Delighted to give a shout out today to Robert Crouch on the publication of No Love Lost, the 6th in his popular Kent Fisher Mystery series.
With No Love Lost Robert warns us ‘this time it’s personal’. So what exactly is happening?
About No Love Lost
How can a simple job interview end in complete carnage?
When Mandy Paige seeks Kent Fisher’s help to find the mother who abandoned her as a baby, he has no idea of the mayhem his investigation will unleash. With only a photograph of a woman he once knew, he discovers she left her office one Friday afternoon twenty years ago and never returned.
Did Helen Cassidy escape an abusive husband or was she abducted and murdered?
People connected to Helen begin to die in mysterious circumstances. An old foe returns, leaving cryptic messages on the windscreen of Kent’s car. He seems to know Kent’s every move, hounding and taunting the sleuth, attacking those who can help him solve the mystery.
When the main suspect dies, Kent’s investigation lies in tatters – until he realises he’s not the one pursuing the killer. The killer’s pursuing him.
If you’ve not read any of the Kent Fisher mysteries, what can you expect?
Robert readily admits that he writes the kind of books that he likes to read. His first inspiration was the queen of crime, Agatha Christie as he loved Miss Marple and the classic whodunit genre. Colin Dexter was another favourite with Inspector Morse, particularly for the intricate plotting, characterisation and the strong sense of place.
But it was Sue Grafton who provided him with a role model for Kent Fisher in Kinsey Millhone – her direct narrative, irreverent humour, determination and unshakeable sense of justice struck a chord. Initially Robert had the idea of using alphabetical titles as a way of paying homage, but that didn’t really work. Instead Kinsey puts in an appearance in No Bodies with Kent reading one of the novels.
Who is Kent Fisher?
Kent, like Robert, is an environmental health officer – definitely abiding by the adage ‘write what you know’. He carries out hygiene inspections in restaurants and food businesses. But why would he be investigating murders? Well Environmental health officers (EHOs) enforce laws. They interview suspects and witnesses, prepare evidence and prosecute offenders in court, following the same rules and procedures as the police. EHOs have all the skills to investigate murder, but they don’t have Scenes of Crime Officers, forensic scientists and a national database of offenders.
This links back to Miss Marple and Kinsey Millhone, they worked alone to collect evidence and solve crime, but had contacts in the police when their input was called for. This is very much the format of the traditional murder mystery or classic whodunit.
With each book Kent usually starts investigating an incident or accident as part of his normal EHO work duties, but what he discovers will reluctantly draw him into something he never envisaged – inevitably murder. Robert is very clear that he wanted Kent to be an ordinary person that evolved as a sleuth, rather than set out to be one. This seemed more natural and credible – more plausible in today’s cynical world.
Robert needed someone with strong principles and a sense of duty, a person who couldn’t simply stand by and allow an injustice to happen. Not a knight in shining armour, but someone who felt he could make a difference, albeit a small one. Kent was a man who had a history of standing up for the underdog, battling for justice and fair play. His job gave him the means to investigate and the time within and outside his day job.
This does create some workplace tension, thanks to his murderous investigations he’s always in conflict with his bosses.
There is a humour running through the books which keep them more cosy than gritty, but they are very much set in today’s world. To keep the stories credible and accurate Robert talks to police officers, detectives from the Major Crimes Team and fire investigators.
So they’re the kind of books Robert likes to read, maybe they’re the kind you’d like to read too?
Observations on the Kent Fisher Mysteries
“Agatha Christie fans will love it!” – Tamara McKinley, author.
“Mr Crouch is a great storyteller with a talent for creating memorable characters. ‘No Bodies’ is a darn good read that’ll satisfy anyone who loves mysteries” (Amazon)
“Kent is an incredibly likeable character with a delicious sense of, sometimes quite dark, humour … if you enjoy your cosy mysteries, I have no doubt you will like the Kent Fisher Mysteries!” (Amazon)
“‘No Remorse’ is an addictive read which you will find hard to put down.” (Amazon)
“One thing that I particularly enjoy about this series is the humour. If you’re looking for a light hearted and entertaining mystery with deaths and danger aplenty then check out this series.” (Amazon)
“I love the way this builds layer upon layer – both in the storyline and in the way in which the characters are introduced and the plot develops. Every time I reached the end of a chapter, I was compelled to read on into the next one. Another contender for a TV drama” (Amazon)
“Excellent. This series is really maturing and developing. The base of environmental health really sits well in this story. Couldn’t put it down. And another cliff hanger ending. Look forward to the next book!! (BarbaraP Amazon)”
“If you like a good mystery series that has a wonderful classic ‘whodunit’ style as leads are followed and deductions are made, and if you haven’t yet come across Robert Crouch’s Kent Fisher series then do go and look it up, it is a fabulous series that I have loved from the very start. No Mercy is a cracking read and I would Definitely Recommend it. (Yvonne – Vine Reviewer Amazon)”
About Robert Crouch
Robert Crouch is the author of the Kent Fisher murder mystery series. Set in today’s world, the books pay homage to the traditional murder mystery and classic whodunit.
Based on his career as an environmental health officer, Kent Fisher is a different kind of detective, described as ‘unique in crime fiction’ by one reviewer.
Having left environmental health, Robert now writes full time from his home on the East Sussex coast. He loves walking on the South Downs with his wife, Carol, and their Westie, Harvey, reading crime fiction and photography.
Now that No Love Lost has been released into the book world, the following bloggers will be helping to spread the word. So why not drop in and see what they have to say.