EVIL IN EMERALD was written during the height of the Melbourne lockdowns which one would think would be an ideal time to be writing but I have to admit, I struggled. While it seemed like the world I knew was slipping away from my grasp, there were days when I stared at an empty screen. At one point I pretty much scrapped what I had written and started again.
But it all came together in the end and I am delighted to see EVIL IN EMERALD finally get the wings to fly.
The inspiration for this story comes from my own brush with amateur theatre in my early twenties when I joined the local Gilbert and Sullivan Society. It must have had a profound influence on me because G&S themes have run in other books. GATHER THE BONES, for example, has several oblique references to RUDDIGORE (which I think was the show I had the most fun in!) - indeed the title itself is a riff on a song from Ruddigore.
PIRATES OF PENZANCE marked the height of my theatrical ambition - I actually scored a role (not just third chorus girl from the left). I was cast as Isabel - one of Major General Stanley's daughters. I had a whole two lines to say and no singing but it still gave me proper billing and a place in the 'principal's dressing room'. Oh to be that young (and that thin!) again.
Just as in the last Harriet Gordon Mystery, Harriet and Curran cross with another part of my past (the military), in this book Harriet gets to reprise my experience of an amateur dramatic society. Not that we had any murders...
So Pour, oh, pour, the pirate sherry; Fill, oh, fill the pirate glass... and drink to EVIL IN EMERALD - Available now in print, digital and audio!