Festively Fatal Relaunch
Merry Christmas, Sleuth!
Okay, so, a little explanation is required here.
Back in 2020, I decided to write a short, one-off Christmas special.
It ended up not being so short, and I ended up with a novel on my hands instead.
No problem... except the series timeline was, at that point, in about July 1928.
I published it anyway, because I'd told people about it, and got to work filling in the five-month gap in the timeline.
Which I have now done.
Dear reader, in case you don't know this yet, my characters are feral. Particularly Lucas and Tommy. They have a habit of doing things I don't expect, and when I originally wrote Festively Fatal, the boys weren't friends.
Three books later, however, and they *are* friends. And whilst they still snipe at each other, it's (mostly) done without malice nowadays, which was not the case back in 2020.
Also, *something* happens in book 6 (Death Most Devious) that means certain events in Festively Fatal now can't happen.
Sorry that's vague, but... spoilers.
Come on, Saff, get to the point.
I am, don't worry.
My point is, I've made some changes to this book to bring it back in line with the rest of the series.. Not to the mystery, that's exactly the same, but to some of the character stuff.
Like how Lucas and Tommy don't hate each other any more.
And how Tommy is no longer doubting Lucas's "gift".
And, speaking of Tommy, how he's no longer running around in his birthday suit (which will disappoint some, I'm sure, but Lucas is relieved even if you're not)
Aww, but why's the on-page nakedness going?
Spoilers, baby, but it's in a good cause, I promise.
But if you want to see Festively Fatal in all it's original glory (and having re-read it, I use that term loosely - three years is a long time to improve your writing, believe me!), then fret not! I'm uploading the new files on Monday 20th November 2023, so you have until then to get a copy.
And if you've already bought an ebook copy of the book, I think you should be able to get the new version (after I've uploaded the files - and maybe give it a couple of days to get into Amazon's system) by removing it from your device and downloading it again.
I think. I haven't tried it yet, and haven't really got any way of checking, so... If you try it, please let me know if it works!
All right. So that's why you're relaunching, but what's this book actually about?
I'm glad you asked.
It's Christmas Eve 1928, and Lucas has been hired to report on the local Lady of the Manor's annual charity ball.
Which is about as exciting as it sounds. After the snoozefest, our hero and his sweetheart find themselves at the *real* party, with the scandalous Lady Gaylesbury and her equally unconventional friends.
Except not everyone lives to open their presents the next morning, and Lucas's dreams of a quiet family celebration are shattered when the victim's ghost comes calling for help.
But whodunnit, whydunnit, and howdunnit?
And why choose Christmas to commit murder?
Find out in Festively Fatal.
Sneak Peek: Let's Tease Lucas
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.
There's lots of tramping through the snow in this book (for which Lucas may never forgive me), but that doesn't mean he's necessarily cold.
In fact, everyone seems to find it very funny to make him blush whenever possible.
Oh well. Cheaper than coal...
The next morning found Lucas and Clara tramping up the slope to Castlebury Manor yet again, with Tommy in tow once more. ‘We should just ask for a bed there at this rate,’ grumbled Lucas, watching the interloper to their otherwise romantic walk romp around the hillside like a spring lamb. ‘Yes, Bunty would love that,’ teased Clara, turning to Lucas with a barely concealed snigger. ‘Come round to her way of thinking at last, have you?’ ‘I thought you said you’d warned her off?’ ‘I did, but whether she listens or not is another matter.’ She nudged him playfully, mischief twinkling in her eyes. ‘It’s not just foolish old men who would have a hard time saying no to a young, lively person begging them to take them to bed.’ Lucas gaped at her, lost for words. ‘But I wouldn’t – I’d never – you know that, don’t you darling?’ Clara linked her arm through his and kissed him on the cheek. ‘Of course I do, dear,’ she said, wiping the scarlet imprint from his face. ‘I’m only teasing.’ ‘Well, I wish you wouldn’t,’ he said crossly. He wriggled his arm free and wrapped it around her shoulders, pulling her close to him. ‘You’re nearly as bad as my mother for it, you know.’ ‘But where’s the fun in that?’ she said, grinning wickedly at him. ‘Anyway, you should learn to flirt a little. It’s a good way of getting information out of people.’ ‘Do I want to know how you know that?’ he asked, knowing the answer was a resounding “no.” ‘Probably not,’ said Clara cheerfully. ‘But it’s all in a good cause, and you know I only have eyes for you.’ ‘Hmm,’ said Lucas with undisguised disapproval. ‘Oh, come on,’ said Clara. ‘You might even enjoy it, when you know what you’re doing.’ ‘I’ll leave the flirting to Tommy, if you don’t mind. Anyway, I’m out of practice these days, now I’m engaged to your lovely self and don’t need to flirt anymore.’ Clara laughed, the sound muffled by the white powder transforming a familiar landscape into a picturesquely strange land. ‘Were you ever in practice, dear?’ she teased, reaching up and playfully tugging the lapel of his coat. ‘If you were, I never noticed.’ Lucas opened his mouth wordlessly, torn between the truth of how he’d carefully avoided flirting with his best friend’s little sister, for what he hoped was obvious reasons, and a lie that might help him save face. Thankfully, no lie was needed as Tommy created a magnificent diversion by losing his footing on the slope ahead and landing face down in the snow. He bounced back up like a rubber ball, unhurt and laughing, then collapsed back on the ground to make snow angels. Thus, the question of Lucas’s flirting capabilities — or lack thereof — was forgotten for now. Tommy waited for them, giggling and pelting them with handfuls of snow as they approached. After a brief snowball fight followed by making themselves look presentable again, the trio continued their tramp up to Castlebury Manor in good spirits. By the time they rang the bell, their cheeks were rosy with cold and aching from laughter. Even Lucas was cheerful, despite Tommy’s persistent company. As he rang the doorbell, Tommy once again admired the magnificent building, and Clara imparted her knowledge of the manor’s history to him in such an adorably sisterly manner that even Lucas couldn’t help but smile. The impromptu history lesson was cut short when the sour-faced butler opened and stared haughtily down his nose at them. ‘Her Ladyship is not at home at present,’ he said, looking rather pleased about this. ‘That’s all right,’ said Clara brightly, peering around him. ‘We actually want to have a word with Jono – sorry, Lord Cassiobury, if you know where he is.’ She stood straight again, grinning happily. ‘I believe that’s his hat on the telephone table. Glo – Miss Gloria Hawkes, was telling me all about the rather smart bottle green hat she got him for his birthday, and how it’s still his favourite even after, you know.’ She leaned forward and whispered conspiratorially. ‘After he broke their engagement. Terribly sad, isn’t it?’ A small muscle twitched under the butler’s eye and stepped backwards into the hallway. ‘I shall see if the young master is in.’
Bonuses To Download
Way back when I first launched Festively Fatal, and when I did a Christmas In July event in 2021, I created some pretty things for people to download and print at home, including these Christmas decorations.
Please feel free to download the file, print them, and add them to your tree. I'd love to see them if you do!
I also created another set of printables relating to this book (including stickers, paper chains, and stickers), and wrote a short story called Tommy's Angel. I hope you enjoy them!
And I think that's about it for this week. I hope you enjoy all your bonuses, and will pick up a fresh copy of Festively Fatal when it hits the shelves next week!
Or pick one up sooner, if you want to read the original version.
Anyway, I'll be back next Friday with the final set of sneak peeks for Death Most Devious, so I hope to see you then :)
Lots of love,
P.S. Need to catch up on the series so far? Find links to all books here