A.H. Richardson talks about her colourful life and quirky characters
Murder In Little Shendon
The Hazlitt/Brandon series of murder mystery novels follows a pair of clever, colorful and charismatic sleuths – Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon – as they scratch their heads searching for clues to figure out whodunit.
The first book in the series, Murder in Little Shendon, is a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two.
Picture, if you will, a picturesque village called Little Shendon, suddenly caught up in dealing with a murder of one of its citizens — not a particularly well-liked one at that. Which makes it all the more intriguing because the list of suspects becomes very long. This tantalizing tale unfolds with twists and turns to find out whodunit to Mr. Bartholomew Fynche, the murdered shopkeeper.
Fear grips the community as the investigation slowly progresses. Everyone is interviewed; everyone is suspect! From his housekeeper to Lady Armstrong and her household staff. Or could it be the shy librarian new in town? Or the defiant retired army major and his ladyfriend, the post mistress? Or perhaps the weird sisters who live on the edge of town? Then there is the couple who own the local inn and pub, along with the two Americans who are staying there? Even the vicar and his wife fall under the gloom of suspicion.
Uncertainty, wariness, and terror reign as neighbors watch neighbors to discover the evil that permeates their upturned lives. No one feels safe in this charming little village. Who is the murderer? And why was this strange uncivil man dispatched in such a seemingly civil community?
A murder mystery that will keep you reading until you learn the details, uncovered by Police Inspector Stanley Burgess and his two amateur detectives, Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon. The three sift methodically through the Alibis and life stories of the suspects until they uncover…
You are challenged to discover the culprit before the last few pages. And no fair looking ahead — it’s the journey that proves the most enticing.
Interview with author A.H. Richardson
Hazlitt (from the Hazlitt/Brandon series) is an unusual name, how did you come up with it?
The name ‘Hazlitt’ wasn’t an invention of mine, but it goes back to my girlhood. I had a godfather named Victor Peacham, now long gone of course, but he lived near Earls Court in a building called ‘Hazlitt House’ – it was one of those names that stuck in my memory always, and when I created Sir Victor Hazlitt, I took my godfather’s first name, Victor, and the name of the house where he lived – it is as simple as that … then of course I knighted him for services to his country, and thought it had a good sound to it.
How do you create an English village on the page when you live in Tennessee? Do you find Americanisms can creep into to your writing?
I lived in England until I was 22 years old, and the memory of quaint little villages remains indelibly etched in my mind – I simply turn to the pictures in my head, and open up the ‘picture book.’ And yes, Americanisms do occasionally creep into my dialogue, and I have to be wary and watchful of that. ‘Gee’ and ‘Honey’ and other very American words can’t be found in Little Shendon, unless spoken by an American.
Which authors inspire you?
Authors who inspire me would be Dickens, the Bronte sisters (when English was really English!) and many classics, also Melville, and, drum roll here, I like and admire Stephen King – an enormously talented writer.
What do you want your readers to get out of your books?
I think I want my readers to be absorbed, amused, gripped and involved in the story, whether I am writing for children or the ‘bigger children’.
Reading your bio, it looks like you’ve had a colourful life and come from a colourful family! Do you look to your family and past for inspiration for your characters?
I would say that I have had and still have a colourful life, varied, peaceful, turbulent – have met many celebrities, including Ari Onassis, who just looked like an old man with heavy sunglasses, I can be forgiven for this as I was just 16 and had no clue as to who he really was! I do create my characters from people have met, and not necessarily loved, family friends, and so on; these would include all kinds of really interesting and kooky characters who have crossed my path. Sometimes I will take a bit from here, a little from there, and roll them into one character. It’s a bit like baking a very interesting pie.
Thanks for listening… very best to you and yours.
About A.H. Richardson
A.H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.
She published her debut novel Jorie and the Magic Stones, a children’s chapter book, in December 2014. At the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story, Richardson has written a sequel titled Jorie and the Gold Key, and she is currently working on the third book in the series.
A.H. Richardson also enjoys writing murder mysteries and who-dun-its. She is the author of the Hazlitt/Brandon series of murder mystery novels. The series follows a pair of clever, colorful and charismatic sleuths – Sir Victor Hazlitt and Beresford Brandon. The series includes Murder in Little Shendon, Act One, Scene One – Murder, and Murder at Serenity Farm.
A.H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.
Readers can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
To learn more, go to https://ahrichardson.com/
Read my other Author interviews here!
Thanks for the kind feedback and reading recommendation Veronica!
Great interview Jo-Ann. I’ve just finished reading Murder in Little Shendon. I absolutely love Richardson’s Jorie series and would recommend it to anyone looking for a book for their middle grade reader.