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Special Guest – Lesley Cookman – Author of Murder by the Barrel (A Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery Series) – #GuestPost / #Giveaway

I am so happy to have Lesley Cookman drop by for a visit
to start her Great Escapes Book Tour! 


Hi Lori, and thank you for having me. I’m a British author writing in what is now known as the “cosy” genre, but what, when I started, was simply known as Murder Mystery – or even simpler – crime. That is, here in the UK it was. I love the Golden Age crime writers, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L Sayers, Margery Allingham, your own John Dickson Carr/Carter Dickson and Rex Stout, although several of them carried on well after the so called Golden Age. Sadly, I’ve never particularly admired Dame Agatha, which is no doubt a terrible failing!

The thing I realised I liked about series novels was the fact that I got to know the characters. So when it came to writing the second in the series, I knew I had to include several of those characters who had appeared in the first. Gradually, I assembled a whole cast, a lot of whom appear in all the books. Over the course of 18 books and some short stories, readers have developed favourites and regularly tell me what I’ve done wrong with them, or even say “So-and-so would never do that!” At least one of the men in the books has a queue of women waiting to marry him. And they really do not want him to get married!

I have created a whole area for the books, just south of Canterbury, Kent, UK. I have villages, towns and a lot of pubs. I have a map of my main village, where my eponymous heroine, Libby Sarjeant, lives, in the front of every book and on my website, and on my office wall a map of the area with all the villages, and a map of the little town on the coast. If I didn’t I might forget where things were supposed to be. I have loved creating this world, to the extent that when, a few years ago, I started a second series set in the Edwardian era, I already had a setting for it – same place!

Of course, this gives you a few problems. Readers invest in your characters – you can’t kill anyone off. I did allow one older person to die, and received rather a lot of complaints and earnest requests not to kill off any of the cats. In an upcoming short, entitled Murder Most Fowl, I’ve been silly enough to introduce a dog, who, if I allow him to stay, will no doubt become the readers’ best friend.

This, of course, doesn’t apply to the victims of the murders, or the murderers. So they can never be regular characters, and they have to be unlikeable. I learnt this very early on when, in the first book, my publisher told me that the murderer was too nice, and I had to go back and ADD a character.

I know in the US cosy series there is often a theme, or a hobby which introduces the heroine to each murder. The only thing my heroine does is help run the local Oast Theatre, as an ex-professional actor herself. Her best friend Fran is also an ex-actor, so there is an occasional theatrical theme to the books, but not all of them.

All in all, I’m very glad I invented Libby Sarjeant and her world. I enjoy retreating there, and I can’t think of a better way of earning a living.


Thank you Lesley for stopping by today!

About the Author

Lesley started writing almost as soon as she could read, and filled many exercise books with pony stories until she was old enough to go out with boys. Since she’s been grown up, following a varied career as a model, air stewardess and disc jockey, she’s written short fiction and features for a variety of magazines, achieved an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Wales, taught writing for both Kent Adult Education and the WEA and edited the first Sexy Shorts collection of short stories from Accent Press in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign.  The Libby Sarjeant series is published by Accent Press, who also publish her book, How to Write a Pantomime, with a foreword by Roy Hudd.   Lesley is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, the Society of Authors and the Crime Writers’ Association.


Murder by the Barrel (A Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery Series)
by Lesley Cookman

Murder by the Barrel (A Libby Sarjeant Murder Mystery Series)
Cozy Mystery
18th in Series
Accent Press Ltd (October 5, 2017)
Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1786152947

A new title in the popular cosy crime series by bestselling author Lesley Cookman

When the sleepy village of Steeple Martin announces its first beer festival, the locals are excited. Beer, sun and music, what could possibly go wrong?

But when an unexpected death shakes the village, it’s up to Libby Sarjeant to solve the puzzle.

Was it just another rock star death or is there something more sinister afoot?


Purchase Links –

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Is the Libby Sarjeant Series new to you? Just click here to get the details about all the book or to order from Amazon. 

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