Writing can be a lonely business – long hours spent hunched over a keyboard, silence all around – so give an author a chance to talk and they’ll chew your ear off! Here’s seven things with which you could start a conversation with me…

Author Fliss Chester

Author Fliss Chester

  • I adore pottery and ceramics – and my shelves and dressers are heaving with platters, jugs, bowls, tea pots, mugs and plates. The more ludicrous and artisan the better. One of my favourites is a plate shaped like a slice of lemon that I bought for 50p at the village fete. It’s hand made in Italy and so beautifully painted – 50p! Never forget that what’s one person’s trash is another person’s treasure… 
  • I’ve lived in both London and the countryside and like both, but the countryside wins out for me. I’ve happily given up the buzz of the city for the buzz of the bees. 
  • I love interior design and have a post-grad diploma in Interior Decoration – it’s probably why I’ve woven it into my new series and have the heroine, amateur sleuth the Hon. Cressida Fawcett a dab hand with a colour chart. Designing rooms and solving crimes share some similarities – you need a good eye for detail for both!
  • One of my favourite places is Bukhara in Uzbekistan. It emerges from the sand of the desert in all its blue and green mosaiced glory, and captures the imagination straight away. Who couldn’t be intrigued by the Tower of Death? Plus, the artisans there make the most beautiful crafts, from intricate wooden book stands to hand-cut tiles and camel-hair shawls. 
  • I love cats. I don’t mind dogs, but I definitely have what I call ‘cat energy’. Some people have ‘dog energy’ and that’s great, too. I find it strange when people are so vehemently either dog or cat people. I don’t understand it. They’re both smallish, domesticated animals, just with differing degrees of fluff. 
  • Although I’m not that sporty a person, and have a body ‘built for comfort, not for speed’, I have completed three marathons. They were the MoonWalk charity power walking marathons that snake through a night-time London. I like surprising people with that fact when they automatically assume that I’m not a fitness fan. I mean, I’m not, but you should never assume, or judge people by what you see on the surface. 
  • I’m not great at camping – cold (or too hot) tents, hard mats, overly snug sleeping bags, spiders, damp – which is ironic as my name literally means happy camper. Fliss is short for Felicity, which comes from the Latin for happy and Chester comes from castra, the Latin for camp.

Find Fliss on Instagram and Twitter

The Book

Intro: Everyone in 1920s London knows the Honourable Cressida Fawcett: fiercely independent (though never apart from her little pug Ruby), lover of martinis and interior designer extraordinaire. She’s solved many crimes of fashion… so how about murder?

Cressida Fawcett is heading to the English countryside for a weekend of cocktails and partying at her friend’s glamorous mansion, the location of a recent diamond heist. But just hours after her arrival, Cressida is woken by an almighty scream. Rushing to the landing, she looks down into the great hall to find a trembling maid standing next to the body of Harry, the friendly young chandelier cleaner.

Everyone believes Harry’s death was an accident. But as Cressida examines the opulent hall and the beautiful grounds, she thinks something darker is afoot.

Why clean a chandelier in the early hours of the morning? And who overheard Harry boasting about coming into unexpected wealth? A small piece of torn silk found near the body has Cressida looking at the guests’ elegant clothes with fresh eyes…

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