Welcome to #TimeForCrime a new series here at Chapterinmylife.
I am inviting bloggers and authors talk about their favourite subject crime, with a set of quick-fire Q&As taking you to the dark heart of the person behind the book or the blog!
This week I am delighted to welcome author, Robert Crouch.
Name: Robert Crouch
About you: I’m a murder mystery writer who lives on South Coast in East Sussex. By profession, I’m an environmental health officer (EHO), which means I spent my working life trying to improve public health and the environment. My main role was food hygiene checks on commercial kitchens. I was also involved in protecting the health and safety of employees at work. This included workplace accident investigation, which led to the idea for my first novel, No Accident.
It’s a traditional murder mystery with a modern twist, namely an EHO investigating, but it’s much more than that.
So let’s delve into the depths of Robert’s mind…
Why crime fiction?
I’ve always loved puzzles, and mysteries from the Famous Five to Scooby Doo as child. In later life, the complex twisting plots and subplots of Agatha Christie’s, Miss Marple, and Colin Dexter’s, Inspector Morse, captured my imagination.
That’s the beauty of crime fiction. It can cover almost any theme or topic, in almost any number of ways, but always underpinned by the fight for justice and making the criminals pay.
There’s always room for a new angle, which is what I try to offer.
Favourite book you have written(reviewed)
It’s almost impossible to say because I continue to find and read great books. Not Dead Enough by Peter James was brilliant and remains vivid in my mind. But Rachel Amphlett, Robin Roughley and LJ Ross have all made a big impression on me recently.
In terms of my books, my favourite has to be the latest, No Remorse, due for release in May 2018. It’s the third in the Kent Fisher Mysteries and starts to reveal more about his character and background, which was great fun.
You are stranded on a desert island, you can take one book, what will it be
Good question. It would have to be something that made me laugh, which means Tom Sharpe. There are so many to choose from, but Blott on the Landscape has an environmental angle, so I’ll go with that.
Do you have a kill list and who is on it?
No, because none of us is perfect or flawless in their life. But I have plenty of pet peeves that could drive me to kill if I let them –
- People who get pleasure from hunting or shooting innocent animals
- People who award themselves huge pay rises and bonuses while treating their staff with contempt
- People who think it’s okay to cheat the system with false claims
Top criminal (real or fiction)
I’m fascinated by Lord Lucan because his disappearance leaves so many unanswered questions, allowing us all to speculate, which is what writers do.
Top fictional detective
Now that’s a tough one too because I like so many, as I alluded to earlier. But because she was the inspiration behind my Kent Fisher mysteries, I’ll go for Kinsey Millhone, created by the late, great Sue Grafton, who took her private detective through 25 novels. That’s no mean feat.
Planner or pantser/organised or beautifully chaotic
Neither. I planned my first two novels in some detail as the plots were complex and affected by subplots. The third started with a line of dialogue and a setting. No more. I wrote the line of dialogue and continued without a plan or outline. I loved every minute because it’s an adventure into the unknown that requires a leap of faith and self-belief.
Favourite method of murder
Because I don’t have the police or private detectives investigating, my murders are disguised. They’re made to look like accidents, suicide, or death by natural causes, that kind of approach. Otherwise they would be investigated by the police and I’d be writing police procedurals.
Best place to dispose a body
You’ll need to read my second novel, No Bodies, to discover that..
Where can we find you? (Oh your blog details, dafty, any personal haunts send them to me privately!)
Well, now I am intrigued to find out just where Robert would choose to hide a body! thank you so much for joining me today Robert, what fascinating answers!