Three Sisters and Showstoppers are two novella-length stories in the Emily Castles mystery series. The first full-length novel, Invitation to Die, will be published by Thomas & Mercer in October 2013.
The Emily Castles mystery series is set in present-day London. It features twenty-six-year-old Londoner Emily Castles and her neighbor, eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel Crowther. In Three Sisters, Emily goes to a party in a big house at the end of her street. She’s sure she witnesses a murder, but no one will believe her. She teams up with Dr. Muriel to investigate.
In Showstoppers, Emily helps out at a local stage school run by her neighbor, Victoria. Soon she’s mixed up in a blackmail plot and two deaths. Emily and Dr. Muriel team up to prevent further a massacre live on stage during the end of term show.
Praise for the Emily Castles Mystery Series
Fast-paced, funny, and mysterious… Helen Smith is a master story-teller.
~Socrates Book Reviews
It grips you from the very beginning.
~Babs Books Bistro
Bright, colorful and full of surprises.
~Amazon Vine Reviewer
Fast-paced and unusual, I highly recommend this one.
Praise for Helen Smith
Smith is gin-and-tonic funny.
Thank you for giving us the honor to chat with you. May you please tell us something about yourself?
Thank you for inviting me here. I’m a novelist and playwright and I live in London, England.
What inspired you to write this series?
I enjoy reading mysteries and I like writing strong, interesting female characters. I wanted to write a fun mystery series set in London featuring a young female sleuth.
Is being a writer your dream profession?
Yes. I loved reading when I was a child. I always hoped to grow up and write books myself one day.
Tell us your most rewarding experience as a published writer.
In recent years I volunteered as a mentor with a group of exiled writers through a charity called Freedom From Torture in London, helping them tell their stories. That was a very rewarding experience.
Tell us in few sentences why we must read your books.
Three Sisters and Showstoppers are short, fun mysteries set in England. They feature twenty-six-year-old amateur sleuth Emily Castles and her side-kick, the eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel. They’re very enjoyable to read.
What book did you wish you had written yourself?
Oh! There are so many of them. Whenever I read a really good, absorbing book that makes me laugh or cry, I wish I had written it. Is there one perfect book that beats all the others? I don’t know. I find it really difficult to choose just one… How about The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. It was one of the first detective novels and it’s still fresh and fun. Would it be great to have your book read and enjoyed nearly one hundred and fifty years after it was first published!
If you could be a literary character who would you be and why?
I’d love to be Miss Marple, a shrewd sleuth who always solves the cases she investigates.
What are the books currently in your nightstand?
I’m reading Absolute Zero Cool by Declan Burke, which I’m really enjoying. I subscribe to Granta an anthology of writing and photographs that is published quarterly. I have a stack of those that I dip into. Before I got my Kindle, I would usually buy one book, read it, then buy another. Now I tend to buy books that look good whenever they’re on offer. My Kindle is on my nightstand and it has at least a hundred books on it that I’m planning to get to soon. I need a year on a desert island to get through them all.
Any current/future projects?
The first full-length novel in my Emily Castles series will be published later this year. It’s called Invitation to Die and it’s set at a romance authors’ convention in Bloomsbury, London. I’m just writing the next in the series, Beyond Belief. The books are great fun to write and I hope that Emily will appeal to readers as a character.
What can you advice to those aspiring writers?
My best advice is simple. Keep writing. You’ll get there!
Just for fun.
What do you on your free time?
I live in London and I really love this city. I like heading into town and wandering around, popping into public art galleries or museums (they’re all free) or just looking at the historical buildings as I pass. There are so many associations with books by famous writers like Dickens, it’s great to feel connected to this literary heritage just by walking along streets and alleyways that appear in famous books.
If someone will write you a biography, what would be its title?
Helen Smith: Flame-haired woman of mystery.
If you have won the lottery, what will be the first thing you will buy?
I’d want to give a lot of it away. But I think I’d buy a ticket to somewhere sunny and reflect on my good fortune… and write!
Where is your favorite place to travel?
I have friends who live in Hong Kong. I used to visit every year for Christmas but I haven’t been back for a while. I’d love to go back again soon—it’s such an interesting place.
Any pet peeves?
Not really, life’s too short to get upset about things that you can’t change.
Thank you for the questions. I enjoyed answering them.
Author Helen Smith
Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. She’s the author of bestselling cult novels Alison Wonderland, Being Light and The Miracle Inspector as well as the Emily Castles Mystery Series.
10 winners will each receive a Kindle Ebook copy of Showstoppers & Three Sisiters