Today I am kicking off the Blog Tour for the new release by Helen H Durrant. Dead Bad is the latest addition to the Calladine & Bayliss series. I would like to share with you a Guest Post by Helen and she is sharing with us her love of birdwatching.
Birdwatching by Helen Durrant
Writing is a huge passion of mine. I dedicate a lot of time to it, but there is something else that I enjoy almost as much – bird watching. This isn’t new. I’ve had my head stuck in the window watching birds in my back garden for years. These days I’m very fortunate to live in a house with a wooded area at the back, so my visitors are numerous and varied. I don’t only watch, I photograph too. (Not very well!) I use a ‘trail cam’ which I place strategically in the garden.
When I first got into this, decades ago, the birds were mostly starlings and sparrows. Not anymore. These days it’s more likely to be all members of the tit family, finches, corvids, wood pigeons, the odd rarity, plus the more familiar robins and blackbirds. The last sparrow I saw was in Spain! So, something has gone wrong.
It is bird behaviour that fascinates me. Having put out food I wait and watch. And believe me, they are watching me from the trees too. First to bounce down onto my lawn is a magpie. A bird whose beauty belies his vicious reputation. He struts over my grass picking up everything he can. Often he flies away to scoff the lot in peace. But if it’s late on in the day he buries some among my flowers. He pecks away at the soil with his beak, makes a hole and then deposits the morsel for later. I’d no idea they did this. I googled it, and sure enough, it is in their pattern of behaviour.
They argue. There is no sharing. The pecking order isn’t what you might think either. Big, beefy Jackdaw is easily scared off by a gentle looking collared dove. Wood pigeons stand no nonsense from any of them. Robin thinks he owns the place, as does the blackbird. He even sees off his wife!
Among the rarities, as I call them, are the lesser spotted woodpecker. A beautiful bird and so cute when he brings his babies for the first time. Another, the jays, particularly the baby ones. This spring I’ve had a flock of long tailed tits. They crash into the feeder mob-handed leaving no room and no food for anything else! Another couple I love is Mr and Mrs Bullfinch. He is the pretty one with his striking red plumage. She is a mere sepia version of him. But he is very attentive, lets her feed first while he keeps a wary eye, and they always come together.
I cater for the ground feeders, blackbirds particularly, and I have hanging feeders around the garden. Birds can be very acrobatic when they want food! I give them a mix – basic bird seed, oat flakes, suet pellets, mealworm. The absolute favourite for everything is sunflower hearts. Mr Blackbird is keen on fruit, grapes and apples.
I have seen them through a particularly harsh winter. Cleared the snow to feed them, smashed the ice on my little pond so they could drink. But their number is diminished. Hopefully the babies will appear soon and we’ll start again.
DEAD BAD by Helen H. Durrant
Looking for a brilliant best-selling crime mystery with great detectives?
Detective Calladine and Bayliss face a vicious serial killer in a mystery with a shocking ending.
A woman’s body is found in a disused church, a homemade stuffed toy by her side. The victim had been dumped there months ago. The crime has the hallmarks of twenty-year-old case whose alleged perpetrator is in prison.
Detective Ruth Bayliss must work out whether a serial killer has returned, or whether a new killer is just taunting the police.
Her partner DI Tom Calladine faces the fight of his life to clear his name of corruption accusations. And then things go from bad to worse for Calladine . . .
With the team under massive pressure and drugs flooding the streets, another gruesomely presented body is found.
In an ending with a huge twist, the detectives must unpick decades’ old lies before anyone else dies.
If you like Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott, Mel Sherratt, Ruth Rendell, or Mark Billingham you will enjoy this exciting new crime fiction writer.
DEAD BAD is book eight of a new series of detective thrillers featuring D.S. Ruth Bayliss and D.I. Tom Calladine.
Tom Calladine is a detective inspector who is devoted to his job. His personal life, however, is not so successful. Having been married and divorced before the age of twenty-one has set a pattern that he finds difficult to escape.
Ruth Bayliss is in her mid-thirties, plain-speaking but loyal. She is balancing her professional life with looking after a small child.
The fictional village of Leesdon on the outskirts of an industrial northern English city. There is little work and a lot of crime. The bane of Calladine’s life is the Hobfield housing estate, breeding ground to all that is wrong with the area that he calls home.
DISCOVER YOUR NEXT FAVOURITE MYSTERY SERIES NOW
THE CALLADINE & BAYLISS MYSTERY SERIES
Book 1: DEAD WRONG
Book 2: DEAD SILENT
Book 3: DEAD LIST
Book 4: DEAD LOST
Book 5: DEAD & BURIED
Book 6: DEAD NASTY
Book 7: DEAD JEALOUS
BOOK 8: DEAD BAD
THE DCI GRECO BOOKS
Book 1: DARK MURDER
Book 2: DARK HOUSES
Book 3: DARK TRADE
Book 4: DARK ANGEL
HIS THIRD VICTIM
OVER 500,000 books sold of her Calladine & Bayliss and DI Greco Series
I’m one of the ‘baby boomer’ generation. I was born in Edinburgh to an English father and Scottish mother. My father was from the North West of England and this was where the family settled.
I know the area well, both the good and the bad, and so I set my books here. Sitting between two counties, Lancashire and Yorkshire, and between the city and the hills, it offers a rich mix of the industrial and the countryside and all the character therein. I always planned to write crime novels — to create the characters in my books. Since my retirement from a busy teaching job in FE, this is what I’ve done — almost to exclusion of anything else!
I have a grown-up family and five grandchildren. They see me as something of an eccentric — always on my laptop writing away. Writing is something of a second career and, despite having a bus pass, keeps me busy, young and tuned in the world as it currently is.