Today on Macho May we have a guest post from Robert Crouch, the author of the Kent Fisher Mysteries series. His guest post is about the book he has to write.
All information has been gathered from Goodreads.
No Accident (Kent Fisher Mysteries Book #1)
A former gangster is dead. It looks like an accident. Only Kent Fisher suspects murder.
When the police decide Syd Collins’ death is a work accident, they hand over the investigation to environmental health officer, Kent Fisher, a man with more baggage than an airport carousel.
He defies a restraining order to enter Tombstone Adventure Park and confronts the owner, Miles Birchill, who has his own reasons for blocking the investigation. Thwarted at every turn, Kent’s forced to bend the rules and is suspended from duty.
He battles on, unearthing secrets and corruption that could destroy those he loves. With his personal and professional worlds on a collision course, he knows life will never be the same again.
If he survives …
Inspired by Agatha Christie and Sue Grafton, No Accident is the first novel in an exciting murder mystery series featuring a unique detective.
No Bodies (Kent Fisher Mysteries Book #2)
Did crooked caterer, Colin Miller, run away with Daphne Witherington? Or did he kill her?
As far as Kent Fisher is concerned, it’s a matter for the police. Until he discovers that artist, Daphne, left behind her paints and brushes. Enquiries into Miller’s business soon reveal a second missing wife, who also disappeared without taking valued personal possessions.
Is there a serial killer on the loose in Downland?
Kent’s investigation is disrupted when a young girl is rushed to hospital after visiting his animal sanctuary. He faces ruin.
But it’s nothing compared to the horrors he uncovers as he closes in on a killer who leaves no bodies.
Inspired by Agatha Christie and Sue Grafton, No Bodies is the second novel in an exciting murder mystery series featuring a unique detective.
‘In the quirky tradition of the English whodunit, Robert Crouch has produced a murder mystery which will keep you reading through the night.’ — Tamara McKinley.
No Remorse (Kent Fisher Mysteries Book #3)
An old man dead. Dementia or murder? Threats won’t stop Kent Fisher from finding out.
At luxury retirement home, Nightingales, appearance matters more than the truth. But what is the truth? Was Anthony Trimble killed as he predicted? If so, who wanted him out of the way, and why?
Kent puzzles over the only clue Trimble left him. Do the numbers come from a takeaway menu or are they a mysterious code that could reveal his darkest secret?
As Kent digs deep, people start dying.
Will Kent win the race to discover the truth, or become the next victim?
Inspired by Agatha Christie and Sue Grafton, Robert Crouch brings a fresh voice and a new twist to the traditional murder mystery.
No More Lies (Kent Fisher Mysteries Book #4)
Kent Fisher gets more than he bargained for when Detective Inspector Ashley Goodman enlists his help with a ten year old murder. She’s on a mission and needs a big case to put her career back on track.
And they don’t come much bigger than Miles Birchill, Downland’s wealthiest and most divisive resident.
Not for the first time, Kent has doubts about the case, forcing him to make choices. But who do you trust when everyone has something to hide?
Caught in the middle, he has no alternative but to solve the murder, unaware that his every move is being watched.
The Kent Fisher novels offer a fresh and contemporary reworking of the classic whodunit and murder mysteries of authors like Agatha Christie.
All books are currently free to read on Kindle Unlimited.
Above all he wanted to show that an ordinary person could solve a murder. Not that there’s anything ordinary about Kent Fisher, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel.
After reading No Accident, bestselling author, Tamara McKinley, believes ‘Agatha Christie fans will love it.’
You can learn more about the author and the Kent Fisher murder mystery series by visiting https://robertcrouch.co.uk, where you can obtain a free electronic version of No Mystery, the story behind the series.
The book I had to write
“If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
When I came across this quote from Toni Morrison, I had to chuckle. For years I’d struggled, writing about life, love and everything but the kitchen sink. Okay, it’s tricky to wax lyrical about sinks unless you sell kitchens, but you get the gist.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write.
I blame books for that.
Novels were a distraction and an inspiration. I loved reading and had broad tastes, thanks to the local library and the offers in a certain ‘book of the month club’ of old. After reading The Human Factor I wanted to be the next Graham Greene. The fact I lacked his knowledge and experience of life was no barrier – until I tried writing literary fiction.
I say tried, but in truth, I didn’t know where to start.
Then along came Joy Fielding with her psychological suspense novels about women in peril. See Jane Run, particularly the opening line, impressed me so much I wrote my own psychological thriller about the rivalry between two sisters.
Close, but no cigar, as my old boss would say.
That’s when I realised what I truly loved – the classic whodunit, the murder mystery. Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple was a masterclass in detection, red herrings and diversions. Morse, though a police procedural, had many of the same elements, relying on deduction and making connections rather than forensics to solve murders.
Knowing next to nothing about police procedure, I had to plump for a detective or an ordinary person who could solve murders in today’s world, not the past like Miss Marple. Ideas smouldered in my imagination, but none caught fire.
How could I compete with Agatha Christie and Colin Dexter?
Cue the book of the month club and an omnibus edition of Sue Grafton’s Alphabet Murders, which remained unread in my bookcase. The moment I began reading, I felt inspired. The stories featured private investigator, Kinsey Millhone. I loved her feisty attitude, her refusal to be beaten and her self-deprecating humour. Best of all, I loved the way she related her cases.
But knowing even less about private investigators than police procedure, I had only one choice left – an ordinary person would have to solve a murder.
In reality, ordinary people don’t solve murders. They ring the police unless they have a good reason not to. Ordinary people don’t have the money or time to investigate murders, unless they’re rich, retired or on TV.
Yet crime fiction’s littered with people such as innocent bystanders who become caught up in murder. With a heavy heart I realised most of my ideas had been tried before.
Why did that bother me? There were already lots of crime stories in the library and on the TV. One more couldn’t hurt, could it? It might work if I could come up with something original, something different, smoothing … less ordinary.
Kent Fisher turned out to be anything but ordinary – eventually.
Sometimes I wish he’d arrived fully formed as I’d be writing book 10 in the series by now. Instead he went through various changes and guises until I produced a novel I felt good about. An old family friend, whose wife had gone missing, asked Kent to find her.
The little devil on my shoulder intervened.
If a friend of mine told me his missing wife had been murdered, of course I’d rush out to investigate. Of course I wouldn’t. I’d suggest the police. If they believe she ran off with another man, I’d have to ask my friend why he thinks I could do better.
What if I’d already solved a murder?
I needed a prequel – a story where Kent Fisher investigated a murder, earning himself the credibility and recognition needed to prompt his friend to seek his help.
The answer was staring me in the face, as it probably had been for ages.
I’m an environmental health officer by profession. As well as inspecting commercial kitchens to ensure they meet hygiene requirements, I deal with health and safety in the workplace, which includes accidents at work. Sadly, some of these accidents are fatal.
What if the killer disguised a murder as a workplace accident?
The police would attend the scene as a suspicious death. So would the environmental health officer, investigating potential breaches of health and safety laws. The police investigate to see if there’s a case for corporate manslaughter. If there’s no evidence of this, guess who investigates?
Guess who slowly unearths enough irregularities to suggest the accident was a murder?
Only no one believes Kent Fisher, as you’ll discover if you read No Accident, the first in the series. If you want to know more about the books in the series, the details can be found on my Amazon Author Page or my website at https://robertcrouch.co.uk.
Every novel gives me a chance to show readers different glimpses into the world of environmental health, which covers a lot more than you might think. The rolling hills and beautiful villages of the South Downs in East Sussex offer a peaceful contrast to murder and treachery.
Best of all, my West Highland white terrier, Harvey, features as Columbo, Kent Fisher’s rescue dog and loyal companion.
On May 9th, No More Lies, the fourth book in the series, is due to be published. While it can be read as a standalone, I always prefer to start at the beginning of a series to watch the characters and relationships develop, which neatly brings me back to where I started.
These stories are as close as I can get to a contemporary version of the classic whodunit – the kind of book I love and enjoy reading the most.
It’s the kind of book I had to write.