Reviewed here: Last Ferry to Bute and From Mars to Earth
Other epublications: The House at Ettrick Bay
When her mother’s friend, Jessie, expresses some concerns about her safety in the exclusive Hereuse Nursing Home where she now lives, Alison reluctantly agrees to investigate. She also is persuaded into helping with the arrangements for her college reunion on the island, resulting in frequent trips to Bute. Then the mysterious deaths begin and Alison is soon caught in the middle of several strange occurrences. Between trying to discover if Jessie’s worries have any foundation in fact, and concerns over the smooth antiques dealer with whom her besotted daughter is working, Alison is soon out of her depth. Then she is confronted with some mysterious deaths. Can she find out the answer to her questions before she too is in danger?
Myra Duffy’s second Alison Cameron novel set on the Scottish island of Bute is a truly absorbing mystery with enough twists and turns to keep the reader turning the pages. The protagonist, Alison, is an ordinary wife and mother who finds herself facing mystery and danger in unexpected places. I really enjoyed the puzzle element of this cosy crime novel and look forward to the third book in the trilogy. Reviewed by Romy Gemmell
These three stories were a good read, great if you have a few minutes to spare. There are three stories in the book, all with a paranormal element. The Tipping Point is a story about pioneers on Mars who are creating a liveable atmosphere and I won’t put in any spoilers about what happens. In the second story, Friendship, Jack introduces his imaginary friend to his mother, and in the third Holly wins a competition to be a star. I read these stories in one sitting and came away satisfied. Reviewed by Chris Longmuir
Myra Duffy… In her own words…
A LIFE OF CRIME
Although I’m a well published author of non-fiction, I’ve been writing fiction for as long as I can remember (winning a national competition when I was thirteen) but I’ve recently turned to a life of crime. A writing life, I hasten to add, and ‘cosy crime’ at that.
For many years I’ve been a frequent visitor to the Isle of Bute, just off the West coast of Scotland and a firm favourite with visitors from Glasgow and beyond for many generations.
My husband and I have a holiday home at Port Bannatyne and our trips inspired me to write my first two Bute novels: The House at Ettrick Bay (an archaeological mystery) and Last Ferry to Bute (dark deeds during a college reunion).
Both novels were published as paperbacks originally but when I received a Kindle as a present I was hooked on the format. The whole process of ‘buying’ a book is so quick and easy and as an indie writer you’re able to reach so many more people. With some help from fellow writers who’d gone this route before, I found the process of uploading the novels (relatively) painless.
As writers what we want more than anything is for readers to enjoy what we’ve written. E-books make this simple for readers and as an indie writer you can set a fair price, important in these difficult economic times.
As the indie world develops, it’s almost like a parallel universe and as one of my other loves is science fiction, this greatly appeals to me. Writing can be a solitary occupation, but you’re never alone with a friend to e-mail or a blog to visit!
That’s one of the reasons I’m so delighted to be part of this e-book festival – a great idea with loads of potential.
Bute is an ideal place to set a crime novel. It has a population of no more than 6000 people, except in the summer months when the holiday makers descend. This provides the benefit of a location that has strong associations for many people, not only in Scotland but for those of Scottish descent throughout the world. You won’t travel far before meeting someone who remembers going there on holiday as a child or whose granny or other relative lived there!
The island setting allows me to focus in on the characters and in a small place there are lots of opportunities for local gossip and intrigue to move the plot along.
Having said that, the crime in the novels isn’t of the violent kind. What interests me more is the puzzle – who did it and why. This springs from the development of the characters and I like to keep the reader guessing as long as possible, though there are plenty of clues – and red herrings.
My new novel Last Dance at the Rothesay Pavilion will be out later this summer and the plot centres on the renovation of the Pavilion, one of only two Art Deco buildings of this kind left in Britain.
During the last war Bute was a very busy place as many army and navy personnel, including some from Canada, were stationed there. Ettrick Bay was one of the places used as a practice run for the D-Day landings and I’m weaving some of this history into the novel.
All the Bute novels have the same main character – Alison Cameron, an ordinary woman who finds herself involved in extraordinary events, partly because she’s very inquisitive (that’s the polite way of putting it).
Having said that, Bute isn’t the hotbed of crime my novels suggest. In fact there is very little crime on the island and it is a beautiful place with lots of unspoiled beaches and excellent walking and sailing. Check out more at www.visitbute.co.uk
A number of my short stories have been published in magazines and in the Ireland’s Own anthology and I’ve won various prizes for short stories, poetry and non-fiction, but novel writing is what I enjoy most.The first two Bute novels are available to download on Kindle. The new novel will be available in e book format in late September.
Visit Myra’s Amazon Author Page