Welcome to author Laura Stewart who has dropped by to tell us all about her novel The Murderous Affair at Stone Manor and to give us the lowdown on one of her characters.
While we're waiting for your guest to arrive, Laura, can you tell us a little about your book?
The Murderous Affair at Stone Manor is a cozy mystery with a touch of romance and humour. Amelia Adams is a mystery fiction fanatic and is stunned when she inherits a dilapidated mansion in the north of Scotland. It's not long before she realises her new home has hidden passages, secret compartments and its very own legend of lost treasure...... Helped by her brother, her best friend and a documentary maker who is determined to turn Amelia's new life into a hit TV show, Amelia throws herself into renovating the house and unravelling old secrets. When an unknown saboteur starts ruining her plans, Amelia doesn't know who to trust. Everyone around her is acting strangely and soon Amelia finds herself at the centre of her very own mystery....
Who will you be inviting for a cocktail and why?
Tonight, I will be inviting Amelia for a cocktail so she can tell me her tales of derring-do and how she managed to solve the mystery at Stone Manor by channelling her favourite literary detectives. And she can also give me the gossipy low-down on what it's like being involved in the filming of a documentary with legendary enfant terrible actor, Gideon Fey!
What will she be wearing?
Whilst renovating Stone Manor, Amelia spent most of her time wearing practical clothes and trainers so she'll jump at the chance to get dressed up in a glamourous vintage-style dress and pair of vertiginous heels, the kind of clothes she wore all the time when she lived in London. She'll have sparkly eyeshadow and red lipstick to complete the look. Having now lived in Scotland for a while, and being a very practical person, Amelia will also have a woolly hat and gloves to wear on the way home.
What will they be ordering from the cocktail menu?
Funnily enough, Amelia has been trying a lot of cocktails lately. Her late godmother thought it prudent to have a signature cocktail and Amelia has wholeheartedly thrown herself into finding her perfect drink. Amelia loves whisky and tonight she'll order an Old Fashioned.
How will they react if the waiter spills their cocktail over them?
Amelia will laugh it off. She's a very kind-hearted soul and she'll be more worried that the waiter will get told off by his boss. There's also a good chance she'll have a change of clothes with her in her oversize tote bag. She likes to be prepared for any eventuality.
What can they tell you that will make you stay for a second drink?
Amelia has a lot of funny stories and anecdotes about the local residents of Glencarlach, the picturesque village in the north of Scotland she now lives in. She's grown very fond of her new friends and regularly meets up with them for a drink in the Whistling Haggis pub. For a small village, there seems to be a lot of drama and mystery.... in fact, Amelia has made a list in her notebook of some of the recent oddities and she may just run some of her theories by me. If there's one thing I'm sure of, Amelia is just the person to get to the bottom of strange goings on...!
The Murderous Affair at Stone Manor by Laura Stewart
Published by BLoodhound Books, August 2021
Available to buy here: https://amzn.to/3rr3AI3
Time for one more...
While she was with us, Laura very kindly gave us the recipe for an Old Fashioned which we'll be adding to our cocktail menu!
1 lump sugar
1 dash Angostura Bitters
Twist of Lemon Peel
60 ml whisky
1 maraschino cherry
Slice of orange
Place sugar in a tumbler with a drop of water to dissolve it. Add Angostura and muddle it together. Add ice cubes and the twist of lemon peel. Fill up with whisky. Stir. Decorate with the maraschino cherry and orange slice.