both been looking forward to it for so long and anyway, it must be costing you a fortune. Don’t worry about leaving me here. Just because I’m on my own now, doesn’t mean you have to change your plans. You go ahead, and have a lovely time. I’ll be fine, really.’

Her father shook his head. ‘No, you don’t understand. We’re planning to go, but we want you to come with us.’

‘What?’

‘We want you to come to the Seychelles with us.’

‘Are you serious?’

‘Yes. Absolutely.’

‘Wow! That’s generous of you.’ Lucy hesitated. ‘But I’m just not in the mood for a holiday right now. I’d only spoil it for you. You don’t want me to come.’

Her father fidgeted with a salt grinder that was on the table and brushed a few grains onto the floor, before raising a troubled face to her.

‘The fact is, your mother refuses to go without you. She thinks the change of scene will do you good, and I completely agree with her.’

Lucy was not sure what to say.

‘Anyway,’ he went on, ‘she says she won’t go without you, so I hope you’ll agree to come with us.’

Lucy nodded her head. ‘Seems I don’t have much choice in the matter, then,’ she said, and gave an anxious smile.

Her father smiled back. ‘That’s agreed then.’ He stood up, and went to tell his wife.

Watching him leave, Lucy already regretted having agreed to go on holiday with her parents. She was annoyed with them for putting pressure on her to accompany them, and with herself for giving in. But, at the same time, she could not help feeling excited about her trip to the Seychelles.

 

‘Journey to Death’ is available to buy on Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/1QJqcqx

 

‘Race to Death’ by Leigh Russell

Book Cover

I recently took part in a blog tour celebrating Leigh Russell’s new book.  You can read my post here:-

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/blog-tour-race-to-death-by-leigh-russell/

There is still a chance to win a copy of ‘Race to Death’. The competition closes on Sunday 9th November 2014.

I enjoyed ‘Fatal Act’ earlier in the year and so was looking forward to reading ‘Race to Death’. I haven’t read the first book in the DI Ian Peterson series yet, but that really does not matter as they can be read as standalone novels.

This story was set in York, a place I have never been to but long to visit.  Ian Peterson has just been promoted and has moved all the way from Kent to York.  He soon gets his first case and is determined to solve it and impress his boss.  A man falls from a balcony at the York Racecourse, but it’s not suicide or an accidental death as first thought.

Soon after two more people are murdered and Ian realises they are dealing with a serial killer. They have to find him or her before anyone else is killed.  Time is running out.

I really enjoyed reading ‘Race to Death’.  I like Leigh Russell’s writing style and the way she sets out her books.  The chapters were really short but I found that that only added to the excitement.  A couple of parts of the book were particularly chilling.  There were a number of twists and turns throughout the story which kept me guessing for quite a while.

I worked out who the killer was eventually so was pleased with myself but I still found myself asking questions and trying to work out the connection between the people killed.  I definitely didn’t expect the end result.

Leigh Russell is fast becoming a top crime writer and will soon be up there with the best.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

Blog Tour – ‘Race to Death’ by Leigh Russell

Poster

‘Race to Death’ by Leigh Russell is the second book in the new series featuring DI Ian Peterson.  Having previously taken part in her last blog tour I was definitely interested in participating in this one too.

Book Cover

‘Moments before, he had been enjoying a day out at the races. Now he could be dying…. As he fell a loud wind roared past his ears, indistinguishable from the roar of the crowd. The race was over’.

A man plummets to his death during the York Races. Suicide or murder?  Newly-promoted DI Ian Peterson is plunged into a complex and high-profile case, and as the body count increases, the pressure mounts for his team to solve the crimes quickly.

But the killer is following the investigation far more keenly than Ian realises and time is running out as the case suddenly gets a lot closer to home…

 

Competition

I am running a competition where one lucky person can win a copy of ‘Race to Death’.  To enter just answer my question by leaving a comment.  Have you read any of Leigh Russell’s other novels?

 

Terms and Conditions

This competition is open to UK residents only.

The closing date is 11:59 p.m. on the 9th November 2014.

The winner will be notified within 7 days and his/her details will be passed on to No Exit Press who will send out the prize.

 

Good luck! 🙂

‘Fatal Act’ by Leigh Russell

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Back in March I took part in Leigh Russell’s ‘Fatal Act’ first UK blog tour.  You can read my post here.

https://aloverofbooks.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/leighrussell/

‘Fatal Act’ was published in paperback on the 29th May 2014 by No Exit Press.  It is the sixth book in the DI Geraldine Steel series.  Before now, I had never read any of Leigh Russell’s books so this was a new experience for me.

Anna Porter, a glamorous young TV soap star is killed in a car crash.  It looks like an accident but it soon becomes evident that it is more than that.  Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel is brought in to investigate.  Somehow the driver of the second vehicle has mysteriously disappeared and no one has a clue how he or she escaped.  Then another young actress is brutally murdered and once again there is no sign of the killer.

When a third person is found dead things really start to hot up and Geraldine unknowingly risks her sergeant’s life in their struggle to track down a serial killer who leaves no clues.  Will they succeed in catching the murderer?

I didn’t know how I would get on with reading ‘Fatal Act’, but I soon got into the story.  Cleverly written, it took me a while to work out who the killer was.  I had it down to two of the characters in particular.

I also enjoyed reading about DI Geraldine Steel’s private life too.  I thought it was nice learning about the other side of her and it made the story even more interesting.  I liked Leigh Russell’s writing style and I hope to read her next book at some stage.

I give this book 4 out of 5.

Leigh Russell’s ‘Fatal Act’ Blog Tour

Blog Tour Schedule

 

Leigh Russell’s brand new book ‘Fatal Act’, the sixth and latest DI Geraldine Steel Mystery is being published by No Exit Press on the 29th May 2014.  This is Leigh Russell’s very first UK blog tour which I am honoured to be involved in.

 

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Synopsis

A glamorous young TV soap star dies in a car crash. Returning for her sixth case, Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel is baffled as the driver of the second vehicle miraculously survives – and vanishes. Another young actress is murdered and, once again, the killer mysteriously disappears. Geraldine unwittingly risks her sergeant’s life in their struggle to track down a serial killer who leaves no clues.

 

Extract

All she wanted to do now was get home safely. She drove slowly, looking out for a side road she could turn into. With luck she could slip away before her pursuer realised what she was doing. She passed a turning on the right, displaying a no entry sign. She braked abruptly. Her phone flew off the passenger seat. The van slowed down behind her. Worn out and stressed, she couldn’t even remember why she had been so angry with Piers. It had been a stupid argument in the first place. She wished she was back at home, away from the road at night and its wildness. Leaning forward to retrieve her phone from the floor, she punched Piers’ speed dial key. His phone rang, but there was no answer. She glanced in her mirror and glimpsed the other driver, his face a black mask in the darkness.

 

As part of this tour I was interested in learning about Leigh’s writing space.

My Writing Space

Space_1

My desk is by a window. I like to be able to look out at the sky when I’m writing. It gives me an inspiring sense of freedom. I sit here for hours and hours, when the mood takes me – and when I have that much time. If you spend a lot of time writing, as I do, you have to think about a comfortable seating position, in order to avoid back ache. To add to my physical comfort, my chair swivels, so when my anyone else is in the room, I can turn round and talk to them without standing up. (How lazy is that?!)

You would think just sitting down, typing, would be relaxing, but it can be mentally exhausting. So I usually have a cup of tea and a few snacks available… I even have a little thermos flask, to keep my drink hot. When I’m on a roll with my writing, I often forget to eat. If I lived alone, I would probably starve. Fortunately I’m well looked after, sharing a house with three people who love to cook.

Mug

Although I’m not normally a tidy person, I keep my desk clear of anything that is not essential to my current work. Everything else is packed away out of sight. Appropriately enough, the computer on which I wrote my debut, Cut Short, died soon after the book was finished. Since then I’ve gone through another PC and have finally abandoned desktops in favour of tablets. I now have an ipad at home and an ipad mini which goes everywhere with me. I never leave the house without it, just as I always used to keep a paper notepad and pen in my bag. You never know when you might have a few minutes free to write. When I work away from my desk, whatever I type on my ipad mini magically appears on the mother ship at home (my full size ipad). It saves having to worry about losing memory sticks…

Since I moved from PCs to iPads, my writing pattern has changed, because I can now write anywhere. The epilogue to Race to Death, which is available to download in May, was written in a cafe on a Greek hillside, overlooking the ocean. In fact, I could be sitting in a cafe right now, writing this post…

The truth is that it doesn’t matter where I am, because the real writing space exists inside my head.

 

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Author Biography

Leigh Russell studied at the University of Kent, gaining a Masters degree in English. For many years a secondary school English teacher, she is a creative writing tutor for adults. She is married, has two daughters, and lives in North West London. Her first novel, Cut Short, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey New Blood Dagger Award in 2010. This was followed by Road Closed, Dead End, Death Bed, Stop Dead and Fatal Act, in the Detective Inspector Geraldine Steel series. Cold Sacrifice is the first title in a spin off series featuring Geraldine Steel’s sergeant, Ian Peterson.

 

Below are some useful author links:-

For information about Leigh Russell and her books, click on this link – noexit.co.uk/leighrussell

Leigh Russell’s website can be found here – leighrussell.co.uk

Facebook Page – facebook.com/pages/Geraldine-Steel-British-detective/713349595357054

Twitter – @LeighRussell

 

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Stop Dead by Leigh Russell has been nominated for The People’s Book Prize.

If you have read this book do please take a couple of moments to visit http://www.peoplesbookprize.com/book.php?id=1070 and cast your vote in support.

 

The tour continues tomorrow at the From First Page to Last blog – fromfirstpagetolast.wordpress.com.

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