Feature on Kate Hardy and The Body at Rookery Barn

Our Feature this week is on:  Kate Hardy. She has a new book out this month, The Body at Rookery Barn. 

Kate Hardy lives in Norwich with her husband, two grown-up children, two spaniels and too many books to count. 
She’s won three Romantic Novelists’ Association awards for her romantic fiction – and is thoroughly enjoying her new life of crime! When she’s not writing or researching, she’ll be out at a gig or the theatre, at ballet class, doing cross-stitch, taking photographs of the sunrise while persuading the spaniels to stay still for one second, fossicking around on a beach or in archives, or exploring ancient buildings. 
She loves learning new things, which is why you’ll always discover something different in a Kate Hardy book…

Kate Hardy on the web:

Website        Facebook     Twitter       Instagram         Tiktok

* What are common traps for new writers?

Some of the most common:
Telling instead of showing – better to use action and dialogue to show the story happening. That means your readers are more likely to bond with your characters, and it also improves the pace.
Overuse of adjectives – less is more  - we don’t need to know that your heroine puts on a knee-length, green, cotton, vintage wrap-over skirt.
Infodump – see the skirt description above. Better to drip-feed information!
Speech tags – if you try and use lots of different synonyms for ‘said’, it’s likely to pull the reader out of the story. (The reader’s eye skates over ‘said’.) Also, you can break up speech with action to make it clear who’s talking. Oh, and you can’t ‘smile’ a sentence. Or hiss one that doesn’t have sibilants  

* Do you also write non-fiction?

Yes – as a journalist, I wrote a lot of articles on women’s health and children’s/babies’ health; this is why Mills & Boon asked me to write my medical romances under a different name, i.e. to put some distance between my fiction and my non-fiction.

I’ve also written local history books. (Including one on poison… which came in rather handy for my first crime book!)

* Do you read non-fiction? If yes, then what do you read?

Anything and everything! I do love historical eyewitness accounts, and I’m also a sucker for books about medicine. (Particularly historical. You can see where this is going, can’t you?)

* A recent book you read which changed your perspective?

Death by Shakespeare by Kathryn Harkup – taught me a lot about law and medicine in Renaissance England. 

* Tell us about your book...

It’s about a deaf, widowed photographer who’s learning to put her life back together again, and a policeman who’s having to rethink his career. It’s also about someone who’s murdered (but you’re might find yourself sympathising with the murderer – hang on, is that what you’re supposed to do?). It’s about friendship, family and love. And in between there are a couple of mysteries to solve…

The Body at Rookery Barn: A totally gripping cozy mystery (A Georgina Drake Mystery Book 1)


Outside, Rookery Barn glows in the mid-morning sunshine while fat bees flit lazily between the forget-me-nots. Inside, a body lies dead…

Georgina Drake has no regrets about moving to beautiful, sleepy Little Wenborough in rural Norfolk. Until she opens the door to her rental property and finds the dead body of her latest guest, irritable university professor Roland Garnett. And on top of that she’s suddenly hearing a woman’s voice through her hearing aids.

Completely shaken by the discovery, Georgina can hardly believe it when the police conclude that Professor Garnett was poisoned, with a dinner delivered by Georgina herself. Is she about to be accused of murder? Georgina needs to pull herself together, try to ignore the distracting voice, and clear her name!

Asking around, it seems Roland Garnett offended half the village during his three-week stay and made unwelcome advances to the rest. But who was provoked enough to poison him? Georgina’s best lead is the deadly oleander found in Roland’s system. Her gardener, Young Tom, had access to the plant, but before she can talk to him Tom becomes the killer’s next victim.

As the crimes mount up, so do the clues, but does Georgina have what it takes to follow them to their conclusion? Even when her amateur sleuthing puts her next in the killer’s sights…?

An addictive and completely gripping cosy crime novel. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Midsomer Murders.

Buy on:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Aust

Amazon UK