It is very interesting now that I am hawking three books, rather than just one or even a pair. When I published “Fatal Forgery”, I genuinely thought that would be it: I had done what I had wanted to do since I was a little girl – write a story book – and it would be out of my system. But no, I found I couldn’t live without Sam, and so on I went with the second. And then in the best tradition of all addictions, I found that a second dose simply made the craving worse, so the idea of the series was born. And not just a series, but a septology. What? It’s a word! It means “series of seven works” – like a trilogy, but 233% better.
However, what I have found is that when a new book is out, I concentrate so hard on promoting and boosting it that I sometimes forget the two older ones, who are now standing in a corner, rolling their eyes and looking grumpy. “Fatal Forgery”, in particular, gets a cob on and reminds me that he was here first, and he got us into the bookshops, and he introduced me to Sam. And that’s right: I should give my first-written more credit. This was brought home to me today when I took a little tootle around Amazon, as I do, checking for new reviews. I’m ashamed to admit that I can tell straight away if there are any additions, as I know exactly how many reviews I have: seventeen for “Fatal Forgery”, eight for “The Man in the Canary Waistcoat”, and two for “Worm in the Blossom”. But wait a sec – what’s this? Today there were eighteen for “Forgery” – a new one! And such a lovely one too, with five whole stars and comments like “What a find!” and “carefully crafted writing and tone”. And to think that I almost missed it, focussed as I was on “Blossom” reviews.
When people see that there are three Sam novels, they often ask which is my favourite, and I honestly don’t know. I am fond of particular passages in all of them, and I love each cover in its own way. As to whether you have to start at the beginning, my answer is always the same: the stories can stand alone, so it doesn’t matter if you jump into the middle of the series, but – as with all series with a familiar cast of characters – you do learn more about Sam and Martha and Wilson as you go along, so I suppose it depends on whether you’re a plot person or a character person. Meanwhile, I shall revel in knowing that I have the luxury of four more novels in which to become ever more addicted to my lovely constable.