Hello Tuesday! Welcome to Vanessa Robertson on Chocolate’n’Waffles!
My thanks to Kelly from Love Books Group for inviting me to be part of this blog tour!
Title: Death Will Find Me
Author: Vanessa Robertson
Publisher: Wild Justice Press
Date of publication: February 2019
Meet Tessa Kilpatrick; heiress and war-time covert operations agent.
Finding her husband – the feckless James – with another woman at a 1920s country house party, she demands a divorce. But when his body is discovered in a lonely stone bothy the next morning, Inspector Hamish Rasmussen sees Tessa as his only suspect.
Back in Edinburgh, links to another murder convince Rasmussen of her innocence. He enlists her help and together they set off on a pursuit that will bring Tessa once again face to face with the brutality of war as well as revealing to her the lengths that desperate people will go to in order to protect those they love.
Will Tessa be able to prevent a final murder or will she become the killer’s latest victim?
This book will be perfect for anyone who’s enjoyed the work of Catriona McPherson, Sara Sheridan and Jessica Fellowes.
How Tessa Kilpatrick came into my life.
Some writers see a person on the street who inspires a character, other people construct a protagonist based on human qualities they want to explore. As far as I’m aware not that many characters simply sit themselves down in the passenger seat, uninvited.
I’ve always been interested in social history and the early 20th century was especially interesting in terms of women and the changes affecting them. I’d been reading about some of the work that women did during the war, from driving trams at home to driving ambulances at the Front. They policed the streets, farmed the land, cracked codes and ran first aid posts close to battlefields.
And I wondered what it must have been like to have spent the war making a difference and then to be told after the Armistice that you should go back to a pre-war domestic life. Wouldn’t many women resent that? And what if the life you’d anticipated a few years earlier was no longer available to you? Or what you wanted?
This must have been fermenting away at the back of my mind, because one day I was driving through Edinburgh – it happened outside Mortonhall Crematorium on Liberton Road on the way back from Ikea, for those who like precision in these things – Tessa Kilpatrick appeared next to me in the car.
I’m given to flights of fancy about these things, but just for a second, it was as though a real, living, breathing person was sitting beside me, just visible from the corner of my eye. When I turned round to look at her, she’d gone.
But in that second, I learned everything about her. I knew her name, that she’d been a spy in the war, that the whirlwind courtship that culminated in her 1915 wedding, was now a shattered marriage. I knew what she looked like – uncannily like the model on the book jacket – and I knew her family background, her education, her friends, her home. Every time I’ve had to come up with a new bit of backstory for Tessa, it’s been there.
Tessa Kilpatrick plonked herself down in the passenger seat of my car and demanded to have her story told. She makes me laugh and cry and we’ve got a lot more adventures to have. Death Will Find Me is just the first of those.
I love the idea how having your character appear on your car seat!
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I grew up in the Midlands where my main interests were horses and drama. Being a
writer was a dream from childhood but I gave up on the idea of writing when I was a
teenager, not long after I abandoned other childhood ambitions of being a trapeze
artiste or a spy. After acquiring a couple of degrees and trying various ‘proper jobs’, I
realised that I am fundamentally unsuited to office politics, bad coffee, and wearing
My husband and I founded The Edinburgh Bookshop, winner of many awards.
Bookselling is a wonderful profession and a good bookshop is a source of pure joy to
me. I love independent bookshops and the amazing job they do in championing
reading, supporting authors, and building communities. But, after a few years, it was
time for a change and we sold the bookshop to make way for other projects.
I took the opportunity to start writing again and was a winner at Bloody Scotland’s
Pitch Perfect event for unpublished authors in 2015. It was a fantastic opportunity
and getting such positive feedback about my ideas gave me the push I needed to
take my writing seriously.
I live in Edinburgh with my husband, our teenage son and an unfeasibly large
Leonberger dog. I can usually be found walking on windy Scottish beaches,
browsing in bookshops, or tapping away on my laptop in one of the scores of cafes
near my home.