Murder on Monday
Murder on Monday is a chilling account of the life and death of Gloria Hathaway, spinster of the parish, with a secret career of her own. Would-be sleuth, feisty Lois Meade, becomes involved as she cleans in the village houses of Long Farnden. The doctor, the professor, the gallery proprietor and the district nurse, are all part of a web of deceit which challenges Lois in her first attempt at unraveling a mystery. Then there is Detective Inspector Cowgill, a stern policeman who builds an odd relationship with Lois. He is quick to see how valuable she can be, and she is well aware of this. Sparks fly as the plot thickens. “Smashing ending” said an American reviewer.
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Terror on Tuesday
Terror on Tuesday finds Lois has moved out of Tresham and into Long Farnden, one of a trio of villages involved in her next assignment. She sets up New Brooms, a house-cleaning business with a small team of loyal characters. Her cleaners are her main concern, but all become involved in bizarre deaths, theatrical goings-on, and Lois is drawn in by the wicked tentacles of the local drug scene until violence strikes at the very heart of her family. Many contemporary problems surface here, but always with the background of village life, which, as many discover, is not immune from troubled times.
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Weeping on Wednesday
Lois Meade`s cleaning business, New Brooms, has a new recruit, Enid Jacob, who lives with a reclusive mother and miserable old father in a remote, crumbling mill-house. Lois pities Enid, and when the shy spinster offers to teach piano to Lois`s musical son Jamie, a happy relationship develops. But things always go wrong in Enid`s life, and now deteriorate from bad to worse. Lois and company help to sort it all out, but is the ending happy or sad? The reader will decide.
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Theft on Thursday
Lois Meade, cleaner and part-time sleuth, is restless. It is some time since she helped out her old admirer and adversary, Inspector Hunter Cowgill, and she misses the excitement. She is delighted when the call comes from Cowgill asking her for help once more. She is plunged into mystery, bigotry and intrigue surrounding the randy new choirmaster Sandy Mackerras and the vicar, and there is danger for Lois and her new cleaner Sharon Miller, an innocent romantic. But is she as innocent as she seems?
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Fear on Friday
Lois Meade is boss of a cleaning business, and finds time on the side to indulge her love of sleuthing. She opens an office in nearby Tresham, and is intrigued to see a number of surprising visitors to the small shop on the other side of the street. Their window display tells all! New business comes her way when she is asked to clean the house of Tresham`s pompous and secretive mayor, Howard Jenkinson. A locked room arouses Lois`s curiosity, especially when the mayor`s chauffeur is seen collecting a parcel from the shop opposite. Lois, her daughter, and some of her regular cleaners, gradually uncover lies, adultery and sex for sale. When seemingly harmless goings-on result in death and murder, it is time for her old admirer, Inspector Hunter Cowgill, to become involved. True to form, Lois ignores his warnings and finds her own life in danger.
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Secrets on Saturday
From the moment his car stops outside her door, Lois Meade, cleaner and part-time sleuth, doesn`t like the look of Reg Abthorpe. He asks her to clean the house of spry old Herbert Everitt, who has been moved to an old folks` home, though no one in the close-knit village of Long Farnden can understand why. Farmer William Cox is another matter. His health has been in decline since the death of his wife, and he is notoriously reclusive and dependent on his dog, Rosie. Threats against villagers, Lois`s loyal staff, and Lois herself cause the atmosphere to darken, and Lois is called upon by her old adversary and admirer, Inspector Hunter Cowgill ….
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Sorrow on Sunday
In Sorrow on Sunday, Lois Meade, feisty cleaner-cum-private detective is on the trail of a horse-racing scam that ends in murder and tragedy. Colonel Battersby is a respectable pillar of society – or is he? He and his wife Blanche live in rural comfort in Waltonby, not far from Lois`s home in Long Farnden. The Battersbys request the services of New Brooms, and Lois and Dot Nimmo become involved in a secret underworld of corruption and violence. Horses figure largely in the Colonel`s life of hunting, racing and unsuccessful gambling. Enter Inspector Hunter Cowgill, Lois`s long-time contact in the police, and together they bring the villains to justice.
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Warning at One
Lois continues her `ferretin` with a new series, starting with Warning at One. This was published in hardback in November 2008, and concerns a mysterious newcomer in Gordon Street, where Lois owns a terraced house, next door to Clem Fitch and his cockerel, Satan. Across the road, Mrs Blairgowrie has recently moved in, and seems a pleasant enough woman.. She is visually impaired, apparently, though manages to live alone quite succesfully with the regular visits of a large, bulky man who, she says, is her son. Mysterious comings and goings in the middle of the night rouse Clem`s curiosity, with unfortunate consequences. Inspector Cowgill is, as usual, on the scene, as keen as ever on his Lois and not in the least put off by her fierce rejection of any warming up of the relationship!
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Tragedy at Two
She’s worked through all of the days of the week, turning up clues and scrubbing up both messes and murderers in the village of Long Farnden. But crime is a persistent stain, and Lois Meade is finding that sleuthing is rarely a spotless endeavor… Lois Meade’s daughter Josie was admittedly considering ditching her partner Rob, but she certainly never expected him to be found badly beaten and left for dead in a ditch by the side of the road. When Rob tragically dies from his injuries without regaining consciousness, Inspector Cowgill has a murder investigation on his hands, and once again he engages the assistance of the woman he respects above all others—Lois. Suspicion for the attack quickly falls on the traveling gypsies who are camped out on Alf Smith’s property in Long Farnden. There is strong prejudice among many in the village who consider the gypsies no better than tramps and thieves. Lois must follow a twisted path that leads to arson, local delinquents, secret assignations, and blackmail— before she can discover who’s been tinkering with the truth…
Released on 1st December 2009. Order your copy of Tragedy at Two from your local booksellers and all on-line retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble (US).
Threats at Three
She`s worked through all of the days of the week, turning up clues and scrubbing up both messes and murderers in the village of Long Farnden. But crime is a persistent stain, and Lois Meade is finding that sleuthing is rarely a spotless endeavour… A committee is forming to save the Shed, a run-down building that is the village hall for Long Farnden locals. Joiining the usual collection of grumps and curmudgeons is Lois`s husband, Derek, as committee chair. They are aiming to cut down newcomer Gavin Adstone, who doesn`t think the Shed is worth saving at all … After much discussion, a soap box grand prix is chosen as the major fund-raising event for the restoration plan. The building is part of village history, a landmark for locals who have attended wedding receptions and cricket teas there for generations. But someone really wants to make this tea the last – by setting the Shed aflame. When a dead body is mysteriously found in the canal, Inspector Cowgill wonders if the instances are connected, and if this dispute will get uglier – and deadlier. He turns to the every reliable Lois Meade to sort out the sculprits and pick up the loose ends before their village hall turns into a funeral pyre
Released on 7th December 2010. Order your copy of Threats at Three from your local booksellers and all on-line retailers, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble (US).
Contact Ann Purser through David Higham Associates or directly by clicking here.
Member of the Crime Writers’ Association.