In October 2017 I had the pleasure of helping with the launch of MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL as Joffe Books began republishing the Hillary Greene series. Here we are 13 months and 17 books later. Sadly I am now closing the Blog Tour for the final book in the series. I am closing down the tour and the series with an interview with Faith and hopefully the answers to some of your questions:
Goodbye Hillary, what now? An interview with Faith Martin
1. So here we are at the end of the Hillary Greene series. Are you surprised at how well the series has done given it is second time around?
I was amazed by how well the DI Hillary Greene series has been the second time around. I know that when they first came out, they were exclusively in hardback, and were aimed at mostly that sort of market – libraries, book clubs, etc. So I knew that when Joffe Books released them as ebooks that they would reach a much wider readership. But I still had no idea just how many people would read them and like them and certainly would never have predicted that they’d make DI Hillary Greene a bestseller! (Having said that, I’ve always rather liked Hillary and had a sneaking suspicion a lot of people might, if they ever discovered her! So it’s all down to Hillary’s personality really. People seem to really connect with her.)
2. What made you decide to end the series at book 17?
I didn’t decide to end it! When I wrote Hillary’s Final Case it was titled A Narrow Trajectory, and when I’d finished it I thought I’d go straight on to do another. However, I learned shortly afterwards that my then publishers, Robert Hale, were going to sell up, and so I had to put any more Hillary Greene’s on hold. In the meantime, my agent said that vintage and retro (1950’s and 1960’s) were now very much in and asked me if I’d thought of writing something in that era. And so I set about creating my Ryder & Loveday series.
3. Obviously, the door is open for further books. Do you think you will write any more?
I would love to write more Hillary Greene books – however, for the moment (the next two years at least) my writing schedule is fully booked with other projects. But never say never! I could always have Hillary Greene return one day – maybe as an OAP with an attitude!?
4. Joffe Books readers have had 13 months with a continual flow of Hillary Greene books to read. I am sure many are bereft to have reached the end. I understand there is another series Joffe are republishing. Can you tell us something about that?
The one consolation that I can give to all the readers who contact me saying how much they’re going to miss Hillary, is that I do have a new series coming out in December, right on the heels of DI Hillary Greene. And I’m really just hoping that they’ll enjoy this series also. These were the books that I originally wrote under the name of Joyce Cato, and unlike the DI Greene series, they are NOT police procedural novels. These are much more of a homage to the golden age of crime. Like a lot of people, I grew up reading Agatha Christie, Dorothy L Sayers, and the ilk, and loved reading the Maud Silver books by Patricia Wentworth. So I really wanted to write books, (but set in modern times) that paid tribute to the ‘proper’ or ‘classic’ whodunit. So they have all the ingredients that Poirot or Miss Marple fans would want. That is: a puzzling, seemingly impossible murder to try and figure out; the requisite 4-6 suspects to chose from; a real character/amateur sleuth to guide you through the storyline and proper clues as well as red herrings galore! My only worry is that, since the genre is slightly different, some readers who prefer police procedural won’t appreciate Jenny. On the other hand, I think there are a lot of readers out there who will probably be glad to read some ‘proper’ whodunits!?
5. Is the lead character as unique as Hillary?
Jenny Starling is every inch as unique as Hillary Greene but in a vastly different way. She’s a travelling cook, who gets called out to cater events, and then ends up with a very inconvenient corpse in the cooking sherry – or whatever- which makes her very cross indeed! All she wants to do is cook and eat chocolate cake (can’t think who inspired her character….ahem!) So she has to set about finding a killer whilst still cooking up a storm, and does so with a fair bit of humour. The books are much lighter in tone than the Hillary Greene series, and the emphasis on these books is much more orientated towards solving the puzzle. In a way these were much harder to plot and write, because so much is riding on finding a way to murder someone in a way that seems impossible! And then littering the storyline with clues that readers hopefully won’t pick up on. (And I’m pretty sure my brains aren’t on a par with the likes of Christie, Ngaio Marsh, and all the other golden age greats!) So I’m always worried and biting my nails wondering how many people will have figured out ‘whodunit’ instead of still being in the dark when the great dénouement scene comes around.
6. How many books are we to be treated to in this series?
I’ve written seven Jenny Starling mysteries, and three Monica Noble novels. Monica Noble is a vicar’s wife (she used to be a business woman) who falls in love with a gorgeous vicar and moves to a small country village. In the first of the books, she holds a garden party to welcome the new residents of the old vicarage, which has been converted into flats – and someone is murdered. These are also traditional whodunits of the country house-type genre. I’m sure American readers would think of them as quintessentially ‘cosy’ English country village murder mysteries.
7. Are they set in the same area?
All the Jenny Starling and Monica Noble books are set in modern times, but I deliberately wrote them with more of old-world sort of feeling. A sort of golden-age whodunit – but set in today’s world
8. Finally, is there anything you would like to say to your readers who have supported you over the Hillary Greene Series?
I would really like to thank all my DI Hillary Greene readers for their wonderful support. So many took the time to write reviews and blog about her, and I have no doubt this helped the series to reach more and more readers. I really am amazed and truly humbled by all the kind things that have been said about the books and Hillary, the whole world over. It’s just gives me a lovely feeling to think that she’s given reading pleasure to so many people.
Available from AMAZON
DETECTIVE HILLARY GREENE IS SOLVING THE COLD CASES NO ONE ELSE COULD CRACK.
PLEASE NOTE THIS IS A REVISED EDITION OF A BOOK FIRST PUBLISHED AS “A NARROW TRAJECTORY.”
Can Hillary finally close the case of the missing young women?
Can she take down one of Oxfordshire’s most wanted criminals?
Can she handle her new boss?
Can she help one of her team get answers on his long lost sister?
And will she really get married and leave her beloved boat?
FIND OUT THE ANSWERS IN THE FINAL HILLARY GREENE BOOK
Hillary Greene has returned to Thames Valley Police HQ, acting as a cold-case consultant for the Crime Review Team, looking into murders which the police have never been able to solve.
This is a crime mystery full of well-observed characters, which will have you gripped from start to the absolutely thrilling conclusion.
DI Hillary Greene
An attractive, single woman nearing the landmark age of fifty, Hillary Greene was a police officer of many years’ experience (earning the rank of DI) and came up through the ranks. Consequently, she knew how the system worked, and was always fiercely loyal to the force without being blinkered to its faults. Forced to retire early through no fault of her own, she has now returned to the force as a civilian consultant on cold cases.
DI HILLARY GREENE SERIES
BOOK 1: MURDER ON THE OXFORD CANAL
BOOK 2: MURDER AT THE UNIVERSITY
BOOK 3: MURDER OF THE BRIDE
BOOK 4: MURDER IN THE VILLAGE
BOOK 5: MURDER IN THE FAMILY
BOOK 6: MURDER AT HOME
BOOK 7: MURDER IN THE MEADOW
BOOK 8: MURDER IN THE MANSION
BOOK 9: MURDER IN THE GARDEN
BOOK 10: MURDER BY FIRE
BOOK 11: MURDER AT WORK
BOOK 12: MURDER NEVER RETIRES
BOOK 13: MURDER OF A LOVER
BOOK 14: MURDER NEVER MISSES
BOOK 15: MURDER AT MIDNIGHT
BOOK 16: MURDER IN MIND
BOOK 17: HILLARY’S FINAL CASE
Faith Martin was born in Oxford, and has spent all her life within twenty miles of the university city, even working at Somerville College for five years before turning to writing full-time. The author of the popular DI Hillary Greene novels, she also writes more classic-style ‘whodunits’ under the pen name Joyce Cato, but began her writing career as Maxine Barry, winning an award for penning romance novels! A popular writer for over 25 years, she has had nearly 50 novels published so far. Her hobbies include walking her now ageing dog, wildlife-watching, reading and (reluctantly) gardening.