Eastbourne author Peter Boon promises classic whodunnit

Eastbourne author Peter Boon launches his Edward Crisp Mystery Series with the publication of Who Killed Miss Finch? (Meadowcroft Publishing, £2.99 ebook, £8.99 paperback, available direct from Amazon)

Tuesday, 29th September 2020, 7:00 am
Eastbourne author Peter Boon
Eastbourne author Peter Boon

Peter, aged 41, said: “It’s a classic whodunnit about the murder of a hated school head teacher. The main detective Edward is a socially awkward school librarian with crippling anxiety, who spends most of his time reading Golden Age whodunnits such as Agatha Christie. There’s also Noah, Edward’s student library assistant who has autism, who is even more obsessed with murder mysteries than Edward is, and struggles to separate them from reality. When Miss Finch is murdered, Noah thinks they’re in a detective novel and wants them to investigate!

“As for the idea, I’m an Agatha Christie superfan and I wanted to write mysteries in the vein of her classics where the emphasis is on the puzzle rather than violence or police procedures. Making Edward and Noah murder mystery fanatics (maybe a tiny bit of myself in there!) was a lovely way of writing a modern mystery that pays homage to the classics in a fun, meta way.

“Other things on my checklist were: a school/teaching based plot (I’m an English teacher), set near my beautiful hometown of Eastbourne and a main character who overcomes mental health issues, which I think is really important.

“I wanted a smaller, more close knit location than Eastbourne itself to reflect the classic British village mystery, so the tiny fictional seaside village of Chalk Gap was born! It’s located off the A259 tucked away in the cliffs between Birling Gap and Seven Sisters! My absolute dream would be to put Eastbourne on the map in even a fraction of a way Agatha did for Torquay.

“As well as appealing to murder mystery fans, it’s also starting to pick up a lot of local interest on social media. I think people like to read books that are set locally. Finally, a friend suggested that the school setting and the teenage co-main character of Noah would appeal to young adult readers so it’s really suitable for them too.

“I absolutely loved writing it! I’ve dabbled with lots of writing over the years (plays, scripts, poetry, articles) but writing novels is something I feel I was made for and I’m thrilled I finally got there. Even though I physically only wrote the book this year, I’d been researching and planning it for a couple of years so I feel like I was well prepared. I also have a literature degree and teach English as well as reading all the time, so books are a massive part of my life!

“I’m a first-time author but this will hopefully be the first of many in the Edward Crisp series. In the next novel I’m currently writing, The Mystery of Jackson King, a local teacher is found dead at the bottom of local cliffs and it is ruled suicide, but his wife approaches Edward to investigate as she thinks it’s murder.

“I actually wrote a murder mystery play, Killer on the Costa, when I was 14, which was performed by a local theatre group. I’d just got into Agatha Christie and I was so inspired by her amazing mysteries.”

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