Two Feet Under began life as a conversation in a car, when my eldest daughter and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an author/reader event. It gained a criminal mastermind as a result of another conversation in the car with her younger sister. It got its background thanks to the popular television series “Time Team” and a setting care of the northern part of Hampshire. The plot came from the author’s twisted imagination, via a lot of checking. And at least one character is based on people I know. You have been warned.
About Two Feet Under
Things are looking up for Adam Matthews and Robin Bright—their relationship is blossoming, and they’ve both been promoted. But Robin’s a policeman, and that means murder is never far from the scene.
When a body turns up in a shallow grave at a Roman villa dig site—a body that repeatedly defies identification—Robin finds himself caught up in a world of petty rivalries and deadly threats. The case seems to want to drag Adam in, as well, and their home life takes a turn for the worse when an ex-colleague gets thrown out of his house and ends up outstaying his welcome at theirs.
While Robin has to prove his case against a manipulative and fiendishly clever killer, Adam is trying to find out which police officer is leaking information to the media. And both of them have to work out how to get their home to themselves again, which might need a higher intelligence than either a chief inspector or a deputy headteacher.
Interview with Adam
I posted an interview with Adam Matthews when “The Best Corpse for the Job”, the first Lindenshaw mystery, came out. “Two Feet Under is the third in the series, so I thought it was time to go back and ask him how things have changed.
Charlie: Adam, last time I asked you, for the benefit of people who don’t get the English school system, to explain the lingo. I’ve been amazed at how well readers have coped with all the argot and slang.
Adam: Readers aren’t daft; they can all access google and the like to find out what a rozzer is. Some of them won’t need to if they’ve been brought up on watching series like Midsomer Murders on PBS – they’ll have an understanding of rural England already. Didn’t one of the reviews compare the Lindenshaw stories to watching something on PBS?
Charlie: It did! Something that was always potentially confusing is the school system – you’re a teacher so school life always features in the novels and “Two Feet Under” is no exception. You’ve taught at church schools. Are they common in England?
Adam: To paraphrase the words of Tom Jones, they’re not unusual. Lots of parishes set up schools back in the nineteenth century, but not with the aim of proselytising people. It was to provide local children with an education they’d otherwise not have had. Being the local school and providing free education is still their main role today. They still have their connection with the local parish, usually having Foundation governors on the governing body (like Neil, the vicar at Lindenshaw, who gets a fleeting mention in this story, too!) who make sure the Christian character of the school is developed appropriately. Aren’t you a Foundation governor?
Charlie: I am, which may surprise people. Can I share a secret? Where vicars are governors they are either brilliant or totally hopeless. Never in between. Hey, you’re distracting me here, Adam. Like you distracted Robin.
Adam: Did he say that? He’s pretty distracting himself. Policemen shouldn’t be allowed to look like that.
Charlie: He also said that teachers shouldn’t be allowed to look like you. He said he could hardly hold his pen when he interviewed you. Oh, stop giggling, smutty mind.
Adam: You’re a fine one to talk, the double entendres you work into your stories. I’ve read some of your stuff, so you can’t deny it.
Charlie: Ahem. Time to change the subject. Robin’s murder investigations seem to want to drag you in. Does that happen this time?
Adam: Yes. I try very hard to keep out of things, but in a job like mine I get to meet so many people and make so many connections, it’s difficult not to run across somebody who’s involved in some way with a case. Culdover, where I’m now teaching, isn’t a big city like London – everyone seems to know everyone else!
Charlie: You also get involved with sorting out Sergeant Anderson’s love life.
Adam: Oh yes. Give me teaching ten year olds any day compared to sorting out a grown man who’s fallen out with his partner.
Charlie: One last question. What do you like best about Robin?
Adam: His great, big...eyes. Bright, like his name. Real “come to bed” looks. When I first saw him it was like when Laurie first sees Andrew in “The Charioteer”.
Charlie: I remember that scene. I hope the readers here do.
Adam: If they don’t, they’ll have to go and read it. Hopefully they’ll read “Two Feet Under”, too.
About the Lindenshaw Mysteries
Adam Matthews's life changed when Inspector Robin Bright walked into his classroom to investigate a murder.
Now it seems like all the television series are right: the leafy villages of England do indeed conceal a hotbed of crime, murder, and intrigue. Lindenshaw is proving the point.
Detective work might be Robin's job, but Adam somehow keeps getting involved—even though being a teacher is hardly the best training for solving crimes. Then again, Campbell, Adam's irrepressible Newfoundland dog, seems to have a nose for figuring things out, so how hard can it be?
About Charlie Cochrane
As Charlie Cochrane couldn't be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie's Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
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To celebrate the release of Two Feet Under, one lucky winner will receive a swag bag, including magnet, napkins, bookmark, pencils, hanging decoration, postcards, and a coaster! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!