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About Debbie Young
I write warm, witty, feel-good contemporary fiction full of English humour, inspired by life in the Cotswold village which has been my home for over 30 years.
My Sophie Sayers Village Mystery series begins with "Best Murder in Show". The seven books published so far run the course of a calendar year in the life of the idyllic English Cotswold village of Wendlebury Barrow.
My St Bride's series of school stories for grown-ups begins with "Secrets at St Bride's" and reveals intrigues in the staffroom of an English girls' boarding school. This series is a a mashup of romantic comedy, gentle mystery and nostalgia for classic children's school stories.
My series of comedy mystery novelettes, Tales from Wendlebury Barrow, may be read in any order. Available so far are "The Natter of Knitters" and "The Clutch of Eggs".
The first St Bride's novel was shortlisted for the 2020 Selfies Award given for the best independently-published fiction in the UK. The sixth Sophie Sayers novel, "Murder Your Darlings", was shortlisted for the same award in 2021.
Receive a free ebook of my comedy novelette "The Pride of Peacocks" when you join my Readers' Club via my website (www.authordebbieyoung.com). I'll also send you a monthly enewsletter to keep you up to date with news of my books and events.
HELPING OTHER WRITERS
When I'm not writing fiction, I'm helping other authors. I'm UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), a course tutor for Jericho Writers, and I've written several guidebooks for authors. I frequently speak at writing events and litfests, and judge of writing competitions. I also write features for magazines such as Mslexia and for various websites.
LOCAL LIT FEST
Each April, I run a free one-day event for readers and writers in my home village, the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival - see www.hulitfest.com for more details.
I may be busy, but I am never too tired to curl up with a good book.
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Craving an afternoon alone to think, Juliet accepts the offer of an unusual loan car whose satnav seems to have a mind of its own. Following its directions, she begins a remarkable journey of second chances and fresh hopes, leading to surprising destinations.
A delightful and original romantic comedy, full of Debbie Young's renowned humour and optimism, with a touch of magical realism.
By the author of the Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Staffroom at St Bride's School Stories. Books in both of those series have been shortlisted for the Selfies Award for the best independently-published fiction in the UK - Secrets at St Bride's (2020) and Murder Lost and Found (2021).
A clear case of murder in plain sight, thinks new arrival Sophie Sayers - but why do none of the villagers agree? What dark secrets are they hiding to prevent her unmasking the murderer, and who holds the key to the mystery?
- Hector, the gorgeous but enigmatic owner of the village bookshop
- Joshua, the intrusive yet insightful old man from next door
- Carol, village shopkeeper, the fount of village gossip, not all of it reliable
Can Sophie unearth the clues tucked away in this outwardly idyllic Cotswold village before anyone else comes to harm, not least herself?
For fans of classic cozy mysteries everywhere, Best Murder in Show will make you laugh out loud at the idiosyncrasies of English country life, and rack your brains to discover the murderer before Sophie can.
Order your copy now to enjoy this addictive series from the start.
A cracking example of cozy crime" - Katie Fforde, President of the Romantic Novelists Association and international bestseller
"Miss Marple meets Bridget Jones" - Belinda Pollard, author of the Wild Crimes
"The Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries are both cracking mysteries and laugh-out-loud funny. I can't get enough of them and tell the whole world to buy them" - Wendy Jones, author of the DI Shona McKenzie mysteries
Damian says he’s come to direct the village nativity play, but Sophie thinks he’s up to no good.
What are those noises coming from his van?
Who is the stranger lurking in the shadows?
And whose baby, abandoned in the manger, disappears in plain sight?
Enjoy the fun of a traditional Cotswold festive season, with echoes of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, as Sophie seeks a happy ending for her latest village mystery – and for her new romance with charming local bookseller Hector Munro.
Featuring all the leading characters from previous books and introducing a lively cast of new players, this seventh mystery marks the end of Sophie's first year in the Cotswold village of Wendlebury Barrow.
"Murder Lost and Found" was originally intended to be the last in the series, which runs the course of the village year from one summer to the next, but by popular request from readers, an eighth book, in which Sophie will take Hector to meet her parents in Scotland, is now being planned...
Especially when he plans to replace them with a traditional Guy Fawkes' Night party, and invites everyone to bring a guy (scarecrow) to burn on his giant bonfire.
Sophie thinks the vicar's not the only one with dark secrets to hide. What about her boss, the beguiling bookseller, Hector Munro? Whose body will be found outside his village bookshop? Not to mention the one secretly buried beneath the vicar’s bonfire...
Just as Sophie had been starting to feel at home in Wendlebury, she must call on all her inner resources and trust her instincts to save the day before anyone else can come to harm - and to get Hector back on her side.
For fans of cosy mysteries everywhere, Sophie’s second adventure will have you laughing out loud as you try to solve the mystery before she does, in the company of engaging new characters, as well as familiar favourites from "Best Murder in Show".
One of Bunny’s squabbling children from three different husbands?
Petunia Lot from the Cats Prevention charity, always angling for a legacy?
All these and more had motive and opportunity.
But which is to blame? And can Sophie and her boyfriend, village bookseller Hector Munro, stop them before they strike again?
A lively array of eccentrics joins the regular cast in this compelling story of family, friendship, love and loss.
While the story includes plenty of Debbie Young’s renowned wit and British humour, it’s also thoughtful and poignant, reflecting Sophie's growing wisdom, self-reliance and skill as self-appointed amateur village sleuth.
The fifth in a series which spans a Cotswold village year from one summer to the next.
Springtime for Murder may also be read as a standalone novel.
But as no-one witnessed the crime, will it ever be solved in this close-knit English village where everyone knows each other - and half of them are also related?
It will be solved if Sophie Sayers has anything to do with it. But can she stop eager teenage sidekick Tommy Crowe unmasking her boyfriend Hector's secret identity in the process, causing chaos to his precarious bookshop business?
A whole shoal of red herrings will keep you guessing as tempers flare and old feuds catch fire in the latest laugh-out-loud Sophie Sayers Village mystery about love, loyalty and family ties, set in the heart of the idyllic English Cotswolds. Idyllic unless you happen to be a murder victim...
Enjoy the company of all your old friends from Sophie's earlier adventures, while meeting entertaining newcomers who will keep the others on their toes.
Her fears are compounded when the headmistress, Hairnet, accepts the stranger’s claim due to his remarkable resemblance to the school’s late founder.
So it's down to Gemma to fight his claim and save the school, with a little help from her friends:
- the put-upon Bursar, ousted from his cosy estate cottage by the stranger
- the enigmatic Max Security, always up for a bit of espionage
- irrepressible Mavis Brook, geography teacher, itching to fell a tree on top of the stranger's white Rolls-Royce
- Judith Gosling, history teacher and genealogy expert, who knows more about Lord Bunting than she’s letting on
Fickle maths teacher Oriana Bliss is even prepared to marry the stranger to secure St Bride’s future, especially if it means she gets to drive his fancy car. That's if inventive pranks by the girls - and the school cat - don't drive him away first.
This sequel to Secrets at St Bride's, shortlisted for The Selfies Award 2020 and described by Katie Fforde as "the perfect book", is full of seasonal fun as the school celebrates the highlights of the autumn term, from Halloween to the end-of-term Christmas Fair.
The perfect read for anyone who enjoyed school stories when they were growing up, from Malory Towers and the Chalet School to St Trinian's and Molesworth.
By the author of the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries which are set in the same parish as St Bride's School for Girls.
But scarcely has the writing course begun when bestselling romantic novelist Marina Milanese disappears on a solo excursion to an old windmill. First on the scene, Sophie is prime suspect for Marina's murder. When a storm prevents the Greek police from landing on the island to investigate, Sophie must try to solve the crime herself - not easy, when everyone at the retreat has a motive.
As she strives to uncover the truth about Marina's fate, Sophie arrives at a life-changing decision about her own future.
This first box set follows Sophie's adventures from her summer arrival in the village, through the autumn, and up to Christmas. The first seven books in the series will span the course of a village year.
BEST MURDER IN SHOW
When a dead body is discovered on a carnival float at the village show, no-one else suspects murder - but Sophie won't rest until she's uncovered the surprising evidence that will convict the killer, even if it means putting her own life on the line.
TRICK OR MURDER?
When the strange new vicar bans Halloween celebrations in the village, Sophie suspects he's hiding a sinister secret. Can she stop the villagers falling for his sinister charms before someone comes to grief at his reckless bonfire party?
MURDER IN THE MANGER
When Sophie writes a nativity play for the village children to perform, she's anticipating a peaceful country Christmas - until her ex-boyfriend turns up and starts causing trouble. Before long, the whole village stands accused of murder. It's up to Sophie to save the day - Christmas Day, that is, for her new friends and neighbours.
Each of these novels is also available as a single paperback and ebook.
The fourth, fifth and sixth in the series, Murder by the Book, Springtime for Murder, and Murder Your Darlings, are now all available separately. A new ebook of the second box set will be published in October 2020.
WHAT READERS SAY
Debbie Young's books are both cracking mysteries and laugh-out-loud funny." - Wendy H Jones, author of the DI Shona Mackenzie Mysteries
"A surfeit of suspects, much clever word play and plots that will keep you reading long after you should have gone to sleep. Highly recommended for all fans of classic mysteries." - David Penny, author of the Thomas Berrencourt historical mysteries
"The author has created a delightful community that it will be a pleasure to return to. If you like your crime cosy, with a touch of romance, you will enjoy this." - Mystery People magazine
"A cracking example of cosy crime," - Katie Fforde, romantic novelist
"I was enthralled. The characters and setting are charming. If you like M C Beaton, you will enjoy this. Can't wait for the next one." - 'PB'
"I have a feeling that reading the Sophie Sayers mysteries as a set may become an annual thing." - Laura Bonnici on Twitter
Even McPhee, the school cat, is leading a double life.
Tucked away in the school’s beautiful private estate in the Cotswolds, can Gemma stay safe and build a new independent future?
With a little help from her new friends, including some worldly-wise pupils, she's going to give it her best shot...
Perfect for anyone who grew up hooked on Chalet School, Malory Towers, St Clare's and other classic school stories.
Shortlisted for The Selfies Award 2020, given to the best independently published adult fiction in the UK.
***Set in the same world as Debbie Young's popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries series and includes a little crossover. In the first book, Gemma pays a visit to Hector's House in Wendlebury Barrow and meets Sophie and Hector. ***
"Perfect book - I loved it!" - Katie Fforde, Sunday Times #1 Bestselling Novelist
"I can't tell you how much I adored Secrets at St Bride's, so much so that I also downloaded all five Sophie Sayers novels and have devoured them all!" - Julie Welch, author of Too Marvellous for Words - The Real Malory Towers Life
"A fun and pacy novel by an author who clearly knows her market" - The Selfies Book Awards 2020 Judging Panel (Secrets at St Bride's was in the final shortlist of six titles in the adult fiction category, UK)