Welcome to the The Bookshop Detective Blog Tour!
In this blog tour I have an exclusive extract from The Bookshop Detective and there is also the blurb and author bio. I have included links to purchase this book and also links to find Jan Ellis socially.
I hope you enjoy reading about The Bookshop Detective and about Jan Ellis.
Title: The Bookshop Detective (The Bookshop by the Sea series)
Publisher: Waverley Books
Publication Date: May 2017
Formats: Kindle and Paperback
Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction/humour/mystery
Page Count: 256
When a ghost ship is spotted on the horizon one spring evening, bookseller Eleanor Mace decides to investigate the myths and legends of Combemouth, the seaside town where she runs The Reading Room. As Eleanor digs deeper into the town’s history, she becomes intrigued by a Victorian crime report and is determined to find out what happened to a boy at the centre the case – one with intriguing links to the present.
As Eleanor begins to uncover the truth – aided by the vicar but somewhat stalled by the local librarian – she has an unexpected challenge on her own horizon. Daniel – her husband of six months – is determined that they give up their separate homes and find a new place together. But Eleanor adores her cottage by the sea and resists, guaranteeing that things turn a little frosty as the summer begins.
A celebrity book launch, an exploding dress and some salsa-dancing pensioners make this a mystery with a difference.
The Bookshop Detective by Jan Ellis – Extract
The discovery of a secret cupboard at Combemouth Manor, leads bookseller Eleanor Mace on the trail of a family mystery. Here she returns to the Manor in the hope of discovering more from its owner, Joshua Pinkham.
Extract from Chapter 25 The Briefcase
When she rang the bell, there was no answer so she walked around to the kitchen door, peeking in through the dusty windows as she went.
The door was unlocked so she opened it and called out. “Hello. Is there anybody there?” There was no response so she yanked on the bell pull and listened to the clank of bells echoing through the house. Still nothing. She was beginning to worry about the lack of response when eventually she heard the skittering of paws as Clarence ran across the flagstones of the hallway and began barking in excitement. Having greeted Eleanor, the dog turned and ran away. Bella took off after him towards a different part of the house.
The dogs led Eleanor to a large sitting room where she found Joshua at his desk surrounded by all kinds of writing paraphernalia from fountain pens and bottles of ink, to piles of yellowed envelopes, rock-hard erasers and heaps of paperclips whose primary colours looked out of place among the Victoriana. In the centre of it, Joshua had made a space now filled by the red briefcase they had taken from the safe the day before.
“Morning missus.” Joshua turned to greet her, waving the grey handkerchief he’d been using to wipe grime from the closed lid of the case. He stuffed the handkerchief inside his shirt then withdrew a side drawer from the Victorian writing desk and picked up a cardboard shoebox full of keys.
Eleanor smiled. “Have you found the key to the briefcase?”
“Perhaps. I’ve found lots of keys, but none of them is right so now I’ll have to try the rest.” He cradled one hand in the other. “Trouble is, I can’t hold them properly, what with my arthritis.”
“Could I help?” Without waiting for a reply, Eleanor threw her handbag onto a maroon Chesterfield and took the box from him.
“Not them, they don’t work.” He pointed at another, bigger box. “Try that lot.” “Okay,” said Eleanor, pulling up a seat while Joshua moved away from the desk so she could reach the case. “Let me see now.” She bent over and fit the first key into the case. Nothing. She tried a second then added it to the ‘doesn’t work’ pile.
“I’m thinking that Father might have hidden the key somewhere more cunning,” said Joshua, thoughtfully rubbing his stubble.
Eleanor looked across at him. “I think a box of keys is about as cunning as you can get. But I’m sure it must be here – it’s simply a matter of being thorough.” She tried two more with no luck. Sighing, she picked up the box and jiggled it around then closed her eyes and circled her fingers over it. “Eeny, meeny, miney, moe,” she said, before selecting a key at random and inserting it into the lock. “I have a good feeling about this one,” she said with a grin. It was nonsense, but she wanted to keep Joshua’s spirits up.
Joshua was mumbling something about ‘hocus, pocus’ as Eleanor turned the key and the lock snapped open. “Ta-dah! There you are you see – a little bit of magic always does the trick.” She knotted a piece of string around the briefcase key so it would be easy to identify and handed it to Joshua. “There you go.” She smiled at Joshua, who sat in silence. “So . . . shall I open up the case for you before I carry on with the books?”
“No.” Joshua stood and opened the French doors that gave onto the garden at the back of the house. “I’d best see to the broad beans and you should carry on with what you came here to do.” He had been relatively jovial up to that point, so Eleanor was surprised by the sudden change in his tone.
“Right, okay then,” she said, standing. Eleanor couldn’t help feeling disappointed that her curiosity wasn’t going to be satisfied, especially as she’d been the one to discover the secret compartment in the first place. “Are you sure you don’t you want to see what’s inside the briefcase?” she asked as Joshua shuffled past her into the garden.
Joshua paused, his eyes fixed on a lavender bush by his feet. “There’s no need to open it. I know perfectly well what I shall find in there.”
Jan Ellis began writing fiction by accident in 2013. Until then, she had led a blameless life as a publisher, editor and historian of early modern Spain. She fell into fiction when a digital publisher approached her to write a history book, then made the mistake of mentioning women’s fiction, which sounded much more fun.
In 2017, her four e-novellas were published in paperback by Waverley Books who also commissioned a brand-new title, The Bookshop Detective.
Jan describes her books as romcom/mystery with the emphasis firmly on family, friendship and humour. She specialises in small-town settings, with realistic characters who range in age from young teens to 80-somethings.
As well as being an author, Jan continues to work at the heart of the book trade. Jan Ellis is a nom-de-plume.
Other Details From The Author:
Website: Jan Ellis Writer
Facebook: Jan Ellis (Writer)
See also Stellar Scribes website: StellarScribes
Other paperback titles:
A Summer of Surprises and An Unexpected Affair (no. 1 in The Bookshop by the Sea series)