Monday, July 16, 2007

Great Big Blog Party 36 Lesley Cookman

Several times on this blog I have mentioned Caerleon Writers' Holidays - with good reason. I'm addicted to the warmth, the sharing and the feelgood factor of this annual event. As are many other people. Everyone has a wonderful time and the help yourself Speakers' Bar is an established tradition and the perfect example of the open generosity of the organisers - and their appreciation of their speakers.

It was through Caerleon and in the bookroom that doubles as that bar, that I first met today's Guest Blogger - Lesley Cookman. At that time Lesley was at Caerleon in her capacity as a profgessions Pantomime Writer. To this day she is the only professional Pantomime Writer I have ever met.

(I'm tempted to add here - 'Oh no she isn't! . . . Oh yes she is! ' - but perhaps not!)

Lesley and I got talking and we talked about writing (surprise, suprise). She had tried a couple of times to write for HMB and had got close but never quite made it. She was still hoping to get back into writing fiction. For a while we discussed her romance novel writing - but in the end it was clear that that was not the right path for her. After a detour into a Creative Writing MA, Lesley found her real path in Crime Fiction and in 2006, her first long fiction book Murder in Steeple Martin featuring middle aged actress come investigator, Libby Sarjeant came out.
It was followed by Murder at the Laurels and in November Murder in Midwinter is due to appear.
Romance writing's loss is crime fiction's gain.

So here's Lesley Cookman
I first met Kate Walker when I was just over 50. Shewas a main speaker at Caerleon Writers' Holiday and I was running a two and a half day workshop on writing pantomime. We spent agood deal of time together in the bar and she persuaded me to have another go at writing long fiction.

So I did.

And life begins at (just over) 50- believe me!
Thanks, Kate.
Lesley has a signed copy of Murder in Steeple Martin to giveaway
Who is your favourite fictional detective and why?


Biddy said...

My favourite detective is Lord Peter Wimsey. Always has been, always will be. I first read Dorothy L Sayers books when I was a teenager, about the same time the BBC were showing the adaptations starring Edward Petherbridge and Harriet Walters. I fell in love with Lord Peter and haven't fallen out of love with him again. The intellect, the sensitivity, his love for Harriet *swoon*

Lesley Cookman said...

I love him, too, Biddy. I read all my parents' detective fiction from the age of ten, and their choices still remain my favourites.

Kate Hardy said...

Resnick. Because of his taste in music and food, his compassion, the fact he's decent to his team despite keeping a barrier there (this is the thing I don't like about Morse - he's clever, but he's unkind and I don't like the way he treats Lewis), the fact he'd make a brilliant romantic hero...

I also have a bit of a soft spot for Rebus (this might be because I have a bit of a crush on Ian Rankin) (oh dear me).

And then there's Susannah Gregory's medieval doctor, Bartholomew. I have a very, VERY soft spot for him. (That one's possibly a bit obvious because I write medical romance and with one of my other hats on I'm a medievalist...)

And then there's Falco. (Lindsey Davis.) My agent recommended LD's books to me; I bought The Silver Pigs and fell for Falco and had to buy LD's entire backlist. (At the time, I think there were about twelve.) He's clever, he's witty, he's deeply in love with Helena and although his family and his best friend drives him crazy he looks out for them - oh, and he rescued his dog - and... (I think Michelle might add to this list *g*) Actually, I think why I love Falco is that he's not damaged in the same way as some of the other detectives: and I love the sense of community in the Falco series.

(Lesley, you really shouldn't ask questions like this of an author who's on deadline and procrastinating...)

Ray-Anne said...

Biddy beat me to it. Lord Peter Wimsey. First world war wounded soul of a hero - completely credible. Absolutely devoted to the girl he wants and, having saved her from 1920's hanging for murder, never lets her down. No sex, no hard violence or complex forensics, and yes, okay, a little upper class for tastes now, but still the hero. Ray-Anne

juliemt said...

My current favourites are MC Beaton's Agatha Raisin and Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody. They are both unconventional, ballsy, clever and absolutely wonderful.

But I also love Poirot, Marple, Wimsey and Troy, Ann Granger's Mitchell and Markby books and Dagliesh (especially after seeing Martin Shaw play him on TV.)

Virginia said...

My favorite detective if you want to call her that is Charlotte LaRue from Barbara Colley's mysteries. She is suppose to be a maid for hire but she sticks her nose into everything and ends up solving the case in the end. I just love her, she is so funny.

Jan Jones said...

No, no, it's got to be Ngaio Marsh's Rory Alleyn.

Intelligent, sense of humour, patient in love, very, very human and described several times as a cross between a grandee and a monk.

Who could want for more?

alissa said...

My favorite detective is Alex Cross. he is a caring, and devoted father as well as a unique individual.

ruth said...

Deborah and Simon St. James are my favorite detectives. They are captivating characters whose lives I love to follow. I find them to be fascinating and diligent detectives as well as realistic people whose insight makes their lives interesting.

Dena said...

When I was really young I loved watching old movies and Sherlock Holmes was one of my favorites. Then when I got older I read all of the Nancy Drew mysteries I could get my hands on. Now my favorite detective is Molly Murphy from the books of Rhys Bowen. It's set in the early 1900's New York,and she is newly arrived from Ireland.She gets in and out of all kinds of situations. The stories are adventurous, interesting, humorous,and I never want them to end.

Liz Fielding said...

Congratulations on the new book, Lesley!

I love Falco. There's something so real about about him. And he makes me laugh, always a bonus.

Lesley Cookman said...

Oh, Jan, you and me both! Roderick Alleyn is my all time favourite and I re-read the entire Ngaio Marsh canon at least once every two years. I recommend them to all Peter Wimsey fans.

Luckily, I know all the other detectives mentioned here, and just want to know how long i leave it fore awarding a prize.

By the way, if you like Agatha Raisin and Amelia peabody, mine might appeal.

joelle said...

I always enjoy the Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid novels. I have read all of them and love their relationship and their woking companionship as well. their personalities and compatibility is so apparent throughout. These two are my favorites of all.

jenna said...

The detective that has been around for years that I read about and my fave is Guido Brunetti. I love the locale, the descriptions, and the forces that this unique man is up against in his tireless quest for justice.

annie said...

A unique and appealing detective whose ethics and integrity I find great is Louis Kincaid. He is exceptionally well portrayed and has great character who is beset by doubts and regrets. I find him to be totally different from all others.

ChristyJan said...

I'm reading Joanne Fluke's "Murder She Baked" mysteries right now and her Hannah Swensen character is tickling my funny bone as a detective. (Plus each book contains delicious cookie and dessert recipes.)


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