Today I’m delighted to feature Cheryl Rees-Price, author of the popular DI Winter Meadows series. The Welsh based police procedural series, delves into the tightly knit networks in communities full of secrets, suspicion and deceit. The latest, A Knot of Sparrows sees Detective Inspector Meadows investigating a murder case set on the western edge of the Brecon Beacons, and in the heart of the valleys.
Cheryl Rees-Price was born in Cardiff and moved as a young child to a small ex-mining village on the edge of the Black Mountains, South Wales, where she still lives with her husband, daughters and two cats. After leaving school she worked as a legal clerk for several years before leaving to raise her two daughters. Cheryl returned to education, studying philosophy, sociology and accountancy whilst working as a part time bookkeeper. She now works as a finance director for a company that delivers project management and accounting services. In her spare time Cheryl indulges in her passion for writing, the success of writing plays for local performances gave her the impetus to write her first novel. Her other hobbies include walking and gardening which free her mind to develop plots and create colourful characters.
Over to Cheryl:
Which piece of music/song would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
When Doves Cry- Prince. This one reminds me of being a stroppy teenager. If I had a bad day at school I’d shut myself in my bedroom, put on Prince, and turn up the volume.
Eternal Flame – The Bangles. I danced to this track on the first date with my husband.
Stars – Simply Red. I remember this song playing constantly on the radio when I was expecting my first daughter and we were moving to a new house. It was a time of excitement and change.
Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby Mcferrin. This one reminds me of my father. Whilst I’m a perpetual worrier my father was laid back. “Don’t worry” was his mantra through life. He died young and when I hear the song I can visualise him singing along.
You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC. One of my favourite bands. I missed out on their concerts in the 80’s but saw them on their last tour in 2016.
What (apart from family and friends) would you find it hard to live without.
Pen and Paper
Can you offer a piece of advice for your younger self?
Don’t let anyone make you feel stupid. I didn’t do well at school and struggled with most subjects. I went back to education later in life and worked hard to get my qualifications. It’s easy to feel inferior to others, the trick is not to let people put you down.
Don’t worry so much. Worrying can’t prevent something bad happening. I spent so much time worrying about things that never came to pass. When tragedy struck it was something that had never entered my mind. Worry doesn’t give us control over life but can control our lives.
You can get through it. There has been times in my life when the world stood still and I have faced my darkest hours. All you can do is keep breathing and put one foot in front of the other. You do come out the other side.
The housework can wait. Spending time with loved ones far outweighs a spotless house. When the worst happens, no one cares if your kitchen floor has been washed. Time is too precious, use it wisely.
Follow your dreams. I wish I had started writing sooner.
Tell us something that most people don’t know about you
I can’t tell my left from my right. I used to think I was the only one. Thanks to google I now know there are others.
I have a fear of birds.
I have a tattoo of an elephant on my ankle.
I never swim in the deep end.
I don’t drink alcohol. It makes me extremely ill.
Tell us something you’d still like to do or achieve.
Visit the Rocky Mountains.
Put my head under water and conquer the fear.
Touch a crocodile. I think they are cute.
Have my books made into a TV series.
See Niagara falls.
Thanks for joining me today Cheryl, I have a feeling we’d get along if we ever met. Tea and chocolate are high on my list, plus I can’t tell my left from my right. That’s something that’s been the cause of several mini maritals when I’ve been giving directions in the car! As for housework, it can definitely wait. I rarely swim as I won’t put my head in the water or swim in anything I can’t feel the bottom of – how I got my Third swimming certificate I’ll never know, I suspect pity! I love your eclectic music choices too. Here’s hoping that you get to tick off some (if not all) of your dreams. Welsh crime dramas are riding high at the moment so that TV series might not be far away.
DI Winter Meadows series
The Silent Quarry
A woman’s memory about a fatal attack starts to return. But what she knows could endanger her life.
One morning Gwen Thomas takes a short walk with her Siberian husky in the outskirts of the Welsh town she calls home.
She is drawn to a desolate area where, some twenty years ago as a teenager, she was brutally attacked and her friend killed.
Disorientated by a sudden rush of memories, she has a fall. Later, recovering in hospital, she begins to recollect the events that led up to her friend’s death.
DI Winter Meadows is encouraged to reopen what has for some time been a cold case. If Gwen can remember who attacked her, it could lead to a prosecution.
But not everyone wants Gwen to recover her memory. Having got over her fall, she now faces a greater danger – from whoever else knows what actually happened.
Can DI Meadows find the identity of the attacker before Gwen once more becomes a victim?
Detective Meadows investigates a bizarre death in a small Welsh town
When the manager of a residential home for adults with learning difficulties is found dead in the freezer, the police investigation must tread carefully. Many of the residents are vulnerable. But could one of them be the killer?
Wonderfully named Detective Inspector Winter Meadows – hippie parents have a lot to answer for –leads the inquiry. He begins to uncover some irregularities: in the finances, in the standards of care and with the account of events that staff and residents give to the police.
The neighbours of the care home are troubled with all the goings-on. But their woes are increased when one of them is found dead in her home in suspicious circumstances. Is someone trying to cover their tracks?
Who is the murderer and what is their motive? DI Meadows must get to the bottom of the case before the killer and the evidence slips through his fingers.
Suffer the Children
A gripping DI Winter Meadows mystery set in the heart of Wales
When Natalie Benyon’s eighteen-month-old daughter Ella disappears from a housing estate, the police and local community act quickly to organise a search.
Given the age of the child, once the local area is scoured, DI Winter Meadows draws the frightening conclusion that Ella has been abducted.
The attention of the police focuses on the family itself: the lifestyle of the mother, the boyfriend, the raucous party they had the night before Ella’s disappearance.
And a search in their garden reveals a chilling discovery that turns the case upside down and sends a shockwave through the community.
All of a sudden Meadows has a murder case on his hands – one that threatens to side-line the search for Ella. Can the detective join up the dots, solve the case and find the child?
A Knot of Sparrows
Welsh detective Winter Meadows takes on a new murder case
There were a lot of things you could call Stacey Evans. And many of them would be true. And unprintable. But did she deserve to be murdered?
DI Winter Meadows has no doubt of the answer when he takes on the case. The crime was violent. The victim helpless. But the motives are many, and the only clue is a strange word left on Stacey’s body.
DI Meadows struggles to pierce the secrecy surrounding the teenager’s busy love life. Was the killer one of her pursuers acting out of jealousy? Maybe someone’s wife seeking revenge?
But as each suspect is excluded from the enquiry, and other markings turn up, Meadows is convinced that something more sinister is afoot.
When another body is found, a veil of silence descends like a fog upon Gaer Fawr. What more will it take for the village to give up its secrets?
A new standalone novel
Haunting truths resurface from the depths of the past in this unputdownable mystery
When her old family friend Eddie asks her to write his memoirs, little does journalist Dora Lewis know he has a bag full of secrets to unburden. All of them dangerous.
So dangerous, in fact, that Eddie is murdered.
Dora wants to get to the truth, but all she has to go on is a set of cassette tapes that Eddie left hidden for only her to find.
Piece by piece she must put the puzzle of his life together. But as the picture takes shape, Dora realises that she too is in danger.
The same people are gunning for her, and they have a very special reason to.
Justice for Eddie won’t just mean going up against powerful and dangerous people. It will mean confronting the truth of Dora’s own past.