Welcome to another exciting Always Trust In Books guest post. Today’s post is part of a brilliant blog tour hosted by Titan Books: www.titanbooks.com/
Today’s guest post was written by Peter Morfoot himself and it is focused on his experiences in writing the Captain Darac Mystery series. I have not had the chance to read Fatal Music yet but I have heard great things about the book.
I will share with you the synopsis of Fatal Music, then a few details about Peter Morfoot himself and finally I will share with you the guest post he has written for this occasion.
Book Synopsis: Captain Paul Darac of the Brigade Criminelle is called to a potential crime scene – an elderly woman found dead in her hot tub. At first it’s assumed that she died of natural causes, but a surprising link with Darac’s own life leads him to dig deeper. In doing so he uncovers disturbing proof that there may have been a motive to murder the woman, and there is no shortage of suspects.
The investigation leads him from the world of fine art to the desperate poverty of the city’s high-rises. But it is among the winding streets of his own neighbourhood in Nice’s old town, the Babazouk, that Darac faces his severest test yet.
Author Bio: Peter Morfoot has written a number of plays and sketch shows for BBC radio and TV and is the author of the acclaimed satirical novel, Burksey. He has lectured in film, holds a PhD in Art History, and has spent thirty years exploring the life, art and restaurant tables of the French Riviera, the setting for his series of crime novels featuring Captain Paul Darac of Nice’s Brigade Criminelle. He lives in Cambridge.
Pick up a copy of Impure Blood (Captain Darac Book 1) here: Titan Books
Pick up a copy of Fatal Music (Captain Darac Book 2) here: Titan Books
Writing the Captain Darac Mysteries: #Guestpost
The foundations are laid. I have my location – the flawed paradise that is the Côte d’Azur. I have my jazz-playing central character – the quick-thinking, warm-hearted but combustible ‘Poète Policier’ Captain Paul Darac. I’ve also lined up a cast of supporting players, starting with Darac’s colleagues at his home station, the Caserne Auvare. I’ve portrayed each as an individual but also stress that together, with a few notable exceptions, they form a bonded group in which camaraderie, rather than dysfunctionality, is the norm.
Roll call: First, Darac’s revered boss and mentor, Commissaire Agnès Dantier. Next, his lieutenants: the meticulous, mountainous curmudgeon Roland Granot; the twinkle-eyed, foxy Alejo “Bonbon” Busquet. Introduced in Fatal Music, Lieutenant Intern Christian Malraux, an ex-riot policeman from Paris. The junior officers: Yvonne Flaco, an impressive, no-nonsense young woman from Guadeloupe, and the lanky smart-mouthed Max Perand. Also featured are Darac’s soul mate and ex-partner in Homicide, Vice Squad Captain Frankie Lejeune, and the sharp-dressing Drug Squad chief “Armani” Tardelli. Then we have members of the technical teams with whom Darac works: chain-smoking chief pathologist Professor Deanna Bianchi, actor-ish crime scene analyst Raul “R.O.” Ormans, and coltish I.T. specialist Erica Lamarthe.
And I have the characters who frequent Darac’s other “home station,” the Blue Devil Jazz Club. Prominent here are its owner, the venerable black New Yorker, “Ridge” Clay, and members of Darac’s group, the Didier Musso Quintet. Of course, dramatis personae without a drama to animate them are nothing but a list of names and I’m aware that the finished novels could read that way too, unless I imbue them with life, energy and depth. Even so, I realise it might challenge the reader of a new series to be presented with a layered and detailed, multi-character story world. My belief, though, is that such an approach offers the most rewarding, immersive reading experience in the long run.
Before a word goes on the page, I turn to my story notes, all of which were made in situ. A possible plot strand for the first Darac novel, Impure Blood, occurs to me when I join the crowds gathered on Nice’s Promenade des Anglais to watch the Tour de France hurtle past. Later, in the heart of the city, I witness a spectacle of an entirely different pace and character: worshippers praying on the street outside a Muslim prayer room. And then I see something else. Now what would happen, I wonder, if..?
The plotlines for my second Darac story, Fatal Music, are prompted by visits to locations at the opposite ends of the Côte d’Azur’s social spectrum: the belle époque Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a museum on the glitzily gorgeous peninsula of nearby Cap Ferrat; and the edgy, subsided housing blocks of L’Ariane in the north of the city. And then I see something else. Now, what would happen, I wonder, if..?
In April 2018, Titan Books will publish the third Darac Mystery, Box of Bones. The seed of this story is planted as I mingle with revellers at Nice’s annual carnival, the largest in France. I discover some fascinating info. And then I see something else. Now what… You get the idea.
I’m writing the fourth Darac story at the moment but back to Day One, Book One. I set up the title page of Impure Blood. Before typing the words that both excite and terrify me – Chapter One – I reflect that for the foreseeable future, I’ll be living and breathing these stories. I run an eye over said title page. It reads: “Impute Blood by Pet Mofo.” Close enough for jazz? No. Definitely not!
Thank you Peter Morfoot for those insights into his experiences, challenges and enjoyment of writing his brilliant mystery series. There are plenty more blogs sharing reviews, interviews, extracts and guest posts about Peter’s work. See below for more details and check them out!