Two local authors, Elizabeth Ducie and Richard Handy, launch their latest novels in the relaxed but literary atmosphere of The Bookery, Crediton’s community bookshop.
Loyalty and Lunacy is an edgy historical fiction based on true events. It is set in 1913 on the country estate of Sir Cuthbert Ackroyd, and with a strong element of suspense driven by the personal relationships and conflicts between the characters. Gertrude, a young scullery maid, dreams of a better life with her love, John Anderson. But she owes a debt of honour – no thanks to Master Davy Christian, a drunken aristocrat and malcontent. Davy lusts after Gertrude and uses the class divide to hide his wickedness, and with war looming, Davy plans the demise of John, and everyone and everything that she holds dear. John and Gertrude’s worlds soon spiral into madness… This book is written from the heart and carefully researched. If you enjoyed reading books like Atonement by Ian McEwan, or Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks, then Loyalty and Lunacy is for you. Join us as Richard Handy takes us through the inspiration for the premise, plot and characters in his latest novel.
Richard Handy is an internationally respected academic, editor, and author of technology-led spy thrillers. He has over thirty years of experience in publishing and is a leading expert on the risks of new technologies. His spy thriller series, set in the 1930s and 1940s, involves the escapades of Danny Nash of the British Secret Intelligence Service. He writes other historical novels and non-fiction, always with meticulous research. He is also a member of Exeter Writers.
Simon Mountjoy is the local boy made good. Returning to Coombesford after making his fortune in London, he spends thirteen years renovating his family home. He brings employment and prosperity to the village; but he also has a talent for upsetting people. Lots of people have reason to hate Simon; but who hates him enough to leave him dead at the bottom of the waterfall? Charlie Jones gives up chasing villains and moves her family to Coombesford in Devon. But there are villains in Devon too! Murder at Mountjoy Manor is the first in the series of Coombesford Chronicles set in a fictional village in south Devon and featuring amateur sleuths, Charlie Jones and Annie McLeod. Think Midsomer Murders in the Haldon Hills.
Elizabeth Ducie trained as a scientist and worked in the international pharmaceutical industry for nearly thirty years before deciding she was going to start telling lies for a living. She gave up the day job, began studying the craft of creative writing, and has now writes fiction and creative non-fiction more or less full-time. Murder at Mountjoy Manor is her fifth novel. She also writes The Business of Writing books, a series on business skills for writers. Elizabeth is Director of the Exeter Literary Festival and, like Richard, is a member of Exeter Writers.