Meet Jessica Brick! Like Miss Marple, But Wrong

Over the weekend, I self-published a new story on Amazon, and the response has been great.

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A Fete Worse Than Death is the first in a new series, featuring a recurring detective with a difference. Here’s the blurb:

“One day”, thinks Jessica Brick, “I’ll say something important and everyone will ignore me until terrible things happen. Then they’ll be sorry. That will be nice.” But, to this day, nothing like that has ever happened.

Jessica Brick, an elderly spinster, lives in a sleepy English village. When she loses her job, she decides to become a full time detective. Everyone thinks she’s a just a mad old woman, incapable of solving real crimes … The problem is that everyone’s right.

Before long, Jessica stumbles on a murder at the annual village fete. But who would want to kill a controversial Italian wine enthusiast? And can Jessica solve this case before the police?

“A Fete Worse Than Death” is a comedy mystery short story. If you’re a fan of Miss Marple, Agatha Raisin, or “Midsomer Murders”, you’ll be delighted to meet Jessica Brick.

I was thrilled to see this rise to the top 8,000 on Amazon UK, and the top 110 in cozy crime! I was also amazed to see the story mentioned over on Must Read Mysteries. Thank you to the anonymous Amazon reviewer who wrote:

Jessica Brick […] is just marvellous – while she is, no doubt, a good-humoured parody of the Jessica Fletchers and Miss Marples of the world, Bernthal still manages to give her a distinct flavour all of her own. I can’t wait for the next story!

Jessica Brick was a childhood invention, prompted by a simple question: Miss Marple’s power as a detective lies in the fact that everyone assumes she’s batty. What if they were right? But I only started writing them this year.

Bestselling crime novelist Sophie Hannah said, on Twitter, that this is a ‘brilliant’ and ‘original’ concept. A friend told me they had to stop reading it in public because they were laughing too loudly!

There will be four stories in this series. Keep an eye out for future titles. Jessica’s second case, Cyanide on the Side, will be published next month.

You can get A Fete Worse Than Death for just 99p in the UK or $1.25 in the US!