At last! The schedule for my upcoming book tour has been finalized. If I'm visiting a bookstore near you, I do hope you can come along to one of my events—it would be lovely to see you there.

March is going to be a very big month for me, especially with books published on both sides of the Atlantic.

March 6th: A LESSON IN SECRETS paperback published in the USA & Canada
March 26th: THE MAPPING OF LOVE & DEATH paperback published in UK
March 26th: A LESSON IN SECRETS hardback published in UK

A Lesson in Secrets  The Mapping of Love & Death

And at last, on March 27th, ELEGY FOR EDDIE, the new book featuring Maisie Dobbs, Psychologist & Investigator, will be published in the USA and Canada.

Elegy for Eddie

And here's a photo of me with my beloved Friesian gelding, Oliver, who inspired the image of the horse on the cover of ELEGY FOR EDDIE (though Ollie has never seen the business end of a cart!).

Ollie and Jackie

In the last newsletter, I shared a little of the true story that inspired ELEGY FOR EDDIE. My father told me the story some years ago, of a young boy born to an unwed mother in the stables of the local brewery where she was the night-time cleaner—this would have taken place in the early part of the last century. She could not afford to lose her job, so she continued working at night, taking her young son with her to sleep in a horse's stall while she toiled. He was a little "slow" but as the years passed, it was apparent he had an uncanny way with horses—there seemed to be a mutual understanding between the boy and a horse. Later, he earned his money doing odd jobs, but whenever someone had trouble with a horse, the boy—let's call him Eddie—was summoned (and all the local factories in those days had horses for deliveries. Anyone doing business anywhere had a horse; a work horse, that is).

Everyone knew that Eddie could gentle the most fiery horse, could settle a horse in pain, and could doctor a lame or sick horse. It was as if he became another person when he was with a horse, someone confident and knowing.

My father described the way Eddie died, in an "accident" at a paper factory where he ran errands for the workers. He was a grown man then, middle aged, though in his mind he was still a boy. I remember hearing my father telling me, "There was something wrong about the way he died. No one could put a finger on it, but everyone who knew Eddie thought it was deliberate."

Ah, the spring of inspiration for a mystery writer: An untimely death the locals believed to be far from accidental. On reflection, I think the reason I wanted to create a story from my father's recounting of Eddie's life, was that my father and grandfather saw the best in the man; they respected him because he loved horses and had a way with them. That was a fine skill to have in the days when everyone depended upon true horse-power. It was also a time when another war was on the horizon.

ELEGY FOR EDDIE will be on sale in stores starting March 27th, or you can preorder using the following links:

Barnes & Noble