Today Olivia Redmond is visiting Ascroft, eh? to tell us about Deadly Cypher: A World War II mystery, the latest novel in the Deadly series.
Welcome, Olivia. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel you live inside:
I’m Olivia Redmond, Livvy to my friends, and I am currently working for Britain’s spymaster in Deadly Cypher. World War II has started, although nothing much has happened yet. I’ve been sent to Bletchley Park to learn why one of the codebreakers in this super-secret facility has been murdered.
This is the seventh in The Deadly Series that started when my first husband was killed. Not only did I have to investigate his death, since the police wrote it off as suicide and I could tell that was impossible, but I also needed to find a job to afford our, now my, flat. I obtained a job from a friend’s father on his newspaper that came with some secret assignments. That led to me being noticed by the spymaster who borrows me from the newspaper on occasion.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
Apparently, I don’t get enough of a say, since I like a comfortable life, and Kate Parker has a bad habit of sending me into dangerous situations. She sent me into countries just before or after the Nazis moved in, she has me help people escape, and she puts me in dreary accommodations. Fortunately, she introduced me to my current husband, a wonderful man, but since he’s a British army captain, he’s been around very little since the war began.
How did you evolve as the main character?
The Deadly Series is the story of my life. Starting with my first husband’s murder in the autumn of 1937, Kate has been chronicling my adventures.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? Why are you partial to them?
There’s Adam Redmond, of course. My husband. I adore him for so many reasons. In Deadly Cypher, I share a story with the other seven young women who are billeted with me in the servants’ quarters of an estate, the two older servants who still live there to take care of the owners, and the male codebreakers we work with on a daily basis. I particularly like Rosalie Billingsthorpe, one of my fellow German translators, who has a couple of secrets of her own.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Bletchley Park is a manor house surrounded by high, wire fences, sentries, and secrecy. I work in a temporary building on the grounds, drafty and cold with poor lighting. No one can tell anyone else what they are doing, which makes it harder to find out why the woman who had my desk before me was murdered. She was killed outside the estate where she, and now I, live. The main part of the house and some of the grounds are used for an army camp, and the earl and countess who own the estate live upstairs from us in the servants’ wing with the cook and housemaid who continue to work for them. The cook provides our meals, and the food, at least, is wonderful.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
It’s fun. It’s puzzling. Everyone has secrets and it’s my job to sort out the harmless fibs from the lethal lies. Plus, I’ll give you a look into the early days of World War II. You’ll enjoy it. Come join me in Deadly Cypher.
Thank you for answering my questions, Olivia, and good luck to you and your author, Kate Parker, with Deadly Cypher: A World War II mystery, the latest book in the Deadly series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Kate Parker: With her love of travel, Kate Parker sets her novels overseas. Once home from her research trips and armed with hot tea and chocolate, she can be found clicking away on her keyboard, hiking the hills of central North Carolina, and spoiling her 90 pound muse puppy. She’d tell you what she did before she retired, but then she’d have to use certain skills to eliminate you. She pens stories to entertain readers who enjoy action and murder in tales about plucky heroines, quirky characters, and difficult situations in a bygone era. Her stories are sweet, as in no graphic sex, violence, or language. Her heroines remain ladylike while chasing murderers and escaping danger. Well, as ladylike as scratching, punching, and kicking can be.