Archive for the ‘Circle’ Category

CircleofShad_JKFWhen I research my novels I spend a lot of time in libraries, but occasionally I find an excuse to get out and see a bit of the world. I realised early on that automata were going to be an important part of the story, and was lucky enough to find The House of Automata as I began looking for the sorts of automata that were being made during the period. Michael and Maria Start were kind enough to let me visit them and see some of the amazing clockwork models they make and restore, and being there was the inspiration for the workshop in the novel.

Though the Duchy Maulberg is fictional the palaces, towns, villages and landscapes are based on real places in the south-west of modern Germany.

So this little video shows you some of the pictures I took while with Michael and Maria or in Germany and then used to inspire me. The music is Vivaldi, not quite the period of the novel, but I listened to a lot of his music while I wrote it anyway. This is his Motet for Soprano and Orchestra (Nulla in mundo pax sincera (RV 630)) played by the Advent Chamber Orchestra from Bolingbrook, Illinois. The soloist is Cristina Piccardi.


Read Full Post »


I’m delighted that the fourth Westerman and Crowther novel is now out in the US!

And very pleased with this review from Publishers Weekly:


And here’s something I wrote about the inspiration for the novel when it came out in the UK:


I’m just finishing writing my next Westerman and Crowther book, but in celebration of publication day, I shall put together a slide show of some of my research photographs and share that with you a little later.

You can buy the book from Barnes and Noble via this link

or Amazon via this one!

Read Full Post »

I’ve blogged about one of the inspirations of Circle of Shadows, the remarkable Count Cagliostro, on The History Girls Blog this week.

Read Full Post »

Crime Squad

I’m delighted to be author of the month over at Crime Squad at the moment. Lots of stuff about the background to Circle of Shadows and a very generous review too. What charming people.

And here, just because, is a picture from Splendor Solis; and alchemical text in the British Library and one of the books Harriet consults in Circle. Clicking on it will take you to the full record with lots more images.

Read Full Post »

A rainy publication day today for Circle! We had a launch party at the lovely Goldsboro Books in Cecil Court on Tuesday night and the weather managed to stay dry then, thank goodness. Launch parties are rather like weddings (so I’m told, I’ll have a chance to confirm that later this year), in that you are surrounded by a whole bunch of people you really like from many different stages in your life, and you hardly get a chance to talk to any of them! Still it was great fun, I’m glad Circle got a good welcome into the world and I was left feeling very warm and fuzzy about the whole business of being a writer and getting published. It’s certainly the best way of making a living I’ve discovered so far.

If you’d like a signed first edition of the book , you can order one from Goldsboro. Now it’s time to cross my fingers and hope for friendly reviews while getting on with the next book.

Read Full Post »

Circle of Shadows

The fourth book in the series of Westerman and Crowther Mysteries is done. Well, my work on it is done for the time being anyway. I have returned the copy-edited manuscript to Headline and now I can get to work on the next book while the team there try and work out how to draw a map of the places I’ve made up, design a cover and decide what to write on it. I had a wonderful time doing the copy-edit, not just because my copy-editor is brilliant and saves me from any number of humiliating mistakes (she is, and she does), but also because I did it while staying here. Symondsbury near Bridport. I had a view over the church as I worked which made being at my desk a pleasure.

I hope I get to go back to Germany, the setting of Circle of Shadows, soon. Ned and I had such a great time there. A much better time than Harriet and Crowther have, I’m afraid…

Read Full Post »