Title: The Bookshop Detective (The Bookshop by the Sea series)
Publisher: Waverley Books
Publication Date: May 2017
Formats: Kindle and Paperback
Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction/humour/mystery
Page Count: 256
When a ghost ship is spotted on the horizon one spring evening, bookseller Eleanor Mace decides to investigate the myths and legends of Combemouth, the seaside town where she runs The Reading Room. As Eleanor digs deeper into the town’s history, she becomes intrigued by a Victorian crime report and is determined to find out what happened to a boy at the centre the case – one with intriguing links to the present.
As Eleanor begins to uncover the truth – aided by the vicar but somewhat stalled by the local librarian – she has an unexpected challenge on her own horizon. Daniel – her husband of six months – is determined that they give up their separate homes and find a new place together. But Eleanor adores her cottage by the sea and resists, guaranteeing that things turn a little frosty as the summer begins.
A celebrity book launch, an exploding dress and some salsa-dancing pensioners make this a mystery with a difference.
Jan Ellis began writing fiction by accident in 2013. Until then, she had led a blameless life as a publisher, editor and historian of early modern Spain. She fell into fiction when a digital publisher approached her to write a history book, then made the mistake of mentioning women’s fiction, which sounded much more fun.
In 2017, her four e-novellas were published in paperback by Waverley Books who also commissioned a brand-new title, The Bookshop Detective.
Jan describes her books as romcom/mystery with the emphasis firmly on family, friendship and humour. She specialises in small-town settings, with realistic characters who range in age from young teens to 80-somethings.
As well as being an author, Jan continues to work at the heart of the book trade. Jan Ellis is a nom-de-plume.
See also Stellar Scribes website: https://stellarscribes5.wixsite.com/stellarscribes
Facebook: Jan Ellis (Writer)
Instagram (even if I don’t know how it works…)
I chaired a ‘romcom’ panel at WestonLitFest this spring (and have been invited back for 2019) and have also spoken at Tiverton Literary Festival. Thanks to The Bookshop Detective, I was part of a crime and mystery evening at The Big Green Bookshop in North London with best-selling authors Lisa Cutts, Simon Booker and William Shaw. In October 2018, I will again be talking about the book at the Yeovil Literary Festival.
I’m a member of ‘Stellar Scribes‘ and together we speak at libraries and run creative writing workshops. I’ve also appeared in the local press and spoken on the radio about my books which, at their core, are about family, friendship and the humour inherent in everyday life.
My paperbacks are widely available from libraries, and Waterstones currently stock them in five of their South West branches. I’ve also been lucky enough to earn shelf space on the shelves of independent bookshops across the country.
When I’m not being Jan Ellis, I do sales and marketing for part of the Booksellers Association of the UK and Ireland (BA) and I’m a non-fiction publisher by trade, which means that I’ve been attending the London and Frankfurt Book Fairs for more years than I care to remember…
Other paperback titles:
An Unexpected Affair and A Summer of Surprises (no. 1 in The Bookshop by the Sea series)
French Kisses and A London Affair
The Bookshop Detective by Jan Ellis – Extract for Cindy’s Love of Books.
Six months into their marriage, bookseller Eleanor and her husband Daniel have still not moved in together. Dan’s ex-‐wife Freya is always ready to stir things up…
Extract from Chapter 8 A Blast from the Past
Jogging down the hill the thought nagged at him that his first marriage had failed and his second was not going as smoothly as he would have wished. How committed was Eleanor if she didn’t want to set up home with him?
He had reached the end of the path where it joined the main street when he bumped into Freya looking cool and elegant in a pale blue dress, a pair of outsize sunglasses perched on her head.
“Well hello, Dan. And where are you going in such a hurry?”
“It’s called jogging, and I’m going home if you must know.”
Freya arched a slender eyebrow in a subtle gesture that managed to convey amusement, curiosity and a tiny bit of disdain. “And where is home these days?”
Daniel stood with his hands on his hips panting slightly. He nodded towards the sea front and the bright red door of his house. It was known as The Widows’ House because of the two women who had lived there before him. “You know perfectly well where I live,” he said, immediately angry with himself for falling into Freya’s trap.
The infuriating woman always knew how to push his buttons for maximum effect. “My wife’s name is Eleanor.”
“Of course it is. Silly me.” Freya smiled. “It’s odd, but I could have sworn I saw you coming out of the bookshop cottage with bags of clothes the other morning. Don’t tell me you still haven’t persuaded Eleanor to move in with you.” She laughed outright. “Or has your snoring grown so bad she makes you sleep half a mile away?”
Daniel could feel the pressure building at the base of his skull, partly as a result of pounding down the road and partly from being put on the spot. It felt as though he’d been caught out, even though he and Eleanor made no secret of their unconventional living arrangements.
“Why the hell do you care who I live with and where?”
“Oh, idle curiosity.”
“Well, it’s none of your damn business. Now, if you don’t mind, I’ve got work to do.” And with that he turned and ran towards his house, furious with himself for losing his temper when they both knew that Freya only had to ask their daughter Emily what Daniel’s living arrangements were. Freya had played him for a fool, yet again.
Once at the house, he stomped angrily around the kitchen ruing the day he had let her take their very expensive coffee maker. He had bought the damn thing for her birthday only a few months before their marriage broke up and, yes, he could quite easily afford to buy a new one but it rankled nonetheless.
He made himself a cup of nasty instant coffee and headed for the shower where he hoped a blast of cold water would help push Freya’s face from his mind. But it was not to be. Even though they ran into each other fairly regularly, Dan’s heart always missed a beat when he saw Freya’s familiar figure in the distance, a leather folder of architect’s plans under one arm. It had not been his idea to divorce and the pain of dividing up ‘stuff’ had been hard, but nowhere near as hard as wrenching Freya from his heart. She was his first love and her abandonment had left him hurt and angry.
When they separated, Daniel told her to take whatever she wanted from the cliff-‐top house they had designed together, a decision he regretted when she emptied the kitchen of all their best knives and gadgets.
Freya really was the most infuriating woman Daniel knew, yet he couldn’t help feeling proud of what she’d achieved professionally. Since their separation, she had gone from strength to strength and he had almost grown used to seeing her name in the tabloids as the ‘wacky’ architect responsible for the latest startling development.
Daniel picked up the mug of cold coffee and swished it angrily down the sink.
Pushing the wet hair from his face he examined his face in the bathroom mirror.
“When will you ever get the hang of women?” he asked his reflection. The face in the mirror had no answer.