Happy Sunday!!! Today I’m on the blog tour for Palm Trees in the Pyrenees by Elly Grant and am delighted to bring you an extract….ALSO, you can get a FREE copy of this book between 16th – 20th September…..read below to find out how!
A rookie cop, a dash of mysterious death, and a heap of suspicion – as the heat rises, lethal tensions boil over in the Pyrenees.
Unappreciated, unnoticed, and passed over for promotion, thirty-year-old Danielle’s fledgling career in law enforcement is going nowhere – until the unexpected death of a hated Englishman turns her small town upside down.
Set in the idyllic south of France, Palm Trees in the Pyreneesis the first whodunit novel in Elly Grant’s thrilling murder mystery series. Against a background of prejudice, jealousy, and greed, Danielle pieces together the sparse clues of a fractured homicide. But will she find enough evidence to solve the case – and get the recognition she deserves?
To find out, get your copy of ‘Palm Trees in the Pyrenees’ – right now.
Where to buy: http://mybook.to/palmtrees
Palm Trees in the Pyreness will be FREE on 16th– 20thSept 2019
Danielle is a policewoman and is the main character of the book. She is rather gauche. She has arranged to go to dinner with Byron, a wealthy, charming, English ex-pat. Having little confidence, she usually finds great difficulty in interacting with people. This is mostly due to her relationship with her spiteful, bitter, judgemental mother.
When I arrive at my house and open the door, which is never locked, I’m hit by a wave of heat and the smell of wood smoke from the stove. I quickly and quietly enter the house and go straight to my room to deposit my dress as I don’t want my mother to see it until I’m wearing it. When I return back downstairs my mother calls to me.
“Is that you Danielle? I didn’t hear you come in.”
I enter the kitchen and suddenly remember that I haven’t told my mother I’ll be eating out tonight. The simmering pots on the stove show me that she’s prepared a lot of food and I hope it’s something that will keep until tomorrow.
“Dinner is ready,” she says without looking up, “As soon as your father gets home we can eat.”
“I’m so sorry Mama. I meant to telephone but today was very difficult and I forgot. I’m having dinner with a friend tonight, so I won’t be eating here.”
She looks up and I can see the annoyance on her face. Then she notices my new look.
“What on earth have you done to yourself?” she asks. “I hope you haven’t been wearing that rubbish on your face to work, what will people think? You are an officer of the law not some cheap slut.”
I shrink at her venomous attack but I’m used to her cruelty. I used to think my mother was always right about everything, and everyone says she’s a good, god-fearing, pious woman. However, I now realise that instead of giving me advice and support, she’s always criticised me. She’s jealous of my youth and my opportunities and she’s jealous because my father is proud of me and praises me. Even with this knowledge, her words always wound me and destroy my confidence, but not tonight. Nothing she says can hurt me tonight as I feel too happy. I don’t wait for another verbal slap but instead go straight upstairs to wash and dress.
It’s almost time for Byron to arrive when I return downstairs. My father hasn’t reached home yet and I know he’s probably popped into a bar to have a glass of Ricard with his friends after work. My mother will be annoyed as she hardly ever goes out and is lonely and bored. She has only her spitefulness and criticism for company and I wonder if she’s always been this way.
She eyes me up and down as I step into the room. “Who are you dining with?” she asks.
“Just a friend,” I reply.
She looks at me suspiciously, “Is your friend male or female?”
“If you must know, my friend is a man,” I say, and I wait for a cutting remark. I’m very surprised when instead of acid her reply is sweet.
“Your father would approve of that dress,” she says, not quite able to pay me a compliment herself. “I had one quite similar when I was a girl. I had a neat figure like yours.”
I hadn’t ever imagined my mother as a young woman and I wonder if she wore makeup or pretty clothes and, if so, what changed her? She’s not old, being only fifty-nine, but she has adopted the look of one of the elderly ladies of the town. She wears a shapeless black shift over a plain white blouse and her grey hair, which is pinned up in a tight bun, has never, in my memory, ever been coloured.
I look at my mother and wonder if my father has made her this way or if it’s simply the pressures of small town living. One thing I know for sure, I want my life to be different. It is strange how one event, one small change, can alter a person’s perspective. We hear a car pull into the lane and both my mother and I go to the window and, as we peer through the glass, we see Byron step out of his vintage, Bentley convertible.
“Pah! He’s not a date,” she exclaims. “He’s as old as me. I didn’t think that a daughter of mine would end up a rich, old man’s whore.”
“I never said I was going on a date,” I reply. “I said that I was meeting a friend for dinner.”
I grab my coat and handbag and rush out of the door in time to meet Byron before he reaches my house as I don’t want to give my mother a chance to ruin my evening with her poisonous tongue.
When he sees me, he says, “Wow, Danielle, you look gorgeous,” and I smile at him and I believe him because in his eyes I am.
about the author
Hi, my name is Elly Grant and I like to kill people. I use a variety of methods. Some I drop from a great height, others I drown, but I’ve nothing against suffocation, poisoning or simply battering a person to death. As long as it grabs my reader’s attention, I’m satisfied.
I’ve written several novels and short stories. My first novel, ‘Palm Trees in the Pyrenees’ is set in a small town in France. It is the first book of my ‘Death in the Pyrenees series and they are all published by Creativia. The others in the series are, ‘Grass Grows in the Pyrenees’, ’Red Light in the Pyrenees’, ’Dead End in the Pyrenees’, ‘Deadly Degrees in the Pyrenees’ and ‘Hanging Around in the Pyrenees’. Creativia has also published my grittier crime novels set in Glasgow, ‘The Unravelling of Thomas Malone’ and ‘The Coming of the Lord’ as well as my thriller, ‘Death at Presley Park’. Also published are my Romance ‘Never Ever Leave Me, as well as a collaboration on the quirky black comedy ‘But Billy Can’t Fly’ and short stories called ‘Twists and Turns’.
As I live much of the year in a small French town in the Eastern Pyrenees, I get inspiration from the way of life and the colourful characters I come across. I don’t have to search very hard to find things to write about and living in the most prolific wine producing region in France makes the task so much more delightful.
When I first arrived in this region I was lulled by the gentle pace of life, the friendliness of the people and the simple charm of the place. But dig below the surface and, like people and places the world over, the truth begins to emerge. Petty squabbles, prejudice, jealousy and greed are all there waiting to be discovered. Oh, and what joy in that discovery. So, as I sit in a café, or stroll by the riverside, or walk high into the mountains in the sunshine, I greet everyone I meet with a smile and a ‘Bonjour’ and, being a friendly place, they return the greeting. I people-watch as I sip my wine or when I go to buy my baguette. I discover quirkiness and quaintness around every corner. I try to imagine whether the subjects of my scrutiny are nice or nasty and, once I’ve decided, some of those unsuspecting people, a very select few, I kill.
Perhaps you will visit my town one day. Perhaps you will sit near me in a café or return my smile as I walk past you in the street. Perhaps you will hold my interest for a while, and maybe, just maybe, you will be my next victim. But don’t concern yourself too much, because, at least for the time being, I always manage to confine my murderous ways to paper.
Read books from the ‘Death in the Pyrenees’ series, enter my small French town and meet some of the people who live there —– and die there.
Alternatively read about life on some of the hardened streets of Glasgow or for something different try my other books and short stories.
Where to find Elly online: Facebook
tour hosted by
Rachel’s Random Resources
Massive thanks to Rachel for inviting me on to the tour, and to Elly and the publisher for providing us with an extract!
Have a wonderful relaxing day!