We are joined on Bookaholic today by Crime Author Juliet B. Madison. Juliet has agreed to tell us a little about herself and her new release, Best Served Cold, the fifth title in the DI Frank Lyle Mystery Series.
Welcome Juliet, it's great to have you here. Where did you get the idea for the DI Frank Lyle Mystery Series?
I’ve been reading almost nothing but crime fiction since my late teens and I was sure I could write a crime novel too. About seven or eight years ago I came up with the idea for a paranormal crime story where the senior detective on a cold case turned out to be a reincarnation of the original murder victim, but I decided that working out the mystery would be time-consuming enough. I kept the reincarnation aspect to a degree because I had a Hindu detective. That book became Second Chances, the first in the DI Lyle series.
There may be some bookaholic readers who have not read your books. For their benefit can you tell us a bit about DI Frank Lyle.
DI Frank Lyle is six feet three inches tall with blonde hair and blue eyes, modelled on roles played by my favourite actor Robert Bathurst. At the beginning of the series he is a recently divorced youthful thirty-nine with a young son, James, whom his ex wife makes it very difficult for him to see or spend time with. She left Frank for another man as she got sick of coming second to the job so there are some pretty acrimonious scenes. By the time of Best served Cold Frank is five months short of his fiftieth birthday. He is dedicated to justice and giving a voice to people who have none. He is also a devoted family man and happily married to his second wife, ex Detective Constable Jayseera Lyle. He is extremely supportive of his son, James, who came out in the previous book, Murder in the Wings, and he adores his little daughter, Jasmine. Unlike a lot of fictional coppers Frank doesn’t have any real vices; he is not addicted to alcohol, gambling or drugs and keeps a clear head.
How much research do you have to do for your books?
I have learnt a tremendous amount from reading crime fiction as well as watching TV crime drama and criminal investigation documentaries. I completed a Distance learning online course in Forensic science earlier this year and learnt a huge amount from that. The subjects of bereavement and Type 1 Diabetes also crop up at various points during the series, but these I can write about from personal experience. If I have a technical question I usually ask my author friend, Paul Trembling, who is a real life CSI. I also attended an inquest once so I draw on that for Coroner’s court scenes in the novels. I’m aware they don’t have Coroners in Scotland, but things are different south of the border.
The DI Frank Lyle Mystery Series is set in the 1980s and early 1990s. Why did you choose this particular time period?
I chose this time period because forensic sciences were very much in their infancy compared to what they are today, which allowed more scope for mistakes. I also wanted to remind people of a time when people actually talked to each other face to face rather than resorting to emails, ipads and cell phones. It’s the era in which I grew up. I was seventeen in 1992 when both Murder in the Wings and Best served Cold are set.
I believe Best Served Cold takes the reader into the darker recesses of the human mind. Do you mind telling us a bit more about that?
This novel does go into darker places where I found it hard to go. A man who feels let down by both the local authority and the legal system, is set on a path from which he cannot turn back. The book also delves into paedophilia, homophobia, anti-Semitism and racial hatred; none of which are pleasant subjects. It looks at the question or whether or not murder can ever be morally justified and reopens the Nature Vs Nurture debate, which is whether wickedness is inherent from birth or developed due to life’s circumstances and misfortunes.
Who would you say has helped you the most in writing the series?
My editor, Katrina Bowlin-MacKenzie, who gives her time for nothing. My cover designer John Holt. My real-life CSI Paul Trembling, who gives me technical advice. Also everyone who tweets and shares my stuff on Facebook, everyone who has had me on their blogs to promote Best Served Cold. Malika Gandhi gives me advice on Hindu-related issues (especially in the first book), Caroline Lee, who did the wonderful DI Lyle sketch and edited the last part of Murder in the Wings as Katrina was on holiday.
Are you writing any more books at the moment?
I’m working on the sixth DI Lyle novel, Dead on Arrival, but I haven’t got very far with it yet. I am also working on a DI Lyle novella A Murder-Free Christmas, which should be available to pre-order from Mid-November.
It has been great to have you here Juliet. I am sure your readers will enjoy your latest, and future books.
Thanks Wendy, it has been good to join you on Bookaholic today.
Where can we find you and your books Juliet?
Facebook There are a number of DI Lyle related pages on Facebook but here is a small selection: