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."
NJ Bayley is author of: