Last week Lari Don
author of, among others, the First Aid
series, kindly tagged me as one of her 5 authors for The Next Big Thing
This is a book/writer recommendation/don’t
worry it’s not THAT sort of chain thing that involves me answering some
questions – see below! – and then passing the NBT baton on to 5 other authors who I
delicately draw to your attention to enhance your general reading delight – see
And here we go …
• What is the title of your new book?
The newest Slightly
Jones Mystery which came out this year is called The Case of the Cambridge Mummy.
I’m now hard at work on the fourth – The
Case of the Hidden City, which takes Slightly – and me – to Paris. (I love my job!)
• Where did the idea come from for the
The series is about a Victorian girl who is desperate to
become as great a detective as Sherlock Holmes, and each of the crimes she
investigates take place in a different city, in a different Victorian
museum. The idea for the first book - The Case of the London Dragonfish - came
to me as I was being shooed out of the Natural History Museum in London.
• What genre does your book fall under?
These are Victorian detective adventures for readers aged
• What actors would you choose to play
the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Can I go for Tilda Swinton when she was a girl, to play
• What is the one sentence synopsis of
The Case of the Cambridge Mummy: Bicycles – bloomers - a cursed
Egyptian necklace - the mysterious destruction of ancient artefacts – things
are looking grim in wintry Cambridge.
The Case of the Hidden City: Beneath the streets of Paris lie mysterious secrets – can Slightly
find her way to the answers in the dark, as the water rises and the roof threatens to cave in … ?
(Okay, I admit that's stretching the "one sentence" concept a bit. Well, a lot. Never mind.)
• Will your book be self-published or
represented by an agency?
• How long did it take you to write the
first draft of the manuscript?
About 3 months. And
then the editing begins.
• What other books would you compare
this story to within your genre?
Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia
Peabody Mysteries feel like Slightly Jones for grown-ups to me – I love
• Who or what inspired you to write this
Museums are bursting with stories – I can’t go into one
without being accosted on every side by some artefact demanding a place in my
• What else about your book might pique
the reader’s interest?
How about a greenly glowing long-dead Egyptian queen
stalking the corridors? Or getting lost
in tunnels full of human bones?
Right – questions answered – and now it’s on to my list of 5
authors well worthy of the accolade The
Next Big Thing! In alphabetical order:
Gill Arbuthnott - author of Lost at the Zoo, The Keeper's Daughter, and Germ Wars - and that's just a taste!
Emma Barnes - whose most recent book Wolfie is about a oddly large dog ...
Barry Hutchison - the man behind the "deliciously nightmarish" Invisible Fiends series and one of the men behind the excellently useful online resource for parents and teachers - Start the Story.