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The One with the Lit Fuse

It all started in May 2023 with a throw-away comment. I was walking with my twelve year old son, Little Lad, through the streets of the town where I live. That's Brixham in Torbay, Devon.

It was the day of the annual pirate festival and we were marvelling at how the roaring boom of the cannons had the capacity to shake the whole town as if it was its last day on earth.

I said to him, "Wow, if you timed a murder at the same moment as the cannon blast, you'd probably get away with it."

He replied with, "You probably would - for a while."

And the seed was planted. Or should I say, the fuse was lit . . .

A standing paperback copy of Murder at the Pirate Festival with the cover mostly obscured by white paper
It's on its way . . .

Almost a year later and I have somehow (PLEASE don't ask me how - it is still a mystery to me) written a full length novel based on that exact concept. It is my first venture into the world of cosy mystery and I think I like it here.

It is imaginatively titled, Murder at the Pirate Festival.

Up until now, I've written uplifting, life-affirming contemporary fiction as embodied by my Life is Yours Series, so the leap into another genre has been daunting. Don't let anybody ever tell you that crime fiction is easy to write. It isn't. Although when you read it, you might find a few sneaky uplifting themes in there too (just couldn't help myself).

Today I'm not celebrating the release of the book - that doesn't happen until May 2nd - but I am thrilled to reveal the cover. It's important to do this now, basically so I can spam the digital airwaves with its very image over the next couple of months.

Here goes . . .

What do you think?

Unlike my other book covers, this one is designed by me. However, that doesn't mean I deserve all the credit. It features the awesome artwork of Australian digital creator, Manuel Diaz who was patient, attentive and a creative dream to work with.

Plus I was given HEAPS of fantastic advice from my fellow author, Margaret Amatt. There were times when I very nearly went with a completely different design - a design that had my favourite colours and soft, curvy shapes that just lolled around in the most glorious way. But one of the harsh truths of being in this business is that sometimes you have to put aside what pleases you, and think about what might please your readers. Margaret - you did a grand job of reminding me of that.

Another fellow author, Chrissie Parker, also had my back through the process. With the perfect combo of soothing noises and technical advice, Chrissie kept me sane throughout. And that is no mean feat.

I can't fail to mention the wisdom and wit of Little Lad, who had something to say about each and every iteration. A lesson in diplomacy, methinks (perhaps for both of us).

Also, massive props to author, Chris d'Lacey, who was the first person to read and review Murder at the Pirate Festival, as well as help me shape it into something better. The support of fellow authors is surely one of the absolute highlights of doing what I do and I am extremely proud to have Chris's endorsement for the book . . .

An advert for Murder at the Pirate Festival with Chris d'Lacey's quote: "A cracking, effortless read".
Thank you, Chris!

This blog post also serves as a massive THANK YOU for sticking with me so far, and proof that I really have been working like mad to get this book into your hands.

You can preorder the ebook on Amazon here (only 99p for a limited time!) and the link to order paperbacks will be coming very soon, I promise. You'll be glad to know that Murder at the Pirate Festival is the first in my brand new series of cosy crime - the Berryport Mysteries. So, if you love it as much as I think you will, there will be more where that came from.

Release date is Thursday May 2nd (it's a special date for me - more on that later) and I'll be having a launch party at the actual Brixham Pirate Festival on Sat 4th & Sun 5th May. And yes, I am planning my costume down to the last detail. It would be rude not to.

For now, I'm going to love you and leave you with the book's blurb (below) - enjoy!

Thanks again so, so much - I am eternally grateful that I get to keep writing for YOU.

Go well,



P.S. If you enjoyed this blog post then make sure you sign up to get ALL Abigail's bookish news as and when it happens. You'll also bag yourself a copy of Life Is Yours - the first book in the Life Is Yours Trilogy. Sign up here.



Can solving a murder change your life?

One dead pirate girl. Thousands of eye-patched witnesses. A whole Devonshire town struggling to believe it was murder.


Teenager Paulie Trinket dreams of popularity. After she witnesses something at Berryport’s annual Pirate Festival that could prove local golden girl, Tanya Withers, was murdered, she sees a chance to achieve her dream.


But making herself heard in this small harbour town isn’t easy. When Paulie discovers Berryport’s only detective has retired, she decides to investigate herself. Soon Tanya’s tycoon boyfriend starts acting shady, and Paulie’s offbeat inquiry style lands her a whole new circle of friends she didn’t even ask for.


With a college counsellor hounding her about her ADHD, sudden interest from Hollywood movie-makers, and the threat of her aunt’s bakery business going under, genuine friendship feels more unreachable than ever. Will uncovering the truth about Tanya really be worth it? Or could Paulie’s chance at happiness disappear like a pirate ship lost on a stormy sea?

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