OS: Welcome to Charlie, here to talk about their new book!
Charlie’s Awful Confession
I have an awful confession to make. I am a huge fan of Time Team. Other people binge on box sets of The Walking Dead or Luther. I binge on Mick and Phil and Carenza and the gang. I watch the same episodes again and again, which may seem sad, but for me it’s like listening to a favourite CD. You know exactly what’s coming yet you can still appreciate it when it arrives. So, when they find the gold coin in the moat or do a piece of geophysics which shows a previously unknown Roman settlement, it’s just as spine tingling the nth time as it is was the first. Just like when the choir suddenly breaks into “Zadok the priest” after the musical intro.
See? I’m a hopeless fangirl.
My family are fans of the programme too, and one of those serendipitous conversations in the car – with my eldest daughter – led to “Two Feet Under” being conceived. What about a story set around an archaeological site, with all the inherent tensions between the different factions? On Time Team there’s often a sense (probably put on for the camera) of people fighting their corner. “My interpretation is more valid than your interpretation.” Neolithis expert vs Anglo-Saxon fanatic. Geophysicist vs landscape archaeologist. Everybody vs the presenter, Tony Robinson, who can be a bit of a pain.
The programme became an unexpected hit over here. Suddenly every knew what a Roman roof tile looked like, understood about post holes, was able to interpret pits on a magnetic scan, and took to digging up their own gardens in search of treasure. Including that of Cochrane Central, where we found old glass, medicine bottles, a little toy dog and various odd metal items.
Have I put any of the Time Team people into “Two feet Under”? Not really. One of the characters is heavily inspired by Guy de la Bédoyère, who is the Roman expert and very good at curbing some of the flights of interpretational fantasy on display. (“Of course it’s not a temple. It’s just a villa!”) I’ve done homage to him as an expert in the novel. Nobody on Time Team, I’m pleased to say, is anywhere near as annoying as the chief of the detectorists’ society in the book. I’m not sure I’d have watched the programme if it was populated with people like him…
Two Feet Under began life as a conversation in a car, when my eldest daughter and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an author/reader event. It gained a criminal mastermind as a result of another conversation in the car with her younger sister. It got its background thanks to the popular television series “Time Team” and a setting care of the northern part of Hampshire. The plot came from the author’s twisted imagination, via a lot of checking. And at least one character is based on people I know. You have been warned.
Things are looking up for Adam Matthews and Robin Bright—their relationship is blossoming, and they’ve both been promoted. But Robin’s a policeman, and that means murder is never far from the scene.
When a body turns up in a shallow grave at a Roman villa dig site—a body that repeatedly defies identification—Robin finds himself caught up in a world of petty rivalries and deadly threats. The case seems to want to drag Adam in, as well, and their home life takes a turn for the worse when an ex-colleague gets thrown out of his house and ends up outstaying his welcome at theirs.
While Robin has to prove his case against a manipulative and fiendishly clever killer, Adam is trying to find out which police officer is leaking information to the media. And both of them have to work out how to get their home to themselves again, which might need a higher intelligence than either a chief inspector or a deputy headteacher.
Adam Matthews’s life changed when Inspector Robin Bright walked into his classroom to investigate a murder.
Now it seems like all the television series are right: the leafy villages of England do indeed conceal a hotbed of crime, murder, and intrigue. Lindenshaw is proving the point.
Detective work might be Robin’s job, but Adam somehow keeps getting involved—even though being a teacher is hardly the best training for solving crimes. Then again, Campbell, Adam’s irrepressible Newfoundland dog, seems to have a nose for figuring things out, so how hard can it be?
About Charlie Cochrane
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
Connect with Charlie:
- Blog: charliecochrane.livejournal.com/
- Twitter: @charliecochrane
- Facebook: facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18
- Goodreads: goodreads.com/goodreadscomcharlie_cochrane
To celebrate the release of Two Feet Under, one lucky winner will receive a swag bag, including magnet, napkins, bookmark, pencils, hanging decoration, postcards, and a coaster! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!