Claire Barclay is visiting Ascroft, eh? today to tell us about Danger in Edinburgh, the latest novel in the British Book Tour mystery series.
Welcome, Claire. 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.
My name is Claire Barclay. I own and operate a tour guide business where I take readers of mysteries (and their partners and friends) to the site of their favorite mystery novels in my home country of Britain. In Danger in Edinburgh: The British Book Tour Mysteries Book 4. I, innocently take my dog Gulliver for his evening walk in the Dean’s Path, usually a tranquil spot in the heart of Edinburgh. Not tonight. Tonight, Gulliver finds the body of a young woman. I learn she isn’t the first to be killed close to The Royal Mile. It wasn’t the first time I’d stumbled over a victim either. In my home village I’d been invited to tea to find my hostess dead—poisoned. (Hazards in Hampshire). My neighbour called me over to witness his discovery of his guest, dead in his garden. (Crime in Cornwall) and a security guard I’d met only once was dead at my feet (Perils in Yorkshire). None of those murders were my fault.
Does the writer control what happens in the story or do you get a say too?
I am a strong character, but I have to admit she is stronger. She manages the plot. I blurt out the dialogue.
How did you evolve as the main character?
I am rather surprised at the way I’ve changed. I’d had a bad relationship (everyone seems to) and I wasn’t interested in a permanent man, but Detective Inspector Mark Evans intrigued me. The man could sing. That was irresistible. I did resist for quite a while. After all, I had come into money, was independent, had my own house (semidetached) and my own dog. Why did I need Mark? My sister Dierdre nagged me and forced me to look at the way I was retreating from love. It was uncomfortable to contemplate, but I did inch my way into trusting that I’d survive a relationship with him. I’ve also learned quite a bit about the crazy bureaucracy of the police.
Do you have any other characters you like sharing the story with? If so, why are you partial to them?
I love my sister Dierdre. Of course, she does nag but she’s a crown prosecutor and is used to managing everyone around her. She loves me, too, and I value that and she knows well. She gave me Gulliver before I even knew I wanted a dog. He’s my friend and a darling. Then there’s Mark who is rapidly becoming necessary to my happiness.
What’s the place like where you find yourself in this story?
Edinburgh is fascinating. I love the castle, the medieval buildings, the music in the pubs, the stairs and alleyways that connect pedestrians to different parts of the city. I take my tourists to Iona, the magical isle off Mull, to Blair Castle for the Highland Games with its dancing and bagpipes and the pub in Dunkeld for a night of Celtic fiddle music. We spend quite a lot of time in The Magpie Café where my tourists interact with the local patrons and the waitress Isla, a university student, is threatened by the killer. Everyone wants to find this killer.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers about you and the book?
I hope you come along with me as another tourist in my group and experience the characters I meet and the mystery that entangles us.
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Thank you for answering my questions, Claire, and good luck to you and your author, Emma Dakin, with Danger in Edinburgh, the latest book in the British Book Tour mystery series.
The novel is available at the following online retailers:
About Emma Dakin: Emma lives in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast of British. She has over twenty trade published books, including a 2022 Award winning memoir Always Pack a Candle: A Nurse in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, but continues to enjoy writing The British Book Tour Mysteries. Her love of the British countryside and villages and her addiction to cozy mysteries keep her immersed in discovering the different cultures of the country and the different dialects. She gives us characters who live and work in those villages, isles and cities. She introduces readers to the problems that disturb the idyllic setting. Research is essential to give the reader an authentic setting. It was necessary for Emma to sit in The Whiski Bar on The Royal Mile, to tour Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood and to play her fiddle in the Tay Inn. A trip to the Highlands and the iconic isle of Iona were vital. When not writing or traveling, she paddles with her outrigger crew on the waters of the Pacific Coast and walks her dog who is much less obedient than Claire’s fictional Gulliver.