Schoolteacher Adam Matthews just wants to help select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already failed miserably at finding the right candidate, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straightforward decision turns tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.
Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And that handsome young teacher has him reminding himself not to fraternize with a witness. But it’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.
As secrets amongst the governors emerge and a second person turns up dead, Robin needs to focus less on Adam and more on his investigation. But there are too many suspects, too many lies, and too many loose ends. Before they know it, Robin and Adam are fighting for their lives and their hearts.
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Interview with Charlie and Adam...
“The Best Corpse for the Job” is set in and around an English village school, which is the sort of place which might not be very familiar to readers outside the UK. So who better to tell us about this location than Adam Matthews, who’s one of my leading men in the story? He’s a teacher there! And maybe he can spill the beans on his love interest, Robin, while he’s at it.
Charlie: Adam, for the benefit of people who don’t get the English school system, can you explain some of the lingo?
Adam: Of course. It must be very confusing when our ‘public’ schools are actually some of our poshest private schools! Lindenshaw St Crispin’s is a normal, state school, the sort which most British children go to. It was built in the Victorian era so, in the greater scheme of things it isn’t that old (for us!) but it’s had modern additions. Something like this: http://www.hbtprimary.net/images/tour.gif
Charlie: It’s a church school. Is that normal?
Adam: In the words of Tom Jones, it’s not unusual. Lots of churches set up schools back in the nineteenth century – some of these still have their connection with the local parish. In the case of Lindenshaw St. Crispin’s, that’s about having Foundation governors on the governing body (like Neil, the vicar!) who makes sure the faith aspect of the school is developed. Aren’t you a Foundation governor?
Charlie: I am, which may surprise people. And I’m at a school which is not hugely dissimilar to Lindenshaw. Can I share a secret? Where vicars are governors they are either brilliant or totally hopeless. Never in between. Hey, you’re distracting me here, Adam. Like you distracted Robin.
Adam: Did he say that? He’s pretty distracting himself. Policemen shouldn’t be allowed to look like that.
Charlie: He also said that teachers shouldn’t be allowed to look like you. He said he could hardly hold his pen when he interviewed you. Oh, stop giggling, smutty mind.
Adam: You’re a fine one to talk, the double entendres you work into your stories. I’ve read some of your stuff, so you can’t deny it.
Charlie: Ahem. Time to change the subject. What was it like to find a dead body in the school?
Adam: Awful. At least it wasn’t one of the children – that would have broken my heart.
Charlie: Did it upset the children?
Adam: It did, although luckily they weren’t in the building when the body was found, and the school was shut the next day for teacher training. We had to do a lot of work with them afterwards, trying to help them get over it, but St Crispin’s is such a caring place that they got through okay. I hope, anyway. Robin came in to speak to them, to reassure them that they were safe, which they found exciting.
Charlie: I bet you found it exciting, too.
Charlie: Nothing. One last question. What do you like best about Robin?
Adam: His great, big...eyes. Bright, like his name. Real “come to bed” looks. When I first saw him it was like Alec when he sees Maurice for the first time, in the book of the same name.
Charlie: I remember that scene. I hope the readers here do.
Adam: If they don’t, they’ll have to go and read it. Hopefully they’ll read “Best Corpse for the Job” too.
As Charlie Cochrane couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie's Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
Connect with Charlie:
• Blog: charliecochrane.livejournal.com/
• Twitter: @charliecochrane
• Facebook profile page: facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18
• Goodreads: goodreads.com/goodreadscomcharlie_cochrane
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an e-book from Charlie Cochrane's backlist (excepting The Best Corpse for the Job). Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 29. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.