Today, fellow Chindi author, Isabella Muir, returns to ‘Patricia’s Pen’ to tell you about her latest release, Crossing the Line. So without further ado I shall hand you over to Isabella.
Crossing the Line – tragic accident or cold-blooded murder?
Crossing the Line is the first in a new series of Sussex Crime stories, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi. He has been a detective for many years, but felt compelled to retire early because of a tragedy that happened almost outside his front door. (No spoilers!)
In Crossing the Line, Giuseppe travels to England to spend some time with his cousin, Mario, who runs a seafront café in Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex. Giuseppe struggles to adjust to the English climate and English food! Early mornings he’s often found strolling along Bexhill seafront, wishing he was in the port of Anzio (one of my favourite Italian resorts).
Travelling to England to escape one tragic death, Giuseppe then comes face-to-face with another. The body of a teenager is found on a Sussex beach, and Giuseppe is drawn to the case – a case with no witnesses, and a case about which no one is prepared to talk.
National news reports of a missing twelve-year-old in Manchester spark fear across the nation. The phrase ‘stranger-danger’ filters into public consciousness. Local reporter, Christina Rossi, already has concerns about her local community.
As the sea mist drifts in and darkness descends, can Giuseppe and Christina discover the truth and prevent another tragedy?
Let’s take a peek into the story at the point where we first meet Giuseppe, as he prepares for the long journey from Rome to England…
Giuseppe Bianchi had never mastered the art of packing. His suitcase laid open on the blanket box in his bedroom for two weeks before his planned departure. At random times of the day and night he went to his wardrobe or chest of drawers and pulled out a shirt or a pair of trousers, tossing them into the case. As a result, the clothes were piled high in the centre, leaving gaps around the sides.
The evening before leaving, he tried to inject some urgency into his preparations. He wandered from room to room in his flat, opening cupboards and drawers hoping to catch sight of an item of clothing, or toiletries, that might act as a reminder about what to include.
He would be arriving in England in July. He knew it would be colder than Rome, but not as cold as his previous visit ten years earlier. That had been for a two-week Christmas holiday. On that occasion he thought his repeated words of persuasion for Rosalia to accompany him might have worked. In the end she remained resolute. She planned to stay at home, spend Christmas with friends. An English Christmas was not for her. On his return he spent most of January back home in Rome, trying to thaw out. This visit would be different for many reasons, not just the weather.
Set in July 1964, Crossing the Line is the perfect summer escape. If you have seen the Italian police series, Montalbano, you’ll know all about charismatic Italian detectives. Combine that with the atmosphere and flavour of life in the ‘swinging sixties’ and you have all you need for a cracking read.
Crossing the Line is available now from Amazon as an ebook, or paperback – you can also read it for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.
A chance to get a book FREE
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And you can follow Isabella on Twitter @SussexMysteries
About Isabella Muir
Isabella is never happier than when she is immersing herself in the sights, sounds and experiences of the 1960s. Researching all aspects of family life back then formed the perfect launch pad for her works of fiction. Isabella rediscovered her love of writing fiction during two happy years working on and completing her MA in Professional Writing and since then has gone to publish five novels, two novellas and a short story collection.
Her first Sussex Crime Mystery series features young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke. Set in the late 1960s, in the fictional seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, we meet Janie, who looks after the mobile library. She is an avid lover of Agatha Christie stories – in particular Hercule Poirot – using all she has learned from the Queen of Crime to help solve crimes and mysteries. As well as three novels, there are three novellas in the series, which explore some of the back story to the Tamarisk Bay characters.
Her latest novel, Crossing the Line, is the first of a new series of Sussex Crimes, featuring retired Italian detective, Giuseppe Bianchi who arrives in the quiet seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex, to find a dead body on the beach and so the story begins…
Isabella’s standalone novel, The Forgotten Children, deals with the emotive subject of the child migrants who were sent to Australia – again focusing on family life in the 1960s, when the child migrant policy was still in force.