One of my readers described the Lady Lyttle series today as "PG Wodehouse getting roaringly drunk with Agatha Christie on a world cruise…". Whilst delighted to be compared to two of my favourite writers, I asked him what he meant. It always fascinates me how my books are interpreted by the readers. Here's the conversation we had:
"Well, it's like PG Wodehouse because they are so funny and you've got the whole butler and master thing, except in this case the master is a mistress, Lady Lyttle. Then of course, they are murder mysteries and while Lady Lyttle is more "Tuppence" than Miss Marple, Brooks has definite shades of Poirot in how he sets about things."
"But why roaringly drunk on a world cruise?"
"Well, like I said the books are very funny, the sort of thing that might be cooked up on a bender. The world cruise is obvious- you get to travel all over the world in your books. Book One is set in London, but goes to the Carribean, New Orleans and New York, Book Two is a whirlwind tour of Italy while Book Three takes us all the way over to French Indo China, Siam and Hong Kong. That's quite a cruise."
"True! I just thought it would be more interesting if the murders weren't all set in one location. It's a whole different kind of travelling in time I suppose."
"And the rest of the books…"
"...Are still going to feature interesting destinations, yes! Book four is set in British India…"
"I know, all those diamond-collared cheetahs guarding maharajahs. Delicious."
"Do they ever go back to England?"
"Oh yes, Book Five is set in my favourite town of them all, Brighton."
The first three, long-awaited books in the twelve part Lady Lyttle murder mystery series are now ready to publish!
Book four is well underway, due Easter 2016
Book one: About Face
When unconventional aristocrat Lady Lyttle and her resourceful butler Mr Brooks pull a faceless corpse from the River Thames, they have no way of knowing who the dead man could have been.... nothing that is, apart from his clothes....
A rollercoaster of a story from the Belle Époque of 1903-4 that takes us from London High Society to the plantations of St Lucia, the emerging New Orleans Jazz scene, the bustle of New York and the fabulous house parties of the super-wealthy Rhode Island Set.
Book Two: Fountain of Blood
As Lady Rosemary Lyttle travels to Rome on a Grand Tour with young friend Lady Amelia Pearce and butler Mr Brooks, little does she suspect that she will be tipped into a gripping mystery involving the Church, the Mafia and a powerful figure from her own past...
Book three: Spice of Death
Detective team Lady Rosemary Lyttle and her intrepid butler, Mr Brooks, are asked by an eccentric French prince to investigate the disappearance of both manager and money from his pepper farm in Indochina. It seems a simple case but the trail will lead them to the heart of the darkest secrets of South East Asia...
Book four is in production…
working title Murder on the Delhi Express.
When Lady Rosemary Lyttle and her valiant butler-cum-secretary, Mr Brooks, are asked to investigate the mysterious death of an elderly French woman in India they are not keen. Rosemary’s first impressions of the sub-continent were not favourable, and as for Brooks, he has horrifying memories of India, memories he is desperate to forget. What they find, however, is both more incredible and more terrible than they could ever have imagined...
NJ Bayley is author of: