I know that the US and the UK are two nations divided by a common language, but it isn’t just sidewalk/pavement, rotary/roundabout and the like which separate us. Many aspects of daily life are very different, as my hardworking American editor found when going through “The Best Corpse for the Job”. English schools are very different to schools Stateside. For example, was St. Crispin’s the school or the church or somehow both? I thought I’d get Adam Matthews, one of my leading men, to explain.
So, Adam, what’s in a name?
A lot of potential confusion, Charlie. There are loads of church schools in England and, while some of them just use the name of their locality, like “Upbridge Primary school”, some of them go the whole whack. The school where I teach, and where that “best corpse” turned up, has the full title of “Lindenshaw St. Crispin’s Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary school”. Lindenshaw is the village where it’s located and St Crispin’s is the local church, which would originally have founded it. No wonder people call the school either just Lindenshaw or St Crispin’s. They know what they mean even if others don’t!
My editor was also flummoxed by the concept of “assembly”. Want to explain that?
I’ll try. There is a statutory requirement (that’s another one for my buzzword bingo sheet!) for all school in England to hold an act of worship/assembly every day which is broadly Christian in character. In non-church schools this is often just about getting all the school together and telling a story, singing a song, getting some message across. A lot of schools don’t quite obey the letter of the law, which includes making sure than any pupils out on a school trip when assembly is held get another one to compensate. 🙂 In church schools, it’s more likely to have stories, worship songs, an act of reflection and the like. Does that make sense?
It does to me, but then I’m used to it. What about when you recruit a new headteacher? All the palaver with that really perplexed my poor editor. It was like some arcane ancient Egyptian ceremony.
I bet some of the candidates feel like that, too. Although thank goodness most of them don’t end up being strangled. That really wasn’t intended to be part of the process. IT isn’t just an interview, though. Most schools now lay on two days of activities, that might include a presentation, leading an assembly for part of the school, watching and analysing teaching, going through some data, leading a meeting, and – by no means least – being grilled by the school pupil council. I can’t think of anything as scary as being put through the wringer by a seven year old.
Really? How scary would it be if Inspector Robin Bright turned out to be straight?
Oh. That wouldn’t just be scary. It would be catastrophic!
Schoolteacher Adam Matthews just wants to help select a new headteacher and go home. The governors at Lindenshaw St Crispin’s have already failed miserably at finding the right candidate, so it’s make or break this second time round. But when one of the applicants is found strangled in the school, what should have been a straightforward decision turns tempestuous as a flash flood in their small English village.
Inspector Robin Bright isn’t thrilled to be back at St. Crispin’s. Memories of his days there are foul enough without tossing in a complicated murder case. And that handsome young teacher has him reminding himself not to fraternize with a witness. But it’s not long before Robin is relying on Adam for more than just his testimony.
As secrets amongst the governors emerge and a second person turns up dead, Robin needs to focus less on Adam and more on his investigation. But there are too many suspects, too many lies, and too many loose ends. Before they know it, Robin and Adam are fighting for their lives and their hearts.
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: charliecochrane.livejournal.com/
・ Twitter: @charliecochrane
・ Facebook profile page: facebook.com/charlie.cochrane.18
・ Goodreads: goodreads.com/goodreadscomcharlie_cochrane
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for an e-book from Charlie Cochrane’s backlist (excepting The Best Corpse for the Job). Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 29. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.