It is Richmond, 1806. Miss Dido Kent has developed rather a taste for mysteries. Having solved the riddle of her niece's missing fiance and the body in the bushes at Belsfield Hall, she is finding her quiet holiday at her cousin Flora's home rather unchallenging to say the least. And Miss Dido Kent is a woman who likes to be challenged. So when a neighbour dies suddenly, leaving her entire estate to her young nephew, Miss Dido can't help but be suspicious. But is her over-active imagination making her look for murder where there is none? When the local doctor pronounces an overdose as the cause of death and publicly accuses the nephew of killing his aunt, Miss Dido feels her inquisitiveness is justified. And when Flora prevails upon her cousin's mystery-solving capabilities to prove the nephew innocent of the crime, Miss Dido can hardly refuse to comply. After all, what harm can a little investigating do? With dirty dealings and death amongst Richmond's upper classes, Miss Dido Kent is ideally placed to observe her neighbours' behaviour, and as she does so, she brings more to light than even she could have imagined.
I live in the English Lake District with a husband and a cat. I write compulsively. It all started with a mistake. When I was taught to write at the age of five I assumed that I must write books. By the time I realised my mistake and understood that it was not actually compulsory to create stories - the habit was too deeply ingrained to give up.
My other interests include: reading old letters and journals in local archive collections, walking, visiting old houses, watching Star Trek and canoeing on very flat water.
The Dido Kent series of mystery novels has grown out of many things including my enjoyment of puzzles and word-play, my love of the English countryside in which I have always lived, my interest in old houses, my time spent reading eighteenth and nineteenth century documents and my affection for the work of Jane Austen. The books are not in any sense continuations or 'spinoffs' of Austen's work. But they are set in the same period and they tend to focus on '3 or 4 families in a country village' - the setting which Jane Austen once described as 'the delight of my life.'
There are also other influences and references, not only to the novels but also Jane Austen's own life. For example, the visit to Lyme in A Moment of Silence is influenced by Persuasion; there are parallels with Emma in A Gentleman of Fortune; and the ruined abbey in A Woman of Consequence owes much to Northanger Abbey. Readers unfamiliar with Austen's work need not worry about all this. These allusions and references are certainly not essential to understanding the stories. Sometimes though, there are extra clues which avid readers of Jane Austen may be able to pick up; but, beware, the references to her life and work are not always pointing you in the right direction...