When the SeeMs Agency detectives play bridge online in 2020, they don’t expect their opponent to die during the game and yet a post-mortem the next day proves Brian Deliverer was dead halfway through the night. Can a dead man play bridge?
Employed by Brian’s daughter Karen to investigate his death, the team are led back to a notorious 1920s murder and to a missing teenager from a Sussex village in the 1960s.
Should they tell his daughter the terrible truth behind her father’s death even if it costs her everything?
Thank you very much for these nice questions and letting me answer questions on your site. I love talking about my writing.
Gina Cheyne, the author of Murder in the Cards, a detective story set around a murder during a game of bridge that raises questions about the disappearance of a teenager in 1963
– When and where do you prefer to write?
I can write any time, and often do just scribble down a few lines when waiting for my husband to get ready, but I like it best if I can write in the morning and have at least two hours at a time, so that I can really get into the writing mode. I usually write in the kitchen because it has a good big table, and I can look out into the garden when I am thinking. If the kitchen is too busy, I retreat to a storage room in the back, but it is very cold in the winter.
– Do you have a certain ritual?
I do like to do WORDL, or some other word-play puzzle, before I start writing. Even if I get Phew, it still puts me in the right mood for writing.
– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?
I don’t eat while I write, but I do drink lots of water. If a piece is refusing to come together, I will go and get a coffee, and if I’m writing in the evening, I like to have a glass of wine to push the prose along – depending on how many it can flow or fade.
– What is your favourite book?
My favourite book does change from time to time, but at the moment my favourite is Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie, because it showed me life from such a different perspective, and I am now more open minded in the way I examine conflict. That book taught me that there is always another point of view in a question.
– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?
Yes, I currently write murder stories but already I can see I am getting more interested in the general interaction between people. In the future I might write less straight crime and more psychological crime or literary fiction with a psychological bent.
– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?
No. I did try in my early writing, but I believe that you cannot do justice to the real person in a character on a page, and that the result is that both the character in the book and the real person become ciphers. However, I might one day write about my eccentric grandmother, known as Heaven, with whom we lived until I was fourteen years old. She was an actor in the Strolling Players and even when she was too old to that did an act with dolls. Acting was her life and most probably it was her influence that inspired me to write, although not in same gothic style in which she lived.
– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?
I do, although more usually I write notes on my phone. In the night I often wake up and write something on a piece of paper and then transfer it to a notebook later. The problem can be in the morning when you read the cryptic note and have no idea what it means. What is shamus gun, for example?
– Which genre do you not like at all?
I’m not very keen on erotica. I did try reading some and at the beginning I thought it was really fun, but after a while it seemed a bit repetitive, and I lost interest.
– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?
I would love to write with someone as different as me as possible, so that we could have an extremely broad reach over every subject we touched. I think it would give so many interesting perspectives to a story. When I read, I hope to find books that will teach me something and make me more aware. So, the sort of person who could broaden my stories would be so much fun to work with.
– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?
Spain, I’m learning the language and I love the warmth of the people, the craziness of the life there and the culture. I would like to write a book set on the Camino, and then to the full walk to research it and the people who walk it. That would be so satisfying and so interesting.
About the author
Gina has worked as a physiotherapist, a pilot, freelance writer and a dog breeder.
As a child, Gina’s parents hated travelling and never went further than Jersey. As a result she became travel-addicted and spent the year after university bumming around SE Asia, China and Australia, where she worked in a racing stables in Pinjarra, South of Perth. After getting stuck in black sand in the Ute one time too many (and getting a tractor and trailer caught in a tree) she was relegated to horse-riding work only. After her horse bolted down the sand, straining a fetlock and falling in the sea, she was further relegated to swimming the horses only in the pool. It was with some relief the racehorse stables posted her off on the train into eastern Australia to work in a vineyard… after all what could go wrong there?
In the north of Thailand, she took a boat into the Golden Triangle and got shot at by bandits. Her group escaped into the undergrowth and hid in a hill tribe whisky still where they shared the ‘bathroom’ with a group of pigs. Getting a lift on a motorbike they hurried back to Chiang Rai, where life seemed calmer.
After nearly being downed in a fiesta in Ko Pha Ngan, and cursed by a witch in Malaysia, she decided to go to Singapore and then to China where she only had to battle with the language and regulations.
Since marrying the first time, she has lived and worked in many countries including Spain and the USA.
For a few years Gina was a Wingwalking pilot, flying, amongst others, her 64-year-old mother standing on the wing to raise money for a cancer charity. She was also a helicopter instructor and examiner and took part in the World Helicopter Championships in Russia and the USA.
She became a writer because her first love was always telling a good yarn!
Under the name Georgina Hunter-Jones she has written illustrated children’s books such as The Twerple who had Too Many Brains, and Nola the Rhinoceros loves Mathematics.
She now lives in Sussex with her husband and dogs, one of who inspired the Biscuit and Pugwash Detective Series about naughty dogs who solve crimes.
The Mystery of the Lost Husbands is the first in the SeeMS Detective Agency series and Gina’s first crime novel for adults.