I know you hate it when people tell you they love your books, so I’m sorry about this – but I love your books.
You see, when I started reading crime stories, all the detectives were handsome young men, all the plots followed the same path, and all the woman screamed, fainted, couldn’t see what was in front of them, or just died.
Then I found you. Your detectives were different. A jazzy young couple, who were definitely equals, an odd little Belgian, a nosy (and quite wonderful) elderly woman. They were unlike anything I’d read before. And as for your plots – clever, and twisted and always surprising. The book never ended how I thought it would be. I still remember reading The Murder of Roger Ackroyd in one sitting, and how, afterwards, I had to put it down, take a breath, and then read it all over again, just to make I sure I understood what had actually just happened, because that was amazing.
You wrote everything, from psychological thrillers to serial killers to romantic comedy pieces, and I loved them all. I learnt from you that not all detective stories had to be the same. You introduced me to different people, and plots, and finally some strong clever women, and I loved every word of it. You changed my insight into a good detective story forever, and thank you for that.
Michelle Birkby is the author of The House at Baker Street, which is available to pre-order and is released on 25th February.