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About Paula Harmon
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Paula Harmon was born in north London but her life as a country girl began at eighteen months when the family moved out, trailing slowly westwards from small town to village before settling in South Wales when she was eight.
Her writing life started with “Clanger” fan fiction and making up stories to act out with a kindred spirit. These largely involved flying unicorns. In later Welsh years, she wandered lonely as a … well, lonely person, in woods and streams and wrote about portals to another world and mysterious woodland spirits. But her greatest love was for historical fiction and mysteries and now she's writing her own.
With no clear idea what she wanted to be when she grew up apart from a writer, she graduated from Chichester University (Bishop Otter College) with a BA in English Literature and a vague idea that, after a bit of life experience, if all else failed, she’d become a teacher, even though she had never grown taller than the average ten year old. Whatever else happened, she was determined NOT to become a civil servant like her mother and be able to talk in form numbers.
At her first job interview, she answered “where do you see yourself in 10 years” with “writing” as opposed to “progressing in your company.” She didn’t get that job. She tried teaching and realised the one thing the world did not need was another bad teacher. Somehow or other she subsequently ended up as a civil servant and if you need to know a form number, she is your woman.
Her short stories include dragons, angst ridden teenagers, portals and civil servants (though not all in the same story - yet). Perhaps all the life experience was worth it in the end.
She lives in Dorset with her husband, has two adult children..
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‘Stop standing in the way of bullets.’
‘I will if you will.’
Does the camera ever lie?
1911: After the violent murder of three policemen in the line of duty, tensions between London constabulary and Whitechapel anarchists simmer. Meanwhile accusations and counter accusations of espionage further weaken relations between Germany and Britain. Can Margaret Demeray and Fox find out which potential enemy is behind a threat to the capital before it’s too late?
In the shadow of violence in the East End, just as Dr Margaret Demeray starts to gain recognition for her pathology work, a personal decision puts her career at the hospital under threat. Needing to explore alternative options, she tries working with another female doctor in Glassmakers Lane. But in that genteel street, a new moving-picture studio is the only thing of any interest, and Margaret’s boredom and frustration lead to an obsessive interest in the natural death of a young woman in a town far away.
Meanwhile intelligence agent Fox is trying to establish whether rumours of a major threat to London are linked to known anarchist gangs or someone outside Britain with a different agenda. When another mission fails and he asks Margaret to help find out who provided the false intelligence that led him in the wrong direction, she can’t wait to assist.
But enquiries in wealthy Hampstead and then assaults in Whitechapel backstreets lead unexpectedly back to Glassmakers Lane. How can such a quiet place be important? And is the dead young woman Margaret can't forget a critical link or a coincidental irrelevance?
Margaret and Fox need to work together; but both of them are independent, private and stubborn, and have yet to negotiate the terms of their relationship.
How can Margaret persuade Fox to stop protecting her so that she can ask the questions he can’t? And even if she does, how can they discover is behind the threat to London when it’s not entirely clear what the threat actually is?
Soldiers stumbling upon mercy and miracles; children sharing gifts of friendship and love; romance finding its way into lonely, war-weary hearts; resistance fighters, spies, families on the home front—all bringing their own rays of hope in the darkest of time.
For this holiday season, we offer you this collection of short stories to lift your spirit, and to remember a time when love and the strength of human spirit prevailed.
We hope you will enjoy stepping back into the wartime Christmases in these stories with us.
When Katherine Demeray opens an unsigned letter addressed to her missing father, she is drawn into a quest to find the terrified letter-writer and learn the secret of the black tulips.
Struggling to support herself after her father's disappearance, Katherine has neither time nor money to solve the mystery alone. She has no choice but to seek help from a woman she has only just met; awkward socialite Connie Swift.
As the letters become increasingly frantic, this unlikely team of amateur detectives must learn to work together, while struggling to navigate the rigid rules of Victorian propriety, their families’ expectations, and the complicating interference of men.
Confronting danger as they venture into new and frightening territory, Katherine and Connie risk arrest, exposure, and even their reputations to solve the Case of the Black Tulips. Can they solve the mystery before someone gets killed....or they kill each other?
The Case of the Black Tulips is the first book in the Caster & Fleet mystery series, set in 1890s London.
When Fabio’s aunt Lucretia flexes her match-making muscles, he seeks escape from a marriage to shy, bored Adriane. Luckily, his friend Petros needs help investigating a possible rebellion in Vademlutra. All Fabio has to do is pretend to be poor and keep his wits about him. Certain there’s nothing to investigate, Fabio settles down for a week in the tavern until a lost young woman in the woods captivates him. Where is she from and why is she so keen to die?
Unaware of Fabio’s whereabouts, Lucretia has her own reasons for being in Vademlutra. Hoping to enjoy a little flirting and a lot of money-making, she’s about to meet her match on both fronts and must scheme more than ever if she has any chance of keeping what’s rightfully hers.
As the town is cut off by snow, Dun the erstwhile grave-robber becomes convinced that diversifying was a bad idea. But it takes an unexpected death to reveal a decades-old web of deceit and manipulation which threatens to engulf the whole town and make Adriane find enough courage to become involved.
Who is behind the rebellion? And if they have blood on their hands, who is the next victim?
As Roman Saturnalia passes and the darker traditions of winter solstice approach, Fabio, Petros, Adriane and Dun must put aside their differences and work together to save not only another life but the whole town from Roman retribution.
Not every gift is a blessing…
When Miss Quinton, the Kings’ elderly neighbour at Hazelgrove, dies, no-one is surprised. Katherine and Connie are too busy trying to find a client’s missing family, not to mention having difficulties with their own.
But when the doctor orders a post-mortem, and Miss Quinton’s will delivers several surprises, the duo have no choice but to get involved. It becomes even more urgent when Evangeline King, the chief beneficiary of Miss Quinton’s will, receives a poison-pen letter. And then there is a death even closer to home…
Their personal lives make work harder than ever. While Connie investigates in London her family’s demands increase, and the fuss over Katherine’s first pregnancy creates unexpected obstacles.
Can Katherine and Connie uncover the secrets behind the will and discover what really happened?
The Case of the Fateful Legacy is the fifth book in the Caster & Fleet mystery series, set in 1890s London.
Who is behind the mask?
Life has settled down for Connie and Katherine. Connie is enjoying life as a new mother, while Katherine is working solo for the Department. When they accept invitations to a charity masked ball, they anticipate nothing but a fun evening out.
The event changes everything, as Katherine is abruptly dismissed for attending and Connie is asked to investigate the sudden death of a friend who was involved in organising it. Caster and Fleet are back on the case.
However, things do not go smoothly. Another unexpected death occurs, and when the duo probe further they risk putting both themselves and their families in peril, as the case moves uncomfortably close to home...
How far must Katherine and Connie go to solve the case and clear their names?
The Case of the Masquerade Mob is the fourth book in the Caster & Fleet mystery series, set in 1890s London.
The Department recruit the duo to investigate London’s mediums and mesmerists, several of whom are suspected of fraud. Katherine and Connie must pose as clients to discover what goes on behind closed doors.
The deeper they delve, the more unsettling the duo’s findings become. Disturbing revelations shake their confidence in themselves and their mission. They are followed, and spied on. And when Miss Robson joins the team, she raises a ghost whom she had hoped was laid to rest for ever…
Both women face challenges in their personal lives, too. Connie has to balance her new career and her married life, while Katherine makes an enemy who threatens her chance of happiness and the success of their investigation.
Can Katherine and Connie see past the smoke and mirrors to uncover the truth?
The Case of the Deceased Clerk is the third book in the Caster & Fleet mystery series, set in 1890s London.
When Katherine and Connie take on a case at a music hall, they enter a new, exciting, and frightening world.
The duo are hired to calm the nerves of Ellen Howe, top of the bill at the Merrymakers Music Hall. She keeps freezing on stage, though she insists that nothing is wrong. It seems like an easy case - until Ellen disappears, leaving only a note behind her. And the rest of the cast are giving nothing away.
Katherine and Connie have to win the trust of Ellen’s fellow-performers to have a chance of finding her. But the deeper they plunge into the world of the music hall, the more secrets they must hide from their families and loved ones - and the more danger they find themselves in, as the threats against them turn from words to actions...
Can they see through the glamour of the stage to find out what really happened to the missing star?
The Case of the Runaway Client is the second book in the Caster & Fleet mystery series, set in 1890s London.
Could everything be fixed with Duct Tape? Dad thought so.
And then there was food: was there ever a recipe Dad wouldn’t try regardless of whether he had the right ingredients?
And holidays: weather was just a state of mind, wasn’t it?
When things went wrong, he looked to Laura and Jane to sort things out. The trouble was that Laura wouldn’t forgive Jane for being youngest and Jane wouldn’t forgive Laura for being oldest. Mum just thought they all needed their heads banging together.
Then Laura and Jane grow up and became sensible. Have they forgotten the fun they used to have?
But Dad… even retired, even as a grandfather, even in his dreams: growing up is just something which happens to boring people.
Party on! Everything will be fine!