What is it?
A standalone crime novel in The Beatrice Stubbs Series, the sixth and last.
Murder at a crime conference, inevitable family fireworks and all the prime ingredients for a rollercoaster adventure - Francis Guenette, author of The Crater Lake Series
Who will enjoy it?
Those who like their crime “with a lighter, less gruesome touch” (Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller)
When is it set?
It takes place in modern-day Portugal in the heat of summer, taking in Porto, Lisbon, the national park of Gerês and a quick dash to Paris.
Where should I read it?
In the garden in a hammock or lazing on the beach with a glass of vinho verde.
Why read the last in the series first?
You can read them in any order. Each is a mystery in its own right but all the books add a piece of the puzzle that is Beatrice herself.
How will I feel at the end?
Deeply satisfied, I hope, and perhaps a tiny bit peckish.
Extract from Bad Apples
A car collected her from Aeroporto Francisco Sà Carneiro and drove her north. She gazed out at the terracotta roofs, window shutters, dusty summer foliage and roadside hoardings with a familiar sense of excitement. She was back on mainland Europe, where things are just a little different and always unpredictable.
The taxi crossed various bodies of water, each reflecting the afternoon sunshine and deep blue sky as they entered the natural park and drew nearer to their destination. Buildings became scarce and the terrain grew more mountainous and verdant. If a moose or a wolf came strolling out of the forest, Beatrice wouldn’t have been in the least surprised.
Low sun hit the fields surrounding Gerês College of Hospitality as the car rumbled up the drive to the grand-looking castle. The facade was slightly marred by damage to the uppermost stonework, where part of the crenellations had crumbled, leaving a gap resembling a missing tooth. Red and white plastic tape secured the area but added nothing to the charm of the building.
She tipped the driver and pulled her suitcase after her into an equally impressive portico. The porch was lined by blue and white tiles depicting scenes of country life, reminding her of her mother’s willow pattern crockery.
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Writer, journalist, teacher, actor, director and cultural trainer, Jill has lived and worked all over Europe. Now based in Switzerland, Jill is a founder member of Triskele Books, European correspondent for Words with JAM magazine, co-edits Swiss literary hub The Woolf and is a reviewer for Bookmuse.
Author of the Beatrice Stubbs series: Behind Closed Doors, Raw Material, Tread Softly, Cold Pressed, Human Rites and Bad Apples. Short-story collection Appearances Greeting a Point of View is available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.