Saturday, July 28, 2018

The Invisible Case by Isabella Muir - Book Blitz + Giveaway

The Invisible Case
A shocking death turns a homecoming into a nightmare. 

It's Easter 1970 in the seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, and for one family the first Easter of a new decade brings a shocking tragedy. Amateur sleuth and professional librarian, Janie Juke, is settling into motherhood and looking forward to spending time with her family. When her Aunt Jessica is due back from Rome after nine years travelling around Europe, she arrives back in town with a new Italian friend, Luigi, and the whole family soon get embroiled in a tangle of mystery and suspicion, with death and passion at the heart of the story.

As time runs out on Luigi as prime suspect for murder, Janie has to use all of her powers of deduction in the footsteps of her hero, Hercule Poirot, to uncover the facts. Why did Luigi come to Tamarisk Bay? What is the truth about his family?
As Luigi's story unfolds, tragedy seems to haunt the past, present and unless Janie acts fast, possibly what is yet to come.
Amazon UK -

Its Easter 1970 and Janie Juke is looking forward to her aunts homecoming.  Jessica has been travelling around 
Europe for the last nine years and is now returning to Tamarisk Bay from Italy, with a friend in tow.   
Here, in the first chapter of The Invisible Case we meet Jessica and Luigi on their long train journey from Rome 
to Calais

In the corridor she slotted herself into a space between a young woman and a burly man.   
The man was resting his head against the window.  The woman reminded Jessica of herself years ago, 
when she first set off on her European adventure.  Leaving Philip and Janie had been a wrench, 
but it was the right time for them and for her.  Now she was heading back to them. 
Once the dawn started to break, the milky light filled the carriage.    
The man beside her looked up from the window and turned his head from left to right, 
trying to ease out the stiffness in his neck.  Jessica caught the gaze of the young woman and 
they both spoke simultaneously, causing a quiet laugh from each of them.    
The girl introduced herself as Cinzia, going on to explain she was travelling to England; 
it would be her first time outside Italy.  Friends had told her it was bitterly cold in England 
and it rained every day.  Jessica went to reassure her, but the door to the compartment slid 
open, interrupting their chatter.
‘Breakfast?’ Luigi asked.
‘Good idea,’ Jessica replied, ‘but let me freshen up first.’ Moving back into the compartment 
she took her holdall down from the luggage rack.  The family had also started to stir, 
the children asking for food, the father grumbling that it was too early to be thinking of their 
stomachs.  Jessica rifled through her holdall, pulling out her washbag and a sweater, 
before making her way to the small toilet at the end of the carriage.  Once she had washed, 
brushed her teeth and put on a sweater, she studied herself in the small mirror above the 
washbasin.  Sweeping her dark auburn waves away from her face she ran her fingers across the 
fine lines circling her eyes. She had always been freckly, but after nine years in southern 
climes the freckles had taken over.  More speckled hen than elegant swan,she thought, laughing 
at her reflection.  She applied a lick of mascara and a smear of lipstick.  ‘You’ll do,’ she said, 
stuffing everything back into her washbag and returning to the compartment.
The train seemed to speed up as they made their way along the corridor to the dining car.   
A couple of times Jessica bumped her shoulder against one of the compartments, feeling guilty 
in case she disturbed travellers who were still sleeping.  With the blinds down on most of 
the doors and windows it was a guessing game as to whether the occupants were awake.   
As the train swayed around a tight bend Luigi, who was ahead of her, stumbled, 
brushing up against one of the doors.  The blinds on the door were pulled up, 
revealing two travellers, a man and a woman, sitting opposite each other by the far window.   
The man’s face with partly covered by his hat, which he had pulled forwards over his eyes, 
perhaps finding it more conducive to sleep.  Luigi stopped so suddenly that Jessica 
walked into him. 
‘Watch out,’ Jessica said, ‘we nearly ended up on the floor.’
There was no reply, instead Luigi focused on the two people in the compartment. 
‘Move along, we’re creating a hold up,’ Jessica said, as two more passengers came along the 
corridor behind her.
A few minutes later they were seated in the dining car. There were three other tables in use, 
nevertheless the waiter seemed to be preoccupied with polishing the cutlery on the vacant tables.  
 After a short wait he took their order and returned with a pot of freshly brewed coffee and a 
basket of warm croissants; the smells arriving at their table before the waiter placed them down 
in front of them.
Jessica broke the silence. ‘You look as though you’ve seen a ghost.’
Luigi took a croissant from the basket and tore it into pieces, grabbing a paper serviette from 
the container in the centre of the table to wipe his hands.  ‘I thought I recognised the man in 
the compartment back there.’
‘You should have said, we could have stopped.  Catch him on the way back maybe.’   
She poured herself a coffee and offered the pot to Luigi.  ‘That’s a coincidence, bumping into 
someone you know.’
‘I’m probably imagining things.’
‘I thought I was the one who hadn’t slept.’ 
Luigi emptied his coffee cup and looked up, hoping to catch the attention of the waiter for a 
fresh pot. ‘Have you told your family about me?’
‘They know I’m bringing a friend.’
‘What else do they know?’
‘What else is there?’
The train swerved a little.  The coffee slopped about, spilling into the saucers. 
‘Another croissant?’ Jessica handed the basket to her companion.
‘No, I’ve had enough.  We should return to our carriage soon.  I’m uncomfortable leaving 
our things unattended.’
‘I wouldn’t have thought anyone would be interested in my bits and pieces.’   
She drained the last remnants of coffee and pushed the cup away, mildly irritated by Luigi’s 
fingers drumming on the tablecloth.
‘Tell me again what your brother is like,’ Luigi said.
‘He’s kind, clever and…’
‘He’s older than you, isn’t he?’
‘Yes, a few years.’
The finger drumming stopped for a moment, only to start again as he asked, 
 ‘Has his blindness changed him?’
‘He’s resilient, tenacious.  It wasn’t just the accident.  He had to deal with his wife walking out 
and then having to look after Janie.  He is a force to be reckoned with.’
‘Sounds as though your memory of your brother is coloured?’
Jessica looked askance at Luigi, surprised by what sounded like an accusation.
‘Rose-tinted is the phrase, isn’t it?’ he continued.  ‘A younger sister looking up to her 
big brother.’
‘I lived with him for several years as an adult, there was nothing childlike about those times.   
He was a good man.  He is a good man.’
‘But it’s years since you last saw him.  He may have changed.’

Author Bio –
Isabella Muir is the author of Janie Juke series of crime mysteries - all set in Sussex.

'The Tapestry Bag' is the first in the series, followed by ‘Lost Property’. Now - 'The Invisible Case' - the latest in the series is available for pre-order from Amazon.

The 'Janie Juke mysteries' are set in Sussex in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian with a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.

Isabella has also published 'Ivory Vellum' - a collection of short stories.

She has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing - she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.
Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

Social Media Links –
TWITTER  @SussexMysteries

Giveaway – Win a signed copy of The Invisible Case (Open Internationally)
*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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