I’m really pleased to have author Harry Bingham taking over today to tell you more about his new novel The Dead House, featuring the irrepressible DC Fiona Griffiths. He has managed to meet Fiona for an interview to tell you more about Dead House
Harry Interviews Fiona Griffiths
Harry Bingham, author of the Fiona Griffiths series of crime novels, is today meeting with his main character in an effort to get her to spread the word about their latest book, The Dead House, which is currently an Amazon Deal of the Week. Harry has paid for a fancy lunch at a smart Cardiff hotel, but Fiona is not looking particularly pleased to be there. Harry’s literary agent is present, but sits back, watching fretfully – nay, anxiously – from a nearby table.
Harry Hi, welcome. Thanks so much for coming. What can I get you?
Fiona Oh, for fuck’s sake!
Fiona This again? We have to do this again?
Harry Fiona –
Fiona You’re going to say that you’re my author, aren’t you?
Harry Not just say it, Fiona. There’s a book that has my name right across the front cover. Big fat red letters.
Fiona That’s not very strong evidence, is it? Any fool can get a book printed up these days. It’s not even expensive. But let’s run with that whole idea. Let’s say you’re my author. Then presumably you know what I drink.
Harry I was going to get a bottle of fizzy water.
Fiona Right. And you’re going to get some fancy-schmancy salad for me, because that’s the kind of thing I always order in a place like this. Only you’ll get something sensible – something that involves chips – and halfway through this damn meal, I’ll start nicking your chips and you’ll just groan and give in.
Harry sighs. Orders. Gets a fancy-schmancy salad for Fiona and something that involves chips for him. They get fizzy water.
Fiona (muttering, trying to be polite) Thanks.
Harry You’re welcome.
Fiona Well, look, “author”, you’re never nice to me unless you want something, so what is it you want?
Harry I don’t want anything. I just thought I’d share our good news.
Fiona (Instantly suspicious.) Good news?
Harry Yes, our latest book, The Dead House, has been chosen as an Amazon Deal of the Week. That’s a huge deal. It’s like the biggest book retailer on the planet has chosen to promote our book. They love the reaction from readers. They love the quality of the writing. You know, one blogger wrote, “This is a quite brilliant novel and Griffiths a superb protagonist . . . Only one issue stands out after this novel: why aren’t Harry Bingham’s books number one on every chart?” That’s a lovely thing to hear, right?
Harry What do you mean, no? That’s what –
Fiona They like seeing me –
Harry Yes, of course, you’re at the absolute heart of –
Fiona No, they like seeing me suffer. That’s what you do. You set up these situations . . .
Harry It was good, wasn’t it? There’s a body lying in a country churchyard. No signs of violence. But why is she wearing a thin white dress on this howling October night? And who placed the candles all around her? And why has no one come forward to identify the corpse?
Fiona (shrugs) You gave me a barley seed. The clue wasn’t that hard to follow.
Harry For you, maybe.
Fiona But that’s not what Amazon wants. They don’t care about bodies in churchyards. What gives them a kick is all that stuff in the cave? And then right at the end of the investigation –
Harry In the monastery –
Fiona With the walls rising –
Harry And knowing that what lay ahead –
Fiona Was potentially this, this thing, for ever –
Harry (suddenly anxious) Hey, hey. I don’t mind the odd teaser, but we don’t want any actual plot spoilers.
Fiona So my answer’s No.
Harry What do you mean?
Fiona No, I’m not going to help you market this damn book. I didn’t want you to write it. I don’t want anyone to read it. I didn’t want to go into that damn cave. If that book just curls up on its back and dies, I. Don’t. Care. Quite frankly, I hope the book vanishes and Amazon decides not to stock it.
Harry Fiona –
Fiona And now I’m going to steal your chips.
She steals his chips. Harry lets her do it. Then she stands.
Fiona I’m a detective. You are – or you claim to be – my author. So do what you need to do. I don’t know writing. Editing. Fooling around with literary agents and editors and whatever you have to do. Me, I have criminals to catch. Murderers. I’ll do my job, you do yours. Oh yes, and my job actually matters.
(She pauses. Makes a face. Tries hard.)
Thanks for the chips.
She leaves. Harry sighs. Somewhere in the corner of the room, Harry’s agent has his head in his hands.
Harry’s biography in 25 words
Forty-something. Married. British. Kids. Oxfordshire. Runs The Writers’ Workshop and Agent Hunter. Used to be a banker. Now writes full-time. Likes rock-climbing, walking, swimming. Done.
Fiona’s biography in 25 words
Young thirties. Petite. Cardiff. In recovery from Cotards Syndrome. Teetotal. Strange. Capable of violence. Dad used to be a big-time criminal, now (supposedly) retired. Done.
You can find out more about them both at HarryBingham.com
Whet your appetite? Here’s the blurb for The Dead House –
British detective Fiona Griffiths, one of the most engaging female protagonists in crime thrillers, is back with her toughest case yet.
When the body of a woman is found in an old ‘dead house’ – the annexe where the dead where stored before burial in medieval times – of a tiny church in a small town in Wales, it seems that past and present have come together in a bizarre and horrifying way. For DC Fiona Griffiths , the girl – a murder victim whose corpse was laid out with obvious tenderness – represents an irresistibly intriguing puzzle, given Fiona’s unusual empathy for the dead. And when her investigations lead her to an obscure and secretive monastery hidden in a remote valley, she finds that the murder victim is far from the only victim of a dark and disturbing melding of modern crime and medieval religious practices. Only Fiona is capable of solving this brilliantly crafted mystery.
Ebook currently only £1.99 from Amazon. Click here to purchase a copy.