Rebecca Tope is the author of four popular murder mystery
series, featuring Den Cooper, Devon police detective,
Drew Slocombe, Undertaker, Thea Osborne, house sitter in the Cotswolds, and more recently Persimmon (Simmy) Brown, a florist in Windermere.
Rebecca grew up on farms, first in Cheshire then in Devon, and now lives in rural Herefordshire on a smallholding situated close to the beautiful Black Mountains.
Rosemary and Thyme, Rebecca is also the proprietor of a small press -
Praxis Books. This was established in 1992
Lizzie: Rebecca your new book Revenge in the Cotswolds, featuring house-sitter Thea Osborne is due out in March. Can you tell us about this book?
Slocombe. What prompted you to link the two series?
Lizzie: Did you always want to write or was the idea sparked by the people you encountered in some of your rather diverse occupations, ie, marriage counsellor and working for a funeral director?
Rebecca: I plan almost nothing. The village itself proves the impetus, with Thea turning up on page one, at an unknown house in a strange village. We follow her experiences and observations from there on.
Lizzie: You have acted as ghost writer for the novels based on the TV series Rosemary and Thyme. How did that come about?
Rebecca: I really can’t remember the details. David Shelley at Allison & Busby was approached by Brian Eastman, I think, and he suggested me. It was a very enjoyable exercise, but a long time ago now.
Lizzie: When embarking on a new book, what area of the book challenges you the most, and which part of the writing process do you most enjoy?
Rebecca: The plots get increasingly difficult to control, with the clues very disobedient at times. I don’t much like revision. Favourite part is inventing and developing the characters. I like doing dialogue, as well.
Rebecca: The morning routine is fairly inflexible. Animals impose a strict timetable, and make their feelings very plain if I’m ever late. So I feed them first, then settle down to writing. The spinning, knitting, weaving, etc fill my evenings. I travel quite extensively, too. Fortunately I have a very good deputy who I suspect is more popular with the animals than I am.
Rebecca: The Troutbeck Testimony is the next Simmy Brown book, due in June this year. Next year, I hope, will see Guilt in the Cotswolds and The Hawkshurst Hostage. I’m also self-publishing non-crime ebooks, with mixed success. It has demonstrated to me how tricky the promotional side can be. I’m currently deeply into ‘The Spoils of Sin’, which is about prostitution during the Gold Rush, set in Oregon. Lots of explicit sex. I’m hoping that’ll sell well. Should appear this summer.
Death in the Cotswolds (2008)
Blood in the Cotswolds (2009). Slaughter in the Cotswolds (2010)
Grave in the Cotswolds (2011)
Deception in the Cotswolds (2012)
Malice in the Cotswolds (2012)
Trouble in the Cotswolds (2014)
Death of a Friend (Reprint edition 2012)
The Sting of Death (Reprint edition 2011) A Market for Murder (Reprint edition 7 Feb 2011)
The Ambleside Alibi (2013)
The Coniston Case (2014)
The Indifference of Tumbleweed (2014)
The View From the Cart (2014)
Thea is ready for a relaxing if rather boring two weeks, with phone calls to new boyfriend Drew Slocombe the highlight of her days. Until, that is, a dead body is discovered in a nearby
Allison & Busby,
19 March, 2015.