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Death Most Devious Launch - Week 2

Hey, Sleuth!

Welcome back :)

And now you've seen it, I hope you love the cover for Death Most Devious as much as I do!

You'll notice I couldn't resist putting a little bit of a teaser on this image, and today's sneak peeks are all about that ancient spirit.

So, without further ado, let's get to it, shall we?

Full cover with hook and date.png
Sneak Peek: Tommy's Secret Admirer

NOTE: Just in case anyone really doesn't want to anything , I'm putting this and all other sneak peeks/deleted scenes etc in sections where you have to click "Read More" to see the full text.

‘Um, Clara,’ said Lucas, glancing over his shoulder as they stepped out of the police station and into the now dark and empty street. ‘I, uh, I think Tommy might, um… have an admirer.’ ‘Darling,’ replied Clara, grinning broadly despite the afternoon’s tragic events. ‘I thought that was fairly obvious.’ ‘Oh, yes. Yes, I know. But, um, not, uh, not… not them.' He gave another backwards glance. ‘Because, er, you see…’ Clara rolled her eyes. ‘Oh, no. Don’t tell me a ghost has the hots for him now?! We’ll never get his head through the door.’ ‘All right, I won’t tell you. But, the thing is, should I tell him?’ ‘Oh, I don’t know,’ sighed Clara, taking Lucas’s arm as they leant against the building opposite the police station to wait for the last member of their group. ‘Do they want you to?’ ‘I don’t know,’ he confessed. ‘I haven’t asked. Haven’t really had a chance, what with, you know…’ ‘But, you’re sure?’ ‘Oh yes,’ said Lucas darkly. ‘She’s making no effort to hide it. Even keeps calling the man a god. Haven’t the heart to tell her she’s deluded.’ ‘A god?!’ ‘Ra, to be precise. Something to do with the sun? Anyway, she’s literally worshipping the fellow. Seems like something he should know about, don’t you think?’ ‘Probably,’ agreed Clara. ‘Only, don’t you think he has enough to worry about right now?’ Lucas demurred slightly, but in a way that clearly suggested preference for a different course of action. ‘Where is she?’ asked Clara, looking around despite knowing it was useless. ‘Oh, she’s sticking to him like pages in a book. Thinks it’s her duty to protect her god’s earthly form, or something, and has solemnly vowed to watch over him day and night. Personally, I think she just fancies him and is making excuses.’ ‘Tell him,’ said Clara quickly and decisively. ‘Good grief, you know what the man gets up to.’ ‘Quite,’ said Lucas, his mouth twisting in displeasure. ‘Yes, I doubt he’d want some of his private moments watched.’ ‘No more than you would,’ said Clara, nudging him playfully. ‘Nor me, for that matter. So, she’s…?’ ‘An Ancient Egyptian? Certainly looks that way. New one on me, I must admit.’ ‘I see.’ Clara paused thoughtfully. ‘And, uh, how…?’ ‘Haven’t the foggiest.’ ‘Right. So, he could be stuck with her indefinitely?’ ‘Exactly. So, knowing that, what do you think? Should I tell him?’ ‘Definitely.’ Lucas took a deep breath, nodded once, and exhaled hard. ‘Right,’ he said, as the door to the police station swung open again. ‘Now, how the hell do I tell a chap some dead woman thinks he’s a god?’

Character Interview: Clara Jenkins

Because I like to make my characters work extra hard during a launch, I thought it'd be fun to interview each of my three main characters and ask them about the new book.

And this week, it's the turn of the lovely Miss Clara Jenkins :)

Hullo, Miss Jenkins! Would you take a few minutes to introduce yourself to our readers, please?

Oh yes, of course. Well, I'm Clara Jenkins. I'm an artist for the Illustrated Police News - you know, that newspaper down in London? - and I'm engaged to Lucas.


Congratulations :)

Thank you. We've been engaged for years, though. Sort of. It's complicated. But, it's official now, which is all that really matters and we're planning a wedding early next year.


I'm looking forward to it already, Future Mrs Rathbone.

Oh. That sounds rather odd, doesn't it? Mrs Rathbone is Lucas's mum. Seems strange to be the same.


Yes, well. Maybe you won't be the same for long. 

Double barrel, you mean? Be Mrs Rathbone-Jenkins? Sounds terribly posh, but I like it.


Well, I actually meant Hettie would -  uh, but enough about that.

Let's talk about this next book of ours.

Oh yes, lets. I've always loved Ancient Egypt! It's such a fascinating period in history, isn't it? And the artwork is just beautiful.


I knew you'd appreciate that. Didn't Professor Sidney Adams find some lovely things?

Yes, and so many of them! I particularly liked the snake cuffs Harold Wychwood was modelling. Such a shame about what happened next.


Yeah, he's a real loss to the world, that one.

Care to tell us about these cuffs he was wearing?

After all, you were paying more attention than either of the boys.

Hah, certainly. Both were a bit distracted, weren't they? What with one thing and another.


No spoilers, miss. You know the rules.

No, no, of course not.

Well, all right then. Where were we?

Oh yes, the cuffs.

They were what, about five inches long, and hinged so Harold could get them on and off easily. They looked quite snug. Made of solid gold, or so they said. It's a wonder the museum director just dropped them on the floor like that, but I suppose, when you're trying to save someone's life, you're not really thinking about ancient artifacts, are you? I hope he didn't chip any of the enamel on the cuffs, though. Such vivid colours, and that blue really brought out the snake patterns winding their way around the wearer's wrists.


Yes. Snakes seem to be a recurring theme, don't they?

They do. I suppose it's thematically appropriate, considering the setting of the murder.


Thematically appro...? Where did you learn phrases like that?!

I live in your head, remember? What you know, I know. That's how it works.


It's not. If it did, you would've caught the killer straight away.

Where's the fun in that?


Hmm. Where, indeed? And, *do* you have fun in these books?

Oh yes, lots of it. And I know Lucas can be a bit of a grump, and Tommy can be a bit moody, but they both love it too, you know.


I know. Though, I suspect they might be less keen after this book.

Don't listen to them, Saff. They wouldn't have it any other way.


That's handy, as I have no plans for letting either of them off the hook any time soon.

At all, really. I have rather a lot of books planned for you lot, you know.

i know, and I'm looking forward to them.


Well, at least one of you is enjoying themselves. Thank you, Miss Jenkins. Are you joining your fiance at the French restaurant?

Oh, you didn't let him go there, did you?! It costs a fortune, and we have a house to buy soon.


Oops. Better hurry along and stop him eating your savings, hadn't you?

Oh, and tell Kilbourne he's wanted, would you please?


Two down, one to go...

Deleted Scene

This week's choice for Deleted Scene (or, more accurately, rewritten scene), pretty much follows on from the sneak peek. The new version isn't all that different, really, so you'll probably be able to spot it when you read Death Most Deadly. It's always fun to see how something was originally envisioned though, right? :)

(Oh, and as you'll probably be able to tell, this never got edited into something neater, so please forgive clunky sentences, anything that doesn't make sense, typos, and [notes I left for myself and never fixed]. Thanking you <3)

‘A ghost?’ suggested Clara, pecking him on the cheek. ‘It’s all right, darling, Tommy won’t tease you about it. Will you, Tommy?’ she added sternly. ‘What? Oh no, heaven forbid,’ replied Tommy lightly. ‘Would I do a thing like that? Well, of course I would, but I won’t this time. Scout’s honour.’ ‘Were you ever a Scout?’ ‘If I had been, you’d have my honour. Go on then, Ghost Boy. Is it this Harold fellow? What’s he got to say for himself?’ ‘Don’t call me Ghost Boy,’ scowled Lucas. ‘And it isn’t Harold. It’s someone for you.’ ‘For me?’ said Tommy, thoroughly surprised, his heart pounding at the thought. ‘It’s not…? But I thought they’d gone travelling?’ The corner of Lucas’s mouth twitched upwards for a second, but he declined to comment on Tommy’s change of heart from his usual scepticism. ‘They have,’ said Rathbone. ‘This is someone you, uh, haven’t met before.’ ‘Then how can they be here for me?’ ‘Um,’ said Rathbone, looking at thin air again. ‘This is rather awkward. She, um, she - well, she’s an Ancient Egyptian priestess called Tiye, you see, and -’ ‘I’m sorry,’ said Tommy, his footsteps faltering. ‘An Ancient Egyptian princess?’ ‘Priestess,’ corrected Clara. ‘You know, from one of the temples?’ ‘Yes, yes, I know,’ said Tommy, catching them up in a couple of long strides. ‘Misheard, didn’t I? But, you say I know her? How’s that supposed to work? And don’t say reincarnation, Jenkins,’ he added, as Clara opened her mouth. ‘You know, I think that’s even more nonsense that gods and ghosts.’ ‘Yeah, maybe don’t say things like that in front of a ghost who still thinks she’s serving Ra, thanks,’ said Lucas, wincing and rubbing his ear as though someone just yelled into it. ‘She doesn’t appreciate it, and I’m the one who has to deal with her.’ ‘Hmm. All right, then, what’s this Tie-yee lady got to say to me?’ Lucas sighed heavily. ‘That you’re clearly some sort of incarnation of the Great Sun God Ra, and that therefore she’s in your service.’ ‘Fat lot of good that is if she’s dead.’ ‘Tommy, don’t be unkind,’ scolded Clara. ‘She’s lost and alone, and has been for thousands of years. How would you like it?’ This did, admittedly, strike a chord with Tommy, who had spent much of his life feeling lost and alone, and had only recently found people he could trust not to abandon him at the drop of a hat. ‘Sorry, Miss,’ he said, addressing the air next to Lucas’s shoulder. ‘I, um, I didn’t mean…’ Lucas waved away his apology. ‘Honestly, I think it’s more the way you look.’ A mischievous smile spread across his face. ‘You’ve got an admirer on the other side, and she’s sworn to protect you at all costs.’ ‘Uh, “protect” me how? From what?’ ‘Well, I hope you’ve brought some nightclothes, Kilbourne, because she’s not leaving your side even for a second, apparently.’ Tommy gulped and pulled his coat a little tighter around him. Not usually one to be shy about his body, the thought of someone he couldn’t see watching him undress was a little disturbing.

Right, well, thanks for reading, I hope you've enjoyed it :)

Oh, and... next week? I hope you're feeling festive, as we're having a little detour from our wander through Death Most Devious.

More on that next time, though ;)

Catch you then, and take care!


Saff xx

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