Victorian detectives investigate another grisly murder in Harpenden author’s new book

Carol Hedges. Picture: Carol Hedges

Carol Hedges. Picture: Carol Hedges - Credit: Archant

A corrupt Victorian lawyer is at the centre of the latest installment of Harpenden author Carol Hedges’ acclaimed murder mystery series.

Fear and Phantoms by Carol Hedges. Picture: Carol Hedges

Fear and Phantoms by Carol Hedges. Picture: Carol Hedges - Credit: Archant

The sixth novel in the ‘Victorian Detectives’ series, titled ‘Fear and Phantoms’, features Det Insp Leo Stride and Det Sgt Jack Cully as they investigate the murder of a young man whose body is found buried deep in the snow.

Set against the backdrop of Victorian England in the 1860s, the two Scotland Yard detectives must navigate a murky underworld of murder and financial fraud to unmask the murderer before he can strike again.

The novel was published under Carol’s own imprint, Little G Books, named after her granddaughter, and follows the other books in the series Diamonds and Dust, Honour and Obey, Death and Dominion, Rack and Ruin and Wonders and Wickedness.

Carol said: “When I was doing my research I discovered there was a case where a high-profile lawyer was running copious bank frauds. It was quite a well-known case at the time. He was gambling and using money that he won.

“I just thought this was so interesting . You always think of criminals [from that time] having flat caps and bulldogs but there was some that were in extremely reputable positions.

“The character is Jacob Jarvis and he’s a very highly reputed lawyer who’s actually bringing down banks and has a gambling habit. It’s the same two main characters but there are lots of little running stories that go through all six, so you can read them as a stand alone book or you can read the whole series.

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To research her novels, Carol reads original sources and novels from the time, and struggles to watch TV series set in the Victorian era because of historical inaccuracies.

She said: “I have to do all the editing and formatting for both the e-book and the physical book so it does take just over a year. I also look after my grandchildren and I am doing a lot of campaigning to stop Brexit.”

Carol does not yet know how many books she will write in the series. She said: “I’ve started a seventh but I didn’t even think the first one was going to see the light of day! So probably I’ll just keep going until I drop dead.”

Fear and Phantoms is available to buy on Amazon as a physical book and an e-book.