Happy New Year to all Miss Demeanors wonderful readers! Today I wanted to ring in 2024 by introducing you to an author to seek out.
I first came across Joyce Woollcott’s A Nice Place to Die on the recommendation of a fellow author, and was struck by how she’d managed to conjure a very neat twist to immerse the detective in his new case.
No spoiler alert here, but suffice it to say I snapped up the second in the series, Blood Relations, and am looking forward to her next. I asked Joyce about her books and why she chose to set them in Belfast. Please welcome Canadian author Joyce Woollcott:
I was featured in an article a while ago in the Belfast Telegraph. I’m Belfast born, and the reporter asked me to talk about my books and why I had chosen to set them in Northern Ireland. If you get a moment, please have a look at my article, found here…
I write police procedurals. I love to read them, and I especially enjoy it when the detectives gather the clues, set them all out, and begin to unravel the mystery.
I also love a little light relief. Books that weigh heavily on the gloomy side are not my favourite. I would say that people from Northern Ireland are smart and have a wicked sense of humour. To me anyway, any book without that as a feature is lacking something. It can be dark and often is, but a book that is all gloom and doom with no light moments would not be high on my to-read list.
A great setting is also important. Sometimes dark and desolate, other times a rain-soaked Belfast street or a damp and windy coastal road. Northern Ireland is the perfect place for a crime.
So in answer to the reporter, that’s why I chose to set my books there in Ulster. I wanted to showcase the wonderful people who live there, and the fabulous countryside.
I have two books now in my Belfast Murder Series featuring Detective Sergeant Ryan McBride and his partner DS Billy Lamont. While obviously they contain themes of murder and violence, most of that is off the page. I also try to add depth of character and a fair dose of humour to my stories. And there’s that wonderful setting I spoke of — rain and wind and grey skies. Perfect!
Book One: A Nice Place to Die.
The body of a young woman is found by a river outside Belfast and Detective Sergeant Ryan McBride makes a heart-wrenching discovery at the scene, a discovery he chooses to hide even though it could cost him the investigation – and his career.
The victim was a loner but well liked. Why would someone want to harm her? And is her murder connected to a rapist who’s stalking the local pubs? As Ryan untangles a web of deception and lies, his suspects die one by one, leading him to a dangerous family secret and a murderer who will stop at nothing to keep it.
And still he harbors his secret…
Book Two: Blood Relations
Belfast, Northern Ireland: early spring 2017. Retired Chief Inspector Patrick Mullan is found brutally murdered in his bed. Detective Sergeant Ryan McBride and his partner Detective Sergeant Billy Lamont are called to his desolate country home to investigate.
In their inquiry, they discover a man whose career with the Police Service of Northern Ireland was overshadowed by violence and corruption. Is the killer someone from Mullan’s past, or his present?
And who hated the man enough to kill him twice?
Ryan and Billy once again face a complex investigation with wit and intelligence, all set in Belfast and the richly atmospheric countryside around it.
For more info please visit my website: https://www.jwoollcott.com
Happy New Year to all!