A more than professional interest . . . a more than personal intrigue.
Orlando Coppersmith should be happy. WWI is almost a year in the past, he’s back at St. Bride’s College in Cambridge, his lover and best friend Jonty Stewart is at his side again, and—to top it all—he’s about to be made Forster Professor of Applied Mathematics. And although he and Jonty have precious little time for an investigative commission, they can’t resist a suspected murder case that must be solved in a month so a clergyman can claim his rightful inheritance.
But the courses of scholarship, true love, and amateur detecting never did run smooth. Orlando’s inaugural lecture proves almost impossible to write. A plagiarism case he’s adjudicating on turns nasty with a threat of blackmail against him and Jonty. And the murder investigation turns up too many leads and too little hard evidence.
Orlando and Jonty may be facing their first failure as amateur detectives, and the ruin of their professional and private reputations. Brains, brawn, the pleasures of the double bed—they’ll need them all to lay their problems to rest.
Grab your copy of Lessons For Survivors now from Riptide Publishing.
And for more info on this Author and this series, visit Charlie Cochrans Author page.
Murder, mystery and a forbidden romance between the two would be detectives trying to solve the case. The backdrop is Britain around WWI at a small Cambridge college while lovers Jonty and Orlando try to keep their romance behind closed doors and contained to the double bed they share, all while trying to solve the mysteries that encircle their lives.
Orlando is now a Professor and if that weren’t enough to make him stress and fret like only Orlando can do, someone is blackmailing him. At the same time, Orlando and Jorty are hired to investigate a murder that is on a time frame if the man that hired them is to receive his inheritance. Jorty is determined to have a normal life with Orlando, and though the case is confusing and nothing is as it seems, their love, witty sense of humor and strong character will see them through any challenge they face, together.
I admit to being slightly confused with the characters and the story as I picked up the ninth book in a series, not realizing it should have been read in order. But I was seriously drawn into the mystery, intrigue and romance of this historical era story. I love when an Author can literally transport me back in time in my imagination with vivid details, scenery and characters. I could see Orlando and Jorty tromping through the halls of the college, putting their heads together to solve the case, and that double bed!
So, while I’m lost on the relationship between characters and the history of this world Cochran has created with her Cambridge stories, I thoroughly enjoyed the development of these two men as individuals and as a couple as they faced the challenges presented to them in this book. I would probably suggest you start at the beginning, and my plan is to go back and read all the stories from this series, but I was able to enjoy this story regardless.
A must read for fans of this series, Cochran’s work and anyone that likes a rich historical romance full of depth, romance and mystery.
Guest post with Author Charlie Cochran...
Contemporary or historical – which is easier to write?
That’s a question I’ve been asked and put considerable thought to. The answer is totally counter-intuitive because, at least for me, historicals are easier. On several counts, not least because I’ve read so many stories written during or set in the early 20th century that it’s really easy for me to slip straight in the feel of the era – cadence of dialogue, customs, manners, etc. But there are some specific issues which affect all authors.
You may ask, “Isn’t it easier to make mistakes when writing about the past?” to which I’d say, “Not necessarily.” I do a lot of checking (of facts and words) when I’m putting together a historical story, and I’m very lucky that I’ve always had editors who pick up on the howlers I let through. I suspect if there are errors that appear, it would take somebody with a real working knowledge of the era to pick up on them – and even then you can argue the toss. I believe the great Patrick O’Brian was brought to book for having used a term in dialogue that wasn’t first recorded until ten years later. He said that the words had likely been in use orally well before they were first written down.
For a contemporary, there are likely to be many more people who’d spot a mistake, because they know things from their own experience, and there are lots of experts in modern day stuff out there. Trouble is that we don’t always check stuff, because we “know” it or “think we know it”; wasn’t PD James caught out by featuring a motorbike travelling in reverse gear? I have a good pal who’s an author and she’s got what I’m 95% certain is a mistake in one of her books, and it’s key to the denouement. The sort of thing that’s a loophole, a loophole that’s been dealt with, although unless you or someone you knew had been in a similar situation, you wouldn’t know. (Notice how cagey I’m being? I haven’t dared tell her.)
For the mystery writer, a previous era where there aren’t such things as mobile phones, the world wide web, SatNavs, security cameras and other modern innovations can make plotting so much more simple. You have to be far more ingenious writing about a modern setting – in “The Best Corpse for the Job” I had a phone signal blackspot, which is believable in a country village but wouldn’t be in a large city. Any murder, especially if it involved children or was part of a series of murders, would attract huge media attention, although I notice that aspect is sometimes given short shrift in contemporary stories.
I’ve even heard the view espoused that modern forensic and policing techniques make it almost impossible to write a traditional style “amateur detective who puts the poor dim police right” story set in the present day, although that may be taking it too far. Certainly the author would need a deft touch (Simon Brett manages it!) and maybe would have to set their tale in that strange parallel cosy mystery universe where Oxford is the murder capital of Britain and nobody uses the F-word, but that’s food for a whole other blog post...
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:
·Facebook profile page: facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an e-book from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excluding Lessons For Survivors). Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 31. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.