Dodie Fanshaw, rich, much-married former starlet, is staying with her daughter Elena in the idyllic Thames-side village of Markenlea, when a mermaid, a girl who has capsized her boat appears in the garden. Going to a drinks party at the next house, Dodie and Elena discover her neighbour, wealthy Rick Wilbraham, dead, and his new girlfriend Anna standing over him, holding a garden stake she has pulled from his back.
Rick's fortune was made in property development, but he has also netted a huge advance for a first novel from Piers Walls-Farmer's Wallaby publishing house.
There are other suspects: Rick’s cousin Frank, who lives in and works for him, resents the use made of his story in the book; his former wife Elizabeth, fiery and unpredictable, is receiving large alimony but to remarry; his agent and former mistress Serena left the house just before he was found. Several villagers lost money in his schemes when the property market collapsed. How is the mermaid involved? And the typescript of the second book, overdue for delivery, is missing.
Dodie and Elena question everyone, then Anna goes missing, and Dodie discovers another typescript, of what is essentially Rick's novel, with many errors. It seems as though one of Rick's carpenters, Kevin O'Mara, who was Anna's boyfriend before he died in a building accident, wrote the book. Then the mermaid's body is found, she has drowned.
About the Author
Most writers can't help themselves! It's a compulsion. Getting published, though, is something really special, and having been so fortunate myself I now try to help aspiring writers by handing on tips it took me years to work out. I've published over 60 titles, including four in the How To Books' Successful Writing Series, and Writing Historical Fiction for Studymates. I have judged short story competitions, been a final judge for the Harry Bowling Prize and was an adviser to the 3rd edition of Twentieth Century Romance and Historical Writers 1994. If you want to find out more about your favourite authors, consult this book. I once wrote an article on writing romantic fiction for the BBC's web page, for Valentine's day. I have given talks and workshops for the Arts Council and at most of the major Writing Conferences, and helped establish the Romantic Novelists' Association's annual conference. I was Chairman of the RNA 1991-3, ran their New Writers' Scheme and edited their newsletter. I am now a Vice-President. As well as writing I have edited books for Transita, featuring women 'of a certain age', and for Choc Lit where gorgeous heros are the norm. I was asked to write A Century of Achievement, a 290 page history of my old school, Queen Mary's High School, Walsall, and commissioned to write a book on Castles and Corvedale to accompany a new circular walk in the area. Most of my Regencies written under the pseudonym Sally James are now published in ebook format as well as many others of my out of print novels which my husband is putting into ebook format. Our daughter Debbie is helping with designing the covers. For details of all my books and my many pseudonyms see my website.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Ok. 473 Nook pages. DW
"A Cut Above the Rest" by Marina Oliver is a fine light read for the beach or backyard. I enjoyed it even though it isn't my favorite genre. Unlike some books I've read recently, this one obviously had been edited by someone familiar with the language and the rules thereof.. The usage, grammar, and punctuation were good which adds considerably to my enjoyment of any book. This light mystery features strong female characters. The plot isn't tense, but it held my interest. If you are looking for light entertainment, try this.