Today on the blog I am delighted to welcome Janine Beacham to the blog, with a special guest post on her ‘Top 10 Detectives’ to celebrate the launch of the second book in the ‘Rose Raventhorpe Investigates’ series ‘Rubies and Runaways.’ It’s a bitterly cold winter in Yorke and Rose Raventhorpe and her butler Heddsworth are stuck with Rose’s unpleasant cousin Herbert, and his equally horrible butler, Bixby.
When an orphan boy named Orpheus interrupts the Cathedral’s Mistletoe Service, saying that his sister has been kidnapped, Rose vows to help. Solving the mystery will be a lot better than accompanying ghastly Herbert! But the investigation is more complicated than Rose has anticipated and will lead her and her butler friends through fancy tea-rooms, horrible factories, secret underground passages and more.
Fireplace pokers are much more dangerous than you might imagine. This fabulous series is perfect for lovers of murder mysteries who love to work out just who did it!
Top 10 Book Detectives – Janine Beacham
I love mysteries, and I love good detectives. My heroine owes something to all my favourites. Here are ten of my most loved book detectives, for kids or adults:
- Sherlock Holmes, created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Sherlock’s deductive powers are second to none. The Hound of the Baskervilles is a classic read, and Dr Watson the classic loyal sidekick.
- Hercule Poirot in the Agatha Christie books. I read a lot of Christie when I was growing up, and Poirot, with his ‘little grey cells’ always made amazing deductions. Christie blew me away with her clever whodunits.
- Brother Cadfael in the Ellis Peters Cadfael series. This medieval monk lived out in the world before he joined a monastery, and has a great deal of compassion, wisdom, and wry humour. I particularly appreciate that the ‘villains’ in these books can be normal people who make mistakes, rather than evil personified.
- Amelia Peabody in the series by Elizabeth Peters. I love Amelia. A strong-minded Victorian woman who lives in Egypt with her family, she is devoted to archaeology, mysteries, her family, and her sharp parasol. Funny, and very much an inspiration for my character Rose.
- Trixie Belden. Some readers prefer the other American girl detective Nancy Drew, but I couldn’t relate to Nancy. She was too grown-up and glamorous, with her car and red hair and boyfriend. Trixie lived on a farm, was ‘sturdy’ in build, and had to babysit her mischievous little brother. And still solved a fair few mysteries.
- Flavia in The Roman Mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence. Flavia is a ‘detectrix’ living in the days of Ancient Rome, Ostia to be precise. Brave, impulsive, determined and smart, Flavia is one of the girls my heroine would love.
- Lady Grace Cavendish in the Grace Cavendish mystery series. Grace is a lady-in-waiting to Queen Elizabeth the First, and acts as her secret Lady Pursuivant. Her mysteries are written down in her ‘daybooke’. I love the historical setting, and Grace is fun to follow with her friends Ellie the laundress and Masou the acrobat.
- Precious Ramotswe in The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency books by Alexander McCall Smith. Precious is a kind, loving, ‘traditionally built’ and clever detective, accompanied by Grace Makutsi, her second-in-charge. Precious’s love of the Batswana way of life imbues the whole series.
- Kinsey Milhone in the Sue Grafton alphabet series. Kinsey is a strong, independent female detective in 1980s America. She owns one dress and lives in jeans. I’ve read all the Kinsey books, starting with A is for Alibi, and look forward to the ones still to come – Y and Z!
- Philip Marlowe, in the Raymond Chandler books. Marlowe is the classic hardboiled American detective, a private investigator who carries a gun, drinks too much, and has a sentimental side. Also a wonderful way with words. ‘He was as inconspicuous as a tarantula on a slice of angel-food cake.’ ‘A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.’
A former journalist, Janine Beacham has written all her life. She has always loved fairy tales and fantasy, and as a child would make up games for her friends to play at school. Janine once entered a competition where the prize was a real-life butler – which partly inspired the secret society of butlers in the Rose Raventhorpe Investigates series. Janine lives in Western Australia with her family.
Thank you to Stephanie and Hachette for inviting to host this guest post and for sending me a copy of this fabulous book.