Saturday, 15 September 2012

The PINK SOFA welcomes: Cara Cooper

Cara Cooper

The PINK SOFA has been brushed clean of cake crumbs, bits of novel, and the odd cat. Now it is ready to host its first guest: the lovely Cara Cooper. Cara is a member of the RNA and the Crime Writers Association; she writes heart-warming novels, the sort that make you smile and go 'Aaahh' on the last page.

 I really enjoyed The Sanctuary, and recommend it highly - not only for the story, but for the luscious descriptions of food. I guarantee you will end the book with a tear in your eye and a craving for crab sandwiches!

 I first met Cara online when I started blogging, and trying to inch my way slowly into the writing community. Cara welcomed me, befriended me, and supported me in those early days, which she is still doing. She loves dancing, and those of us who follow her blog are frequently entertained by stories of her dances, and her life in London.

 But recently, Cara's writing has taken a different turn. Here, she shares it with us. Over to you, Cara:

''Lately, I have turned to crime! Writing that is, not committing it. I wrote a cosy crime/romance novel some while ago which My Weekly published as a pocket novel called Take a Chance. It will hopefully be shortly published as an e-book by Astraea Press.
It was my take on a classic country house mystery with Lady Margrave as the enigmatic lady of the manor. Marie is the heroine, a newcomer plunged into an exciting but potentially dangerous world.

The gardener and a detective who comes to solve the thefts of precious antiques at the house are the men vying for her affection. I am at present working on another. This one is a little more gritty and as inspiration I have been watching the 'Murder She Wrote' series on TV. It was one of the most successful and long-running TV shows in history, with close to 23 million viewers in its prime, and was a staple Sunday night lineup for a decade.
Cara's latest novel

Some of the story lines were ingenious and the characterisation always good with the wise novel-writing television detective played by Angela Lansbury. That got me thinking about well loved TV detectives and what makes them interesting, compelling, memorable characters. I shall definitely think of these when I am writing my new cosy crime, with an amateur sleuth I hope I may develop to have her own series of books.

Sherlock Holmes: very intelligent, almost a genius, fearless, brave, pipe deerstalker.
Colombo: Observant, worldly wise, fools people into thinking he is harmless when he is in fact on the ball. Cigar, raincoat.
Miss Marple: Nosy (or if we are going to be nice,inquisitive), appeared to be nothing more than an innocent little old lady, observant, handbag, twinset and pearls.
Wallander: Family man, tenacious and sees things though to the end, wise, very good to his subordinates.
Jack Frost: Wry humour, slight deathwish so doesn't care about his own safety, probably because his wife is dead. Doesn't look after himself, modest (embarrassed by his medal for bravery), disillusioned with life, so presumes the worst of people, but compassionate, trilby hat, raincoat.
Morse: Highly intelligent, pushes the boundaries, suspicious of authority, Jaguar car, classical music, Oxford connection, unlucky in love.

What do you think? Do you have any favourite sleuths, amateur or otherwise who I have missed, and what makes them memorable?''

Cara is published by Xcite (Healing Love and Safe Harbour). her novel The Sanctuary is published by Astraea. Her novels are also available as e-books and all can be bought via Amazon. 
Cara's blog is at:


  1. My favourite sleuth is Matthew Shardlake, from the Tudor mystery series created by C J Sansom. Lawyer, hunchback, clever, meticulous, irascible, believes truth is more important than his own safety, lonely and searching. Just love him!

  2. Well, there was Jim Bergerac, Midsommer murders and not to mention the fab US series ones like the guy who was building his house in the middle of the desert that he never managed to finish. Colombo is my fave tho. 'Oh, just one more thing!'

  3. I love the sound of your pink sofa. In fact I want one of my own! My favourite Inspector is Wexford. As usual the TV treated the stories differently from the original Ruth Rendell books and I've enjoyed both very much. I also loved Wycliffe though I must say the books were better than the TV series.

  4. I love the idea of combining murder mysteries with romance. Definitely on to a winner there! Good luck with your series concept. -Edith

  5. Thanks for your comments. I've never read the C J Sansom books Henriette but caught the tail end of one on the radio the other day and really enjoyed it. Midsomer murders is wonderful Nell, I just hope I never end up in Midsomer by mistake - it's just like the Bermuda Triangle, so many people who go ther end up dead. Rosalind, I like Wexford too, both the books and the TV version. Edith, many thanks, series seem to be really popular.

  6. Crime novels are always good reads. Great interview, and best of luck to Cara.

  7. Good luck in the new genre, Cara. Sounds like fun!
    My favorite fictional sleuth never got a TV series, but I wish he would. It's Nigel Strangeways, from Nicholas Blake's mysteries from the 1930s and '40s. Unfortunately, Blake didn't write many mysteries, but that's because he had a full-time life and job as Cecil Day-Lewis (father of the actor Daniel), renowned classical scholar.

  8. Great post, Cara, and good luck! I'm a big fan of 'Murder, She Wrote'. I loved the plots!

  9. I lov reading books that make me go 'ahhhhh' at the end but crime is my favourite genre to read. Sounds as if your books will be perfect for me.

  10. *goes off to look for someone more reliable than self to proofread comments before pressing 'publish'*

  11. Wonderful post! I'd add Poirot and his leetle grey cells, although in real life he'd drive me to commit murder.

  12. Lovely post Cara. I used to love Murder She Wrote and was also a fan of Columbo. Best of luck with The Sanctuary!x

  13. Thanks Juliet, Anita, D J - sorry not to have replied sooner, thanks for your best wishes and comments. Poirot is fun and very distinctive.


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