Received in today’s mail a brand-new book, unordered, unpaid for. One might ask why?, especially as it’s a detective novel and I’ve never made a secret of not being a big fan of the genre.
Well, if one were of the peculiar tribe that reads copyright pages, one would find a clue: On the reverse of the title page of Charlie Cochrane’s Lessons for Suspicious Minds appears this line:
Edited by Alex Jeffers
I expected neither the credit nor a copy of the finished book (I was paid [quite nicely] for the job), so can only offer somewhat bewildered thanks to Cheyenne Publishing’s genial principal, Mark Probst, as well as to Charlie, who were both delights to work with.
Lessons for Suspicious Minds is the latest volume in Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Mysteries—the first to be released by Cheyenne though the tenth overall, I believe. I’ll confess to being unfamiliar with the series before being recruited to work on this one. An unfamiliarity I’m now inclined to remedy as I quite enjoyed Suspicious Minds, a charming Edwardian country-house murder mystery, and the eponymous Cambridge Fellows themselves, Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith (I’m half in love with Orlando).
An invitation to stay at a friend of the Stewart family’s stately home can only mean one thing for Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith — a new case for the amateur sleuths! With two apparently unrelated suicides, a double chase is on.
But things never run smoothly for the Cambridge fellows. In an era when their love dare not speak its name, the chance of discovery (and disgrace) is ever present — how do you explain yourself when a servant discovers you doing the midnight run along the corridor?
The chase stops being a game for Orlando when the case brings back memories of his father’s suicide and the search for the identity of his grandfather. And the solution presents them with one of the most difficult moral decisions they’ve had to make…
Now, if I can only remember how to place a thumbnail on the front page….
…But today’s job is to dive into another editorial project: the long and eagerly awaited new story collection from my lovely friend Steve Berman, Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Readers. Due from Lethe Press next spring.