Thank you for letting me introduce you to the world of Elspeth Duff, security advisor to Lord Kennington and his fleet of international luxury hotels. Elspeth, a Cambridge educated, savvy, chic, Scottish fifty-something, travels the world for Lord Kennington in order to resolve crises arising at his hotels.
Elspeth has an array of family and friends including a knighted suitor, a Maltese concert pianist aunt, a titled lady cousin who is a farmer, and two children, all of whom become involved in her assignments. Lord Kennington’s outrageously expensive boutique hotels themselves figure prominently in the books as well. Of course, no such hotels exist (worse luck) and even if they did, few of us could afford them.
All books, when published, will be available on Amazon.
Photo images above are (clockwise from left top) Loch Tay in Scotland, a crusader’s castle in Cyprus, and a courtyard in Malta. All these places appear or will appear in my books.
Books in the Elspeth Duff series
1. A Murder in Malta (Published January 2014)
This novel introduces Elspeth Duff. In A Murder in Malta, Lord Kennington, owner of the exclusive Kennington hotels, informs Elspeth of a suspected terrorist threat at his hotel in Valletta during the week of Malta’s ascension to the European Union in 2004. As his top personal security advisor, she must find the terrorists, protect the security of the guests and staff, and deal with the death of a prominent guest. Personally she has to cope with her unexpected emotional response to Sir Richard Munro, the British High Commissioner in Malta, a friend from her schooldays in Scotland.
2. A Scandal in Stresa (Published August 2014)
Shots ring out near the Kennington Stresa hotel on the edge of Lake Maggiore in northern Italy. One strikes the windshield of a large Alfa Romeo on the way to the hotel and the other kills Marco Celli, a seedy but sexy grade-B Italian movie idol and noted womanizer, who is standing nearby glaring up at the hotel. Who is the intended victim? Lord Kennington hustles Elspeth Duff to the scene to make certain his hotel is spared any compromising publicity.
3. A Secret in Singapore (Published June 2015)
At the end of Elspeth’s first year at Girton College at the University of Cambridge in 1969, her fiancé, Malcolm, a vibrant, quixotic and iconoclastic graduate student, was killed outside of the gates of the college. Thirty-eight years later Elspeth travels to England, Scotland, Malta,Tasmania, and Singapore to search for his murderer. The results are devastating to her. She is gravely injured at the Kennington Singapore along the way and is saved from death by Sir Richard.
4. A Crisis in Cyprus (Published July 2016)
Lord Kennington, feeling as much remorse as he can for Elspeth’s injury in Singapore, gives her the benign assignment of fostering a delegation of British diplomats who are staying at the Kennington Nicosia hotel in Greek Cyprus. The task borders on the prosaic until the manager of the hotel falls from the ruins of a medieval castle on the Turkish side of the island. The postmortem confirms that she was killed not by the fall but by strangulation. Elspeth is suspected in the crime.
To escape from the entanglements of her engagement to Sir Richard Munro, Elspeth flees to Malta, where she solves the mystery of the World War II disappearance of her titular aunt’s husband.
Elspeth is called unexpectedly to the Kennington Copenhagen, where a well known operatic coach is found dead. Numerous people in the hotel have secrets to hide, and discovering which one will uncover the murderer proves a difficult task for Elspeth who is distracted by Sir Richard’s presence at the hotel.
Lord Kennington has sent Elspeth off to his new resort hotel in Bermuda to handhold a party of minor royals, but the task is not as easy as he predicted. Blackmail, abduction and murder happen. Elspeth’s prints are found on the murder weapon.
During the long summer days in the central Highlands of Scotland, Elpseth’s cousin and Richard Munro’s close friend, Johnnie, Earl of Tay, is accused of murdering his estranged wife. With the help of Richard and her son Peter, Elspeth finds the real murderer.
© Ann Crew 2013-2015