Friday, January 29, 2021

On An Outgoing Tide

 Happy Publication Day to Me.

An odd day  in an odd week.

We have had havoc  at work caused by a covid infected person  coming in for treatment . Let's just say that generates a lot of paperwork,  testing, phone calls, cancellations and general chaos.

Then  a fabulous new deal was put in front of me via my agent. With a note from my agent saying don't accept this. There were more than a few phone calls,  emails, something described as a 'fierce exchange '  and then I got a deal that was better than the already marvellous deal. So I am very chuffed, once I have worked out what it all means.

I also think I have two books coming out  this year, and one is coming out today. It's the 12th book in the Anderson and Costello series. 

Which makes the one I am writing the  13th. Which might be an omen.

 On An Outgoing Tide is about old people being murdered. ( Or it might not be about that!) I dedicated the book to Alan's parents which they thought was a very nice idea until they read it. Now we are slightly worried that the book might have given them ideas.

It's both a  written in lockdown book and  a written about lockdown book.   In what other circumstances  could complete strangers  knock on your door and say they are here to do your shopping for you. Where else could you have the conversation  'I can't really describe her, she had a mask on.' and 'There were no fingerprints because they all had gloves on.'

The initial reviews are good with one overall complaint,  something common  in every review.

So  my chief detective  Colin Anderson has a wee rescue staffie called Nesbit. I have no idea how old Nesbit was when Anderson rescued him in a storyline about illegal dog fights, but a few years have passed and Nesbit was really getting so old he should have been in the Guiness Book Of Records. In human years he was about 140. 

 So I did the  right thing, and got him put to sleep. On the page so to speak. He didn't just disappear in the intervening  time between books. Poor wee Nesbit.  Tears all over the keyboard.

Then the murder victim dies ( obviously), an old man who lived on the top of a hill. He was in his late eighties and had a wee mongrel wiry dog called Norma who is now all alone in the world. Then DCI Anderson comes on the scene and.... well you can guess what happens.

The reviewers did not like the fact that Anderson replaced the dog in his life so quickly.

They were ok with the old man being  nailed to his chair though!

Crime readers are lovely, but just sometimes, a bit odd....    


  1. Congratulations, Caro. Happy Publication Day indeed. And congrats, also on your new deal.

    1. Thank you Zoe. It will be nice when this virus goes away and we can all get together agaon.

  2. What a fantastic title! I'm pleased you decided to engage with the era of the pandemic, crimes for these times, rather than ignoring it. But I can't believe you've broken your own rule. How many times have you stamped your fist on the table at meetings and cried, 2You don't kill the dog!".

    I'm sure those pages will break me.

    1. Well a Scottish crime writer read an early draft and was in floods of tears, I can't name him because of his macho image!

  3. Confused chuffing is the worst.

    On the dog issue, I remember listening to Harlan Ellison giving a talk when I was in college, and he was relating how most people take a much greater emotional hit when a pet dies than when a human acquaintance or even family member dies. While obviously not always true, I've found that there's frequently a fair amount of truth in that observation.

    Congratulations, and best wishes!

    1. Although the dog being put to sleep was a difficult scene to write, it was also a very easy one to relate to. We have all been there and no matter how logical it is, it's a terrible thing to have to do.

  4. That's all wonderful news, Caro! And soooo well deserved! I also like that you addressed the pandemic. As for Nesbit, sorry to see the old fella move on, but he couldn't be in better hands.

  5. Yes indeed, the dog had had his day. And Norma, the new dog, is a firey wee beastie and a good vehicle for much needed comedy moments in the book.

  6. Congratulations on the new book and the new dog.

  7. Congratulations on the new book and the great advice of a good agent!