When writing in any genre, new writers in particular have a balance to try to get right. They want to introduce something fresh while still making the writing recognisable to regular readers who expect certain tropes and conceits from their fiction. If you can get the balance right then there is every chance you have a successful novel on your hands.
One of the finest crime fiction debuts of recent years was Claire MacLeary’s Cross Purpose (right). Published in 2017 on the Contraband imprint of Saraband Books, it introduced two new crime fighters in the unfamiliar form of Maggie Laird and “Big” Wilma Harcus, an odd couple in a fine and long tradition from Holmes and Watson to the vast majority of recent TV detectives (Morse/Lewis, Scott/Bailey, Creek/Magellen and Hayes/Addison being just a few personal favourites). Continue reading