Death Will Find Me – Vanessa Robertson

Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love.

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

 

 

Extract

Enjoy!

***

Tessa walked around the tenement, avoided touching anything and similarly avoided the curious gazes of the constables and the hysterical sobbing of the deceased’s daily woman in the kitchen. She had found his body and raised the alarm and it seemed to be taking a significant amount of the dead man’s whisky to calm her down. It struck her that the woman would be out of work and that she was in need of a charwoman. Perhaps she ought to offer her a job? Then she saw the whisky glass being refilled and decided against it, if only for the sake of her liquor bills.

Although his name was indeed familiar, Tessa couldn’t remember much about Callum McKenzie. She was pretty sure that they’d never been introduced and she didn’t remember James mentioning him. Not since he’d been demobbed, at least. Which was slightly odd; most soldiers kept in touch to some degree with former comrades, especially those who lived so close by.

It seemed that McKenzie was a tidy man: clothes folded with military precision, books in alphabetical order, tins lined up in the larder. Although the lock on the front door had been forced, there were no signs of a search or a burglary. Whoever had broken into his apartment and shot him had come with that sole intention.

The body was in the bathroom, slumped on the floor with its head towards the window. Tessa went in, the constable at the door too surprised to do anything other than step back out of her way. McKenzie had been shot in the back of the head; the entry wound was less than an inch in diameter. Blood, bone fragments and things that Tessa would rather not think about, pebble-dashed the whole room and she knew that the exit wound would be substantial. She bent over to study the injury near his hairline at the back and saw that there was a little scorching around it and what looked like a tiny feather. Then she noticed a cushion in the bath, a blackened hole through it. If the murderer had hoped that would muffle the sound of the gunshot they would have been disappointed. Perhaps one of the neighbours had heard something.

‘Lady Kilpatrick, if you’ve quite finished, may I see the body?’ Rasmussen’s tone was clipped, his annoyance barely concealed.

Thank you, Vanessa Robertson and Love Books Group Tours.

 

About the author

I grew up in the Midlands where my main interests were horses and drama. Being a writer was a dream from childhood but I gave up on the idea of writing when I was a teenager, not long after I abandoned other childhood ambitions of being a trapeze artiste or a spy. After acquiring a couple of degrees and trying various ‘proper jobs’, I realised that I am fundamentally unsuited to office politics, bad coffee, and wearing tights.

My husband and I founded The Edinburgh Bookshop, winner of many awards. Bookselling is a wonderful profession and a good bookshop is a source of pure joy to me. I love independent bookshops and the amazing job they do in championing reading, supporting authors, and building communities. But, after a few years, it was time for a change and we sold the bookshop to make way for other projects.

I took the opportunity to start writing again and was a winner at Bloody Scotland’s Pitch Perfect event for unpublished authors in 2015. It was a fantastic opportunity and getting such positive feedback about my ideas gave me the push I needed to take my writing seriously.

I live in Edinburgh with my husband, our teenage son and an unfeasibly large Leonberger dog. I can usually be found walking on windy Scottish beaches, browsing in bookshops, or tapping away on my laptop in one of the scores of cafes near my home.

Death Will Find Me – Vanessa Robertson

Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.


Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love.

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

 

 

Q&A

I hope you enjoy this interview.

***

1.When and where do you prefer to write?

I’m not that fussy. Mostly I write at home but sometimes I need to be around other people and so I’ll decamp to a café with my laptop and settle in there for a couple of hours. Cafes without wi-fi are best because I am terrible for procrastinating instead of actually sitting down and facing the blank screen.

2. Do you have a certain ritual?

Not really. If I’m at home I listen to music but if I’m writing the Tessa Kilpatrick books it has to be instrumental. There’s another novel I have on the back burner at the moment and when I write that I can listen to songs with lyrics. Maybe it’s because the Tessa stories are historical?

3. Is there a drink of some food that keeps you company while you write?

Tea. Lots of tea. Usually Yorkshire Gold. I dally with other, fancier, teas but always come back to Yorkshire Gold.

4. What is your favourite book?

It changes according to the mood I’m in. I know I should name something hugely literary and/or influential but I’ve just re-read Riders by Jilly Cooper after a gap of at least a decade and it is glorious. She is such a compelling storyteller.

5. Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

Definitely. I have that back-burner project I mentioned which is a series of contemporary thrillers. Moving away from the crime genre, I’d love to write some really fun romances.

6. Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

I don’t think so but wouldn’t it be a fun way to pay a few people back?

Actually, Bill Henderson, one of the characters in Death Will Find Me is named after a school-friend of my brother-in-law’s. I’ve never met the real Bill but it’s always struck me as the ideal name for my Bill who is a truly good person. Someone called Bill Henderson is always going to be an absolute trouper in a crisis, don’t you think? He would never let you down and after her ghastly husband, Tessa deserves someone like that.

I should probably send a copy of the book to the real Bill…

7. Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

I’m not that organised. I do love to buy beautiful notebooks but if I have an idea I usually end up frantically typing on my phone. My Notes section is full of rather cryptic and sometimes unintelligible sentences.

8. Which genre do you not like at all?

I can’t get on with sci-fi and fantasy. I have friends who love it, friends who write it, but it’s not for me.

9. If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

Having just read Riders, I would love to co-write with Jilly Cooper, obviously. But more practically, there’s an idea that’s been kicking around my imagination for a few years now and if I wrote that it would be fun to do that with a good friend of mine, Eleanor Harkstead.

10. If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

Book Five in this series is set in Venice so it would be lovely if the books were successful enough to justify a nice long research trip…

Thank you, Vanessa Robertson and Love Books Group Tours.

 

About the author

I grew up in the Midlands where my main interests were horses and drama. Being a writer was a dream from childhood but I gave up on the idea of writing when I was a teenager, not long after I abandoned other childhood ambitions of being a trapeze artiste or a spy. After acquiring a couple of degrees and trying various ‘proper jobs’, I realised that I am fundamentally unsuited to office politics, bad coffee, and wearing tights.

My husband and I founded The Edinburgh Bookshop, winner of many awards. Bookselling is a wonderful profession and a good bookshop is a source of pure joy to me. I love independent bookshops and the amazing job they do in championing reading, supporting authors, and building communities. But, after a few years, it was time for a change and we sold the bookshop to make way for other projects.

I took the opportunity to start writing again and was a winner at Bloody Scotland’s Pitch Perfect event for unpublished authors in 2015. It was a fantastic opportunity and getting such positive feedback about my ideas gave me the push I needed to take my writing seriously.

I live in Edinburgh with my husband, our teenage son and an unfeasibly large Leonberger dog. I can usually be found walking on windy Scottish beaches, browsing in bookshops, or tapping away on my laptop in one of the scores of cafes near my home.

Death will find me – Vanessa Robertson

Scotland, 1920.
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.

Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.

Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love.

Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?

 

 

Cover reveal

I hope you like what you see.

***

Thank you Vanessa Robertson and Love Books Group Tours.