‘Laced with irreverent humour, the book offers a contemporary and distinctive twist to the classic whodunit’
– No Love Lost
In 2016, environmental health officer, Robert Crouch, hung up his probe thermometer and turned to murder. He combined his extensive experience of environmental health with his love of the classic whodunit to create Kent Fisher, a sleuth unique in crime literature, an environmental health officer with more baggage than an airport carousel.
Today I am delighted to be celebrating the publication of the sixth book in the Kent Fisher series with an extract from No Love Lost, just published on September 15th. I do hope you enjoy!
[ About the Book ]
When Mandy Paige seeks Kent Fisher’s help to find the mother who abandoned her as a baby, he has no idea of the mayhem his investigation will unleash. With only a photograph of a woman he once knew, he discovers she left her office one Friday afternoon twenty years ago and never returned.
Did Helen Cassidy escape an abusive husband or was she abducted and murdered?
People connected to Helen begin to die in mysterious circumstances. An old foe returns, leaving cryptic messages on the windscreen of Kent’s car. He seems to know Kent’s every move, hounding and taunting the sleuth, attacking those who can help him solve the mystery.
When the main suspect dies, Kent’s investigation lies in tatters – until he realises he’s not the one pursuing the killer. The killer’s pursuing him.
No Love Lost is the sixth book in a series of murder mystery novels featuring environmental health officer, Kent Fisher. Laced with irreverent humour, the book offers a contemporary and distinctive twist to the classic whodunit.
How can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?
[ Extract – No Love Lost ]
There’s something unsettling about the way Mandy Paige looks at me. Her unblinking eyes have already made an inventory of my face. Now it feels like she’s trying to reach inside my mind.
In all other respects, she’s a typical young woman, hoping to become the catering manager of the new café in my animal sanctuary. She looks a bit serious for someone in her early twenties, but that may be her austere glasses, perched on her small nose. She’s a model of composure and control, sitting upright in the chair, knees together, unadorned hands clasping the small handbag in her lap. Professional and polite, her traditional hairstyle, formal jacket and sensible shoes make me think solicitor rather than waitress.
I glance down at my notes, trying to recall the last question I asked. When I look up, she gives me a faint smile that’s more eyes than lips. It suggests she has the measure of me.
My friend, Ashley Goodman, who’s taken the day off from investigating major crimes with Sussex Police, also thinks she has the measure of me. She gives me a reprimanding look and tilts her notebook towards me.
You’re old enough to be her father!!
She’s well aware of my weakness for waitresses, like most of the caterers in Downland. She thinks it’s the only reason I invited Mandy Paige for interview on this chilly Monday afternoon in March.
Her email intrigued me.
I may lack knowledge and experience, but there’s no substitute for imagination.
I look up and meet her eyes. “Tell us about your catering experience.”
She takes her time. When she responds, her voice is assured and confident. “When I left school, I worked at the Seaview Café on Eastbourne seafront for twelve months. We were expected to work front and back of house as the need arose. It gave me an excellent grounding to secure a post at the Grand Hotel, where I’m currently employed, supervising a small team of waiting staff.”
It sounds like she’s reading from her CV, offering bullet points without the detail to support her claims. She’s trying to give the impression she has a wide range of experience, but she could have worked as a cleaner at the café. A discreet phone call at lunchtime confirmed she’s a waitress at the Grand Hotel.
Ashley’s deadpan look confirms the doubts she expressed yesterday evening when we reviewed the candidates. Mandy’s the youngest, without the experience needed to run the café at Meadow Farm Animal Sanctuary.
Like the other candidates, she’s passionate about animal welfare, wildlife and the environment. Unlike the other applicants, her Facebook profile and posts confirm this. She posts videos of her walks along the Seven Sisters, the Cuckmere estuary and Seaford Head, providing detailed commentaries on the sights, history and wildlife.
“Where are the parties and nights out with friends?” Ashley asked when we finished checking Facebook. “She’s an attractive woman with hundreds of friends, yet she claims to prefer animals to people.”
“So do I.”
“With your taste in women, Kent, I’m not surprised.”
“Aren’t you intrigued by her email?”
“I’m curious to know why you’re so gullible.”
Looking across the desk at Mandy, I wonder if Ashley’s right.
“Tell me what attracted you to the job,” I say, keen to complete the last interview of the day.
A smile flickers across her lips. “You solve murders, Mr Fisher.”
[ Bio ]
Robert Crouch is the author of the Kent Fisher murder mystery series. Set in today’s world, the books pay homage to the traditional murder mystery and classic whodunit.
Based on his career as an environmental health officer, Kent Fisher is a different kind of detective, described as ‘unique in crime fiction’ by one reviewer.
Having left environmental health, Robert now writes full time from his home on the East Sussex coast. He loves walking on the South Downs with his wife, Carol, and their Westie, Harvey, reading crime fiction and photography.
Website – https://robertcrouch.co.uk
Amazon page – https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B01HFPCYOM
Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/robertcrouchauthor