Welcome to the blog tour of Two Feet Under. Today we have with us author Charlie Cochrane giving us her insight on The Cultural Age Gap Between Us along with a spotlight on her new release!!
The Cultural Age Gap Between Us
The first book in the Lindenshaw series rather flummoxed the hardworking American editor who had oversight of it and made me realise that our shared but separate language doesn’t just extend to sidewalks/pavements or crisps/potato crisps. For example, English schools are very different to schools Stateside, and the police force is quite different too. As both play an important part in the series, maybe it’s time to revisit some of those dissimilarities.
The concept of “assembly” in schools might be alien to readers – one of these features in “Two Feet Under”, so here’s a brief guide. There is a statutory requirement (that’s another word for anybody’s education buzzword bingo sheet!) for all schools in England to hold an act of worship/assembly every day which is broadly Christian in character. Usually it’s led by the headteacher or other senior leader. In non-church schools, this is often just about getting all the school together and telling a story, singing a song, getting some important message across, perhaps one about being nice to each other. A lot of schools don’t quite obey the letter of the law, but law it is, nonetheless. In church schools, it’s more likely to have bible or other faith based stories, worship songs, an act of reflection and the like. Assembly is also often used to praise pupils’ achievement, with awards to “Class star of the week” or whatever.
Another aspect of “Two Feet Under” is interaction between teachers and parents. There are clearly lots of occasions when parents get to visit schools over here – parents’ evening, meet-the-teacher events, drop-ins where they can see the class working, special assemblies – but there are also strict rules about off site contact. Teachers friending parents on social media is frowned upon, to protect all parties, although sometimes that isn’t workable. If your sister’s children go to the school where you teach you can hardly shun her online! Often, it’s about being sensible and touching base with other staff to see if what you’re doing is sensible. As Adam finds when he gets involved in Robin’s latest murder case (and that’s all the spoilers you get).
Something else which has come up is the fact that British cops are not routinely armed. There’s also an automatic investigation if they harm a member of the public, but that’s another kettle of fish. My editor remarked that Robin and his colleagues seemed to be too pleasant; after all, if our cops aren’t carrying guns don’t they need to be really hard men and women to do their jobs? Broadly, no. It’s simply a very different culture, and police officers can be absolutely charming, even in the pursuit of their duty. Which reminds me of a pre-rugby game lunch I went to with some of Mr. Cochrane’s old university pals. The chap I sat next to was delightful – only half way through the meal did I discover he was an Assistant Chief Constable. And some of the stories he told would be great fodder for mysteries.
I digress. It’s not just our words which separate us. The gap in our culture is as wide in places as the Atlantic Ocean!
Two Feet Under began life as a conversation in a car, when my eldest daughter and I got stuck in a traffic jam on the way to an author/reader event. It gained a criminal mastermind as a result of another conversation in the car with her younger sister. It got its background thanks to the popular television series “Time Team” and a setting care of the northern part of Hampshire. The plot came from the author’s twisted imagination, via a lot of checking. And at least one character is based on people I know. You have been warned.
About Two Feet Under
Things are looking up for Adam Matthews and Robin Bright—their relationship is blossoming, and they’ve both been promoted. But Robin’s a policeman, and that means murder is never far from the scene.
When a body turns up in a shallow grave at a Roman villa dig site—a body that repeatedly defies identification—Robin finds himself caught up in a world of petty rivalries and deadly threats. The case seems to want to drag Adam in, as well, and their home life takes a turn for the worse when an ex-colleague gets thrown out of his house and ends up outstaying his welcome at theirs.
While Robin has to prove his case against a manipulative and fiendishly clever killer, Adam is trying to find out which police officer is leaking information to the media. And both of them have to work out how to get their home to themselves again, which might need a higher intelligence than either a chief inspector or a deputy headteacher.
About the Lindenshaw Mysteries
Adam Matthews’s life changed when Inspector Robin Bright walked into his classroom to investigate a murder.
Now it seems like all the television series are right: the leafy villages of England do indeed conceal a hotbed of crime, murder, and intrigue. Lindenshaw is proving the point.
Detective work might be Robin’s job, but Adam somehow keeps getting involved—even though being a teacher is hardly the best training for solving crimes. Then again, Campbell, Adam’s irrepressible Newfoundland dog, seems to have a nose for figuring things out, so how hard can it be?
About Charlie Cochrane
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.
Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.
Connect with Charlie:
- Blog: livejournal.com/
- Twitter: @charliecochrane
- Facebook: com/charlie.cochrane.18
- Goodreads: com/goodreadscomcharlie_cochrane
To celebrate the release of Two Feet Under, one lucky winner will receive a swag bag, including magnet, napkins, bookmark, pencils, hanging decoration, postcards, and a coaster!
Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 13, 2018.
Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.
Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!