My new cosy crime, Foul Play at the Seaview Hotel is set in the Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough, a place I adore. My cosy crime series was shortlisted with Richard Osman and Val McDermid for Best New Crime Series in the category of New Kid on the Block at the Dead Good Reader Awards 2022 at Harrogate crime festival.
The book stars a team of obsessive crazy golfers who arrive in town to play a crazy golf tournament. They’re dressed in matching tracksuits. The team captain is Olga, she’s ex-military and keeps her team in order. Olga tells anyone who’ll listen that she aims to win the tournament by fair means or foul … then the rival team captain is murdered.
When writing this book, I wanted to include a scene set on the Central Tramway funicular. It was built in 1881, making it one of the oldest cliff railways running in the UK.
Although the funicular cars appear to travel slowly up and down the hill, at the moment they pass, it’s a ‘blink and you miss it’ moment if you’re inside the cars. I wanted a scene where the amateur sleuth, hotel landlady Helen Dexter, was in the funicular car going and in the other was the murderer coming down. The idea was that Helen would spot the murderer and yell the immortal line “Stop that Funicular!”
But first I had to research to discover how much Helen could see of the murderer at the moment when the cars pass. Could she see the murderer’s face as the cars trundled past each other, or just the colour of their jacket, for instance? What if the murderer was sitting down in the car, what could she see of them then?
My husband Barry, always willing to help with research, especially when it involves being bribed with a few pints at his favourite pub in Scarborough (The North Riding), went to the bottom of the hill and entered the funicular. I entered the car at the top, notebook in hand. An employee of the Central Tramway was intrigued and offered to stop the funicular mid-flight for me to research. I still can’t believe this happened! What a privilege it was to have the cars stopped just so I could make notes for my book. I can’t thank Central Tramway enough.
Since that day, I’ve become good friends with the staff. So much so that they’re now selling my cosy crimes from their merchandise stall. And I’m planning to hold the paperback book launch in December with them too. All being well, it’ll be held on Saturday 9 December and if you’re in Scarborough, it’d be great to see you there.
Foul Play at Seaview Hotel by Glenda Young (Headline Publishing) Out Now
In the charming Yorkshire seaside town of Scarborough, a killer game is being played . . . Helen Dexter is enjoying the new four-star status of the Seaview Hotel. But she begins to wonder if this accolade is cursed when a series of disasters strike. It starts when a crazy golf team arrive to play in a Scarborough tournament. Their odd behaviour heightens when the rival team captain turns up. Yet, there's worse to come for Helen when one of the guests is murdered playing crazy golf. Then the Seaview's prize-winning cook Jean quits, leaving Helen devastated. And so, as Helen's fiftieth birthday approaches, the last thing she's in the mood for is a celebration. However, mysterious invitations arrive to a party that Helen doesn't want. Can Helen unmask the crazy golf killer, save the reputation of the Seaview, win Jean back and solve the mystery of the party invitations? With her rescue greyhound Suki by her side, Helen Dexter is on the case.
Visit Glenda’s website at glendayoungbooks.com
You can also find Glenda Young on X and on Instagram @flaming_nora. You can also find her on Facebook.