Dorothy Sayers is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about Valued for Murder, the latest novel in the Dotty Sayers Antique mystery series.
Welcome, Dotty. Let’s get started, shall we?
Tell us about the novel that you live inside. Is it part of a series? If so, please tell us about the series too.
Hi, I’m Dorothy Sayers, although I prefer being called Dotty. I’m the main character in the cozy mystery, Valued for Murder. This is the 2nd book in the Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery series, the first being Fake Death.
The books are about me, as a shy amateur sleuth, stumbling across murders in my new job at Akemans antiques and auction house.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
My writer, Victoria Tait, chooses the theme for the story, based around my personal development and growth, and my increasing knowledge and experience in the antiques world.
She finds a victim, a setting and some suspects and allows the story to unfold from there. I know I, and the other characters, often surprise her and the story heads in an unexpected direction. But that’s fun and spontaneous.
How did you evolve as the main character?
I was a shy, nervous soul as I’d spent my life dominated by my father and then my husband. When my husband died, I had to learn to be independent, and I fell into a job at a local auction house. The theme of each book follows my growth, both personally and at work, while I learn about antiques and solve some murders along the way.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
I wasn’t too sure about some of the other characters to start with, but as my confidence has grown, alongside my job at Akemans, I’ve come to enjoy their company and value their advice.
At Akemans, Gilly Wimsey is a mother-like figure making sure I’m OK. David Rook, at Akemans, and Aunt Beanie, my landlady, are mentor figures, providing advice and guidance, and Keya, Constable Varma, is developing into a fun, if slightly clumsy, friend.
I also love my British blue cat, Earl Grey, who I adopted in the Fake Death.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
The story is set in the wonderful English Cotswolds, and I’m so lucky to be living and working in such a beautiful area. I love driving along the top of the rolling hills and through the honey-coloured stone villages. Akemans antiques centre is converted from a three-storey flour mill and still has the wooden mill wheel, sitting in the River Coln which runs alongside Akemans to the nearby village of Coln Akeman.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
If you’d like to start at the beginning of my story, and the Dotty Sayers Antique Mystery series, you can download the free prequel Hour is Come, by visting my website www.VictoriaTait.com.
Thank you for answering my questions, Dotty, and good luck to you and your author, Victoria Tait, with Valued for Murder, the latest book in the Dotty Sayers Antique mystery series.
The novel is available online at Amazon
About Victoria Tait: Victoria was born and raised in Yorkshire, UK, and never expected to travel the world. But she fell for an Army Officer, and she has followed him from Northern Ireland, up to the Scottish Highlands, across to Africa and the Kenyan Savannah, back to the British Cotswolds, and they are now living in Sarajevo, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Southern Europe.
She never expected to be an author, but all their moving is not ideal for holding down a job. Instead, she has taken the experiences of the places she has lived to write vivid and evocative cozy mystery books with determined female sleuths.
She has two fast-growing teenage boys, and together they have learnt to ski on the Bosnian mountains. She also enjoys horse riding, mountain biking and she has started running as a way to improve her physical fitness, mental wellbeing and shed some excess pounds.