Dead in Autumn, Buried in Winter Hallowe’en excerpt

Happy Hallowe’en everyone!

On this day last year I started writing my first novel. The first draft took six weeks, the rest of the year was spent editing, rewriting and proofing.

Now it’s finished and just about ready for release, but seen as the story opens on Hallowe’en, I thought I’d give everyone a sneak peak as their Hallowe’en treat (so you’ve no reason to egg my house you punks). Hope you enjoy.

Oh, and it’s called Dead in Autumn, Buried in Winter.

bookcover_dia_cropDead in Autumn – Hallowe’en teaser

Madonna, Sinatra, Chewbacca and Frankenstein’s Monster walked two by two. They passed hedgerows and glowing pumpkins, from one frosted and neatly trimmed garden to the next. The creatures ran across the grass while the popstars took the long route up the empty driveway. Number twenty-six: a three-storey granite mini-mansion like all the others on the street.

Chewbacca and Frankenstein’s Monster waited at the foot of the porch. Each had a plastic bag weighed down with sweets, toffees, chews, monkey nuts, fifty pence pieces and a couple of sad tangerines. The little Monster’s haul dragged along the ground behind him.

‘Hurry up!’ Chewbacca played at keepy-up with her bag of treats.

‘Don’t be impatient,’ said Sinatra.

‘Behave or you won’t get any sweets tonight,’ said Madonna.

Sinatra pressed the buzzer and Madonna tried to usher the children up front. Frankenstein’s Monster clung to her leg, his green head pressing into her thigh with one wide eye peering out. A bottle-cap neck bolt dug into her.

‘Will they have eyeballs?’ Chewbacca asked. ‘I haven’t got any eyeballs yet.’

‘I don’t know honey,’ Sinatra said. ‘You’ll get whatever you’re given.’

Sinatra rang the buzzer again. There were no lights on inside. Usually a darkened hallway meant they would not open their door to trick-or-treaters but there was a jack-o-lantern on the porch – the Cheshire Cat’s smile leered up at them – and a witch’s broomstick propped up against the wall. Chewbacca pulled her mask up and squished her nose against the door’s frosted glass window, hands cupped around her eyes.

‘There’s nobody in,’ she declared.

Sinatra rang the buzzer a third time.

‘Daddy, there’s nobody in.’

‘Okay hon, I –’

Chewbacca was already skipping back across the lawn. Madonna and the Monster did a three-legged race after her.

‘Come on, daddy, hurry up!’ Chewbacca did a fumbling pirouette, the bag of sweets swung round and knocked against her hairy knee. ‘Ow, oow!’ she hopped up and down on one leg then switched to the other.

‘Come here!’ Madonna grabbed the small Wookie above the elbow. ‘You don’t run off. You wait for us. Now just behave.’

‘Sorreee. Sorry, mummy.’

‘Are you coming?’ Madonna shot at Sinatra, who was still on the porch.

‘The keys are still in the lock,’ he said. He jangled the hanging assortment of gift shop keyrings.

Sinatra hit the buzzer again, rapped the window and flapped the letter box a few times for good measure. The house stayed dark. He knocked harder then walked round to the side gate. Through the slats he couldn’t see any light spilling onto the back garden either.

Come on, daddy.’

Shhh, what did I say about being impatient?’ he hissed.

Madonna dragged Chewbacca back to the porch, limping with the Monster still attached.

‘Should we post the keys?’

He flashed her an Old Blue Eyes smile and pulled the brim of his hat down low at the front.

‘No,’ he said.

She smiled back.


Read more soon…

Old Blue Eyes, Madonna, Chewbacca and Frankenstein’s Monster go trick-or-treating in the upmarket part of town. They find a lavish three-storey house lying empty, the keys left in the lock. They should post them through the letterbox, they should hand them in to a neighbour, they should leave them under the doormat. But they don’t.

It is Hallowe’en after all. The time, if any, to do the wrong thing…

David and Carol Tempest involve their two young children in a spontaneous burglary with consequences farther reaching and more severe than either of them can imagine.

Teenage loner, Cameron, and his infant sister, Alesha, take to the road in their parents’ car, heading anywhere Cameron’s daydreams and nightmares lead them.

Police Constable Warwick fails to keep his breakfast down when he finds a pair of mutilated corpses. Taken under the wing of a zealous senior detective, he has stumbled upon a case where it isn’t only the suspects who have secrets.




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