Putting the books on show

Putting the books on show

The sun shone on the 113th Muker Show on 5th September - a small but perfectly formed agricultural and horticultural show that included sheep dog trials, a local produce tent, fell races and the wonderful sound of the Muker Silver Band playing in the sunshine

  • Posted On: 6 September 2018
The annual agricultural shows in the Yorkshire Dales generally take place at the end of the summer holiday season – two of them over the August bank holiday weekend: the Wensleydale Show in Leyburn is a big affair attracting many thousands of people on the Saturday, and the Reeth show in Swaledale is smaller but remarkably popular with visitors. Last but by no means the least is the Muker Show in early September. It is a much smaller event, tucked away in Upper Swaledale but there...

Chatting to readers and signing my books

Chatting to readers and signing my books

I’ve spent the last two weekends at events in Wensleydale publicising ‘Stone Tomb’

  • Posted On: 15 August 2018
Writing is quite a lonely task – sitting for hours without speaking to anyone, staring out of the window and walking in the dales with a head full of alternative plots. Sometimes one might seem to be quite oblivious of the outside world. I keep in touch with readers by giving talks about my work – both writing and forensics – but it is a real treat to chat to readers who are avidly waiting for the next book in the series. In the last two weeks I have met people who came to...

‘Stone Tomb’ has finally been published!

‘Stone Tomb’ has finally been published!

Today is launch day for the ninth book in the series about Mills Sanderson and her investigations.

  • Posted On: 31 July 2018
Yes, it has been exciting to see the number of pre-orders arriving for both the printed and ebooks and, yes, it will be fun to meet my regular readers at my signings at Tennants on 4th & 5th August and at Berry’s Farm Shop on 12th. I will be talking to Steve Brown on Drystone Radio next Monday 6th August and something will appear in the Northern Echo/Darlington & Stockton Times in the next week. Am I excited? Yes but… I am already missing the pressure of keeping up the...

Inspiration for “Stone Tomb” comes from an underground bunker at Grinton

Inspiration for “Stone Tomb” comes from an underground bunker at Grinton

In June 2016 I attended a talk at the Reeth Museum by Shaun Richardson, who described his archaeological survey of the site. My immediate reaction was that it would make a great crime scene! Hence the title of my latest book: “Stone Tomb”.

  • Posted On: 17 July 2018

I began my writing career while carrying out forensic, archaeological, environmental and geological investigations at Imperial College, London, and I use that experience to inform the work of my protagonist, Dr Mills Sanderson, forensic archaeologist.
However, I now devote my time to my innovation company which recently received significant funding from the Government’s Industrial Innovation Strategy Fund to deploy a laser sampling tool on nuclear licensed sites. The aim is to make decommissioning of old nuclear power stations safer, cleaner, faster and more cost effective. It is therefore no coincidence there is a nuclear theme to my latest book. The crime scene is a fictional Royal Observer Corps bunker above Arkengarthdale, close to the “Tan Hill Inn”. It has remained closed for fifty years, or so Mills Sanderson believes, but when she begins an archaeological investigation of the site it quickly goes wrong.
There were over 1500 Royal Observer Corps bunkers constructed during the Cold War and their history is fascinating. It is part of the fun of writing my crime novels to research the background, whether it concerns a novel forensic method or archaeological technique.  In the plot of  “Stone Tomb” the bunker plays a significant part so it was fortunate there is plenty of material available on the underground posts so I could ensure I got my facts right.
“Stone Tomb”, the ninth book in the “Yorkshire Dales Mystery” Series, will be published by Viridian Publishing on 31st July.
Susan will be signing copies at Tennant’s Craft & Gift Fair on 4th & 5th August and at Berry’s Farm Shop on 12th August.


They call it the “blurb”

They call it the “blurb”

My ninth book is being edited and the draft of the front cover is ready, so now I have to write the “blurb”.

  • Posted On: 18 June 2018

It is what goes on the back cover and in my case that means a paragraph or two to tempt the reader with a flavour of the storyline without giving too much away. AND IT IS REALLY DIFFICULT! I agree with an author who said she would rather write the entire novel than produce the blurb. How do you tempt your readers with a dead body when any mention of it seems to give away who the victim is? You don’t say who but there are clues in the where and the how and the when. I guess the trick is to provide a flavour of the story. When browsing in a bookshop I will read the blurb and return to the shelf any book that mentions a nude found horribly mutilated – clearly it is a winner for some readers but not me. I will similarly reject any book that has a cat solving crimes or if detection involves knitting. So it’s back to the drawing board. What about starting my blurb with: "The nuclear bunker at Tan Hill has remained locked for over fifty years – or so Dr Mills Sanderson believes..."  Let me know what you think.


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