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Murder most Foul and other adventures

It is a truth universally acknowledged that unexpected death can change the course of a life. Even if said demise has nothing to do with you personally. Or happened to a real person. In my case - and I suspect the same thing happened to many writers over the decades - the death in question was that of Roger Ackroyd. Without me noticing, the Queen of Crime had injected ink into my bloodstream, with fictional murder running through my veins. Only fictional, I assure you. The only real bloodshed I'm guilty of was an accidentally swatted fly, and I regretted it instantly.

Because I'm not always in a lethal state of mind and enjoy, nor, adore, writers like Jane Austen, Terry Pratchett, Bill Bryson, P.G. Wodehouse and many more as much as I love Agatha Christie and all the other Golden Age mystery writers, there might be the odd allusion or two to these giants of literature.

Writing a book takes discipline, solitude and focus, which is why you'll hardly ever see me distracted or neglecting my work to cater to the rescue cat currently curled up on her third-favourite chair. Unless she is hungry. Or bored. Or needs affection. Or another service. That's another truth universally acknowledged - there's hardly a writer able to resist a cat, a dog, or a plot twist. Even Agatha Christie, as prolific as disciplined, always had time for her dogs.

Now you'll excuse me. I heard a plaintive meow from downstairs.