Penny Deacon spent her twenties living on a yacht and sailing between England and the Caribbean. She, her partner, and a large black cat called Sebastian with a taste for flying fish had enormous fun and occasionally earned a living teaching sailing, or dredging for oysters, or taking tourists on charter sails around the West Indies.
Penny eventually turned respectable and took to teaching. She has, however, always been passionate about both reading and writing. Six novels for Mills & Boon (under the name Lynn Jacobs) enabled her to take a break from the class room but a brief attempt at earning a living as an author led to a shameful existence as a creator of management workbooks. Somehow the creativity flagged and she returned to school, this time as a librarian (it’s such a good job for being subversive, plus all those books!).
It was then that she discovered an unexpected reward for the ten years’ self-indulgent sea-faring: the germ of an idea for a series of crime novels. The result was A Kind of Puritan, published by Crème de la Crime. The main character, Humility, lives on a barge in a port in Southampton – where Penny once lived and where she got up close and personal with Solent mud – and is reluctantly drawn into investigating the discovery of a dead body when no-one else seems to care. The twist is that this whodunit is set about thirty years in our future – it’s not a pretty place but it’s very recognisable. You don’t need to read sci-fi to solve this murder.
The Daily Mail called A Kind of Puritan a ‘subtle and clever thriller’, others said it was ‘fast-paced and quick witted’ and ‘told with humour and compassion’. Encouraged, Penny produced the next chapter in Humility’s life. This time she encounters girl gangs, abduction and a very nasty crime in A Thankless Child. She also has to search for a missing niece and pretend to enjoy taking part in the sort of festivities she hates.
There is more to come from Humility but Penny has decided that the next book should be in the here and now, although it has its off-beat moments. You might have to wait a little while to learn about Big Fat Annie and her problems, but it will be worth it.
A Kind of Puritan and A Thankless Child
can be purchased from:
Amazon at www.amazon.co.uk