Today I am taking part in the blog tour and hosting a guest post for The Mystery of the Lost Husbands by Gina Cheyne. This was released on the first of December 2021, published byFly Fizzi Ltd.
Is murdering husbands an addiction or merely a bad habit?
This is the question facing Private Investigator Cat Harrington when rich builder, Tom Drayton, dies shortly after his wedding night. Suspicion falls on his widow, Anastasia Rodriguez, the survivor of three previous ‘lost’ husbands.
Two years later, Anastasia is engaged again, to Cat’s friend Angelo, an Italian snail collector.
Angelo’s sister, Gia, employs Cat and the SeeMs Detective Agency to discover if her brother’s financé is a killer.
The search for Anastasia’s lost husbands takes Cat and her team from Scotland to the South of Spain and on to Argentina.
They have just a few weeks before the wedding to discover if Anastasia is a murderer and save their friend from becoming victim number five.
For fans of Arsenic and Old Lace and The Number 1 Ladies Detective Agency
After an injury, my last few weeks have been spent writing and watching the Winter Olympics with my foot up. As I lay fascinated by the icy abilities of the various teams, my books and their gymnastics melded gently into each other,and the aims of a writer merged with those of an Olympian. Writers and Olympians both have achieving gold as an ambition, but here is much more to sport and writing than the lust for lucre
Just as an Olympian works within the rules of discipline, while pushing the limits of his own creativity, so a writer has certain rules of grammar, spelling and fashion, but must stretch these to express themselves in an individual manner. In The Mystery of the Lost Husbands, Anastasia, the protagonist, finds the rules of life desert her. Brought up to please her parents and do the accepted thing, she marries a man of their choice but then discovers he is not the man he seemed. She must use her inspiration to forge a new way forward in a world she does not know. Like an athlete changing discipline, she must experiment with these new rules of life to see if she can find a satisfying direction within them.
The best athletes train with coaches to enhance their natural talents, but sometimes their initial choice of coach doesn’t inspire their creativity sufficiently, and they must find someone more suitable. Anastasia also needed a mentor and at first looks for it in a husband, however, as one husband succeeds the next, she discovers they are not the supporters she imagined and,far from enhancing her talent, they try to repress it or to make it work for them.
Having found husbands were not the inspiring coaches she believed, Anastasia tries to go it alone, like an athlete practicing in private. However,working without feedback stifles rather than increases creativity, and she, like the Olympian, needs an audience to push her up to the next level.
Going public, however, exposes her to danger, and, like a sportsman falling on the ice even while in sight of the gold medal, Anastasia finds herself accused of murder, not once, not twice but four times: accused of the murder of all four husbands. Not only is the gold medal lost but potentially, so is her freedom.
Sportsmen often find inspiration from a person or a work of art or musicand The Mystery of the Lost Husbands, was inspired by a village story of a local builder whose brother died on his wedding night leaving the company to his widow. For my story, though, the question changes and become a deeper mystery: did the widow actually kill her husbands to get what she wanted?Was it more than a coincidence?
There is some intrinsic need in human beings to please others, to have the admiration of others and yet once that pinnacle is reached it is discovered to be not enough. The Olympian, the writer, the characters in a novel, the reader; we all need to be fulfilling our own destiny when we skate, ski, write or read. If not, why would we spend the hours of toil, hours of training, hours seeking inspiration?
Only because we have a pressing need within. This can be perfected by our mentors, aided by our audience and spurred on by the need for money but none of that is enough. It is only when our intrinsic desire is fulfilled, do we find ourselves truly satisfied and happy. That is what the Olympics, books and life itself show us.: we need to create for ourselves, others may show us the path but, ultimately, we travel it alone.
THE MYSTERY OF THE LOST HUSBANDS BLOG TOUR
Follow the tour along the way for these bloggers thoughts on The Mystery of the Lost Husbands
LET’S GET TO KNOW GINA CHEYNE
Gina has worked as a physiotherapist, a pilot, freelance writerand a dog breeder.
As a child, Gina’s parents hated travelling and never went further than Jersey. As a result she became travel-addicted and spent the year after university bumming around SE Asia, China and Australia, where she worked in a racing stables in Pinjarra, South of Perth. After getting stuck in black sand in the Ute one time too many (and getting a tractor and trailer caught in a tree) she was relegated to horse-riding work only. After her horse bolted down the sand, straining a fetlock and falling in the sea, she was further relegated to swimming the horses only in the pool. It was with some relief the racehorse stables posted her off on the train into eastern Australia to work in a vineyard… after all what could go wrong there?
In the north of Thailand, she took a boat into the Golden Triangle and got shot at by bandits. Her group escaped into the undergrowth and hid in a hill tribe whisky still where they shared the ‘bathroom’ with a group of pigs. Getting a lift on a motorbike they hurried back to Chiang Rai, where life seemed calmer.
After nearly being downed in a fiesta in Ko Pha Ngan, and cursed by a witch in Malaysia, she decided to go to Singapore and then to China where she only had to battle with the language and regulations.
Since marrying the first time, she has lived and worked in many countries including Spain and the USA.
For a few years Gina was a Wingwalking pilot, flying, amongst others, her 64-year-old mother standing on the wing to raise money for a cancer charity. She was also a helicopter instructor and examiner and took part in the World Helicopter Championships in Russia and the USA.
She became a writer because her first love was always telling a good yarn!
Under the name Georgina Hunter-Jones she has written illustrated children’s books such as The Twerple who had Too Many Brains, and Nola the Rhinoceros loves Mathematics.
She now lives in Sussex with her husband and dogs, one of who inspired the Biscuit and Pugwash Detective Series about naughty dogs who solve crimes.
The Mystery of the Lost Husbands is the first in the SeeMSDetective Agency series and Gina’s first crime novel for adults.
BLOG TOUR ORGANISER
My thanks to Rachel from Rachel’s Random Resources for my spot on The Mystery of the Lost Husbands blog tour and for the promotional materials.