Today I am going to reshare my review with you but before that Fiona has done something for me and well I am so appreciative. She managed to get a quick interview with Bella for me! I mean spoilt or what!!
I will hand over the reins to Fiona now…..
INTERVIEW WITH BELLA TYSON
By Fiona Leitch
There’s been confusion in some circles, with readers and reviewers asking whether or not Bella Tyson, crime writer extraordinaire, is actually a real person or just me. I can see where this confusion may have arisen; like me, Bella is a South London girl, who spent her youth hanging around the shopping mall in Croydon, but unlike me she has a string of awards and bestselling novels to her name (I don’t – yet!). We did both drop out of an English and Theatre Arts degree at Goldsmiths College halfway through the second year and that, of course, is where we met.
I met Bella during our first drama lesson at university. The teacher had set us a ‘getting to know each other’ exercise, where we had to wander around the room and when she called ‘stop’, we had to stop and introduce ourselves to the person nearest us. And the first person I spoke to was…a radical lesbian activist called Rachael, who instead of saying, “hi, I’m Rachael, I’m 19 years old and I’m from Milton Keynes” or whatever said, “I live with my girlfriend and she gives me a lot of sexual pleasure.” To which I just went – “oh – that’s nice…” before we were told to move on. Several introductions later I stopped next to a bemused and (like me) slightly overweight young woman, with dyed purple hair, Doc Martin boots and ripped jeans (grunge was in at the time), who leaned in towards me and said, “Oh my god, that girl over there just told me she has fantastic lesbian sex with her girlfriend, and all I’ve been doing since is telling people what she said instead of telling them my name”, and we both got the giggles because that was exactly what I’d been doing too, and that was Bella and that was that.
We lost touch for a few years after we both dropped out of the course; Bella went travelling, had adventures and started her amazing writing career, while I went and did the sensible thing; got a job, got a mortgage, got married, got divorced, went to a lot of raves, got married again, had a baby and moved to New Zealand. All of which I suppose were adventures in themselves. We found each other again on Facebook – both of us are slightly more obsessed with social media than is healthy for women of our age – and we’ve been friends ever since, to the point where, when Bella decided she wanted to write about her own adventures (in ‘Dead in Venice’ and ‘Murder Ahoy!’), she hired me as a ghostwriter, because she thought it would be a bit weird to write about herself.
I decided to interview Bella (via Zoom of course, as we live in different hemispheres) and hopefully set the record straight about her being a real person…
FL: Hi Bella, thanks for agreeing to be interviewed.
BT: No problem, it’s nice to talk to you. I can’t believe people think we’re one and the same person, we’re so different to each other!
FL: Yeah…well, we’re not that different are we? We’re the same age, and from the same part of the world.
BT: There’s loads of 50 year old women from South London, Fi. To misquote the old 70s disco hit, I’m not every woman.
FL: True. Okay, let’s get down to the interview. What’s your favourite book?
BT: Apart from the ones we wrote together? Always gotta get a plug in where you can… My favourite book or books are the Shadow of the Wind series by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. They’re so dramatic, and romantic, and gothic. They push all my book-reading buttons.
FL: No way! They’re my favourite too! What are the chances. Okay, what’s your favourite city in the world?
BT: It has to be Venice, not just because I met Will there but because it’s an amazing place. It’s beautiful, even the parts that are crumbling into the sea –
FL: Particularly the parts that are crumbling into the sea, I think. Faded glamour.
BT: Yes! The food is amazing and it just has this atmosphere. Plus anywhere without cars, where you have to walk everywhere or get a boat, is so civilised. I love London but I hate all the traffic.
FL: I adore Venice, I would love to live there –
BT: In an old palazzo overlooking the Grand Canal.
FL: Oh yes, that would be amazing. Okay, onto your writing. Do you have a routine you follow? Are there set hours you write or is it more as the fancy takes you?
BT: I do try to treat it as a proper job, so I sit down at about 9.30 and write until midday. I say write, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m working on a book – some days I’ll write 2000 words before lunch time, but it’s on Facebook so sadly it doesn’t count. I also say I sit and write until midday, well that doesn’t mean I’ve got my bum in the seat all that time. Some days I’ll be going up and down the stairs between my office and the kitchen, getting mugs of tea, stocking up on healthy snacks like carrot sticks, hummus, apples, Jaffa cakes, slabs of Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut, bacon sandwiches… The whole point of me moving my office upstairs to the attic was so I was as far away from food as possible, but at least I’m getting my step count up.
FL: I’m exactly the same, only my writing space is right next to the kitchen. I need to programme my FitBit to give me an electric shock every time I open the fridge door.
(FL’s husband DL walks past)
DL: You talking to yourself again, babe?
Wasn’t that so much fun!!!! Ok, so what is this book about, and it’s one of my favourites this year!Murder Ahoy! by Fiona Leitch
Series: Bella Tyson #2
Published by Self Published on June 15, 2020
Also by this author: Dead in Venice, Murder Ahoy! , Murder on the Menu
Famous crime writer Bella Tyson is hired to co-host a Murder Mystery cruise, on a luxury liner sailing from Southampton to New York.
She’s expecting an easy ride; fun and games, surrounded by amateur sleuths and fans of her books, all the while staying in a deluxe cabin and enjoying the spa and the amazing restaurants on board, culminating in a visit to one of her favourite cities in the world - the Big Apple.
She’s NOT expecting to be stuck on a boat in the middle of the Atlantic with her two least favourite people in the world, her hot but unfaithful bastard ex-husband Joel Quigley and fellow crime writer, bitch goddess and Twitter frenemy, Louise Meyers.
And when real live dead bodies start turning up - as well as fake not-really-dead bodies - Bella’s dreams of being pampered on the high seas turn sour.
Accused of a murder she would have liked to commit but didn’t, and helped (or hindered) by a gang of unlikely detectives, can Bella find out who the real murderer is before the ship reaches its destination and New York’s finest drag her off?
And as an extra bonus, I thought I would re-share my review again!!
How the frick do I start this review!! I mean I BLOODY LOVE IT!!! When Fiona told me Book 2 was finally done, I had to squeal a lot and loud, I have been dying to read this since I finished Dead In Venice where I met and fell in love with the no-nonsense Bella, crime writer extraordinaire and Will, oh luscious Will, who I still envisage as Will Dean…I mean ahem where was I.
Bella is back that is where!! I was worried when I read the blurb, no mention of Will, does that mean he won’t be here….. Never fear Fiona did not let me down at all, he was there and he was there a LOT.
Bella is asked on to a murder mystery cruise which sounds awesome, she is a team leader of a group to help amateur sleuths solve the murder. I love murder mystery I did one before and it was so much fun, so to do one on a cruise over a couple of days yes, please! What could be more relaxing, on a cruise ship, expenses paid doing what you love, well something could ruin that dun dun dun dunnnnnnnn… Stage right enters a LOT of fuss, none other Louise Myers and Joel Quigley. The ex-husband and the youngster, now this was a party, well for the readers, Bella and Will maybe not so much.
Sitting down at dinner the first night and about 30 pages in for the reader, in walks a character with a familiar name, hang on a second this character has even got a familiar spelling, oh wait that is me!! I AM IN THE BOOK! Now I was warned by Fiona I might not like my namesake but I loved her, she has somehow got me to the magnificent Tee, well bar one bit but I can’t divulge any of that information! I didn’t expect my character to be in much but all I will say is I am a helping hand – thank you, Fiona. <3
As the nights play out, we get to meet the sleuths a little bit more when disaster strikes, while the guests are trying to figure out how the second victim was killed in the game, someone has actually been murdered!!! Wait, what! Well come on we knew that was going to happen! The only downside, it looks like Bella may have committed a murder, but she wouldn’t..would she?
Oh, this is a complete belter of a book! I mean I gushed so much and I still do about Dead in Venice that I think that Murder Ahoy might actually top that! When in DiV we meet Bella, in MA she came into her own limelight, and like my character, I might be her biggest fan! I love how she just says it how it is, she’s on a swearing ban (I would struggle with that) and well she is just so down to earth what is not to love!
I love Fiona’s writing because I flew this book in nearly 1 sitting, it got to midnight and I had to sleep otherwise I would have done. The chapters are short and they make you do that thing where you have to keep reading, you know the magic I am talking about, the one where they don’t want you to go to sleep and read on! I was there on the ship, running the corridors, eating in the Pearl, sitting on the balcony, bar the murders it sounds magical.
I guessed who the killer was, but it was awesome seeing the reasoning behind it and how it was done. All the while, we have Joel trying to throw a spanner in the works with apologies and sentiments. Zoé trying to befriend Bella at every opportunity, god I mean how annoying LOL and a team of sleuths who are split down the middle to whether they believe Bella is innocent or guilty.
I love the setting of being on a cruise ship because it amplifies the isolation, there is nowhere to hide when there is a killer on the boat. You watch and suspect everyone but there doesn’t seem to be a motive. What the frick is going on! This I will leave you to discover.
It is a no brainer, this is a book you need to read, you need to meet Bella and of course Will. You need to climb aboard the ship and you need to sit back and watch the (semi) professionals do their thing.
Final word, well I loved it and now I want more Bella….please!? She is by far my favourite fictional crime writing character and I reckon if she was real, we would be friends, well I would make sure of it…stalker much
Thank you so much to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for the tour invite and the author for the Guest Post