In April, Urbane Publications closed it’s doors after 6 years. Sadly this meant we said goodbye not only to an innovative, independent publisher with over 300 titles to it’s credit, but also in the short term to the work of it’s talented group of authors. Happily many have now found new publishing homes, which means a happy return to some old friends. One of those is Mavis Upton, the funny, loveable alter ego of retired Merseyside police officer Gina Kirkham.
Now part of the Bloodhound stable, Gina’s trilogy, following Mavis’ trials and tribulations is now available from today in eBook format, both individually and as a bargain boxed set. As I’ve been at all of Gina and Mavis’ real life book launches (and not just for the Krispy Kreme doughnuts!) it seemed only right that I also marked today’s ‘re-entry’ into the published world. So come with me and let’s meet Mavis!
The Constable Mavis Upton Series
Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong
First in the humorous, poignant and moving series featuring Mavis Upton, an ordinary single mom who dives headfirst into fighting crime.
Meet Mavis Upton. As mummy to seven-year-old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions.
It’s time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet . . . to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong?
Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter, and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum’s much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
For Mavis Upton, there’s a fine (blue) line between being a parent and a police officer in this sequel to Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong.
Our hapless heroine Constable Mavis Upton is preparing to step down the aisle with her fiancé Joe, but has to deal with her temperamental teen daughter, as well as investigate a serial flasher on a push bike. Throw a diva drag queen into the mix and readers can expect the usual hilarious Mavis mishaps that made the first book such a hit.
Revel in Gina Kirkham’s humorous, poignant and moving stories of an everyday woman who one day followed a dream.
Blues, Twos and Baby Shoes
Mavis Upton returns from her adventures in Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, and this time she’s taking no prisoners—which is never ideal for a police officer . . .
Mavis is pregnant, as is her daughter Ella. Facing the prospect of motherhood and being a grandmother simultaneously, the last thing Mavis needs is problems at work.
She must contend with a new sexist dinosaur of a Sergeant who is more bully than mentor, and a mysterious case involving a blackmailer sending poison pen letters is baffling the force and tearing the local community apart.
Can Mavis juggle impending motherhood and her career, maintain a loving relationship with her other half Joe and deal with being a grandmother, all while solving the case?
Well, this is Constable Mavis Upton . . . literally anything is possible . . .
Now you know a little bit more about the books, let’s discover a little bit more about the woman behind the tour de (police?) force that is Mavis.
About Gina Kirkham
Gina was born in the late 1950s to a mum who frequently abandoned her in a pram outside Woolworths and a dad who after two pints of beer could play a mean Boogie Woogie on the piano in the front room of their 3-bed semi on the Wirral. Being the less adventurous of three children, she remains there to this day – apart from a long weekend in Bognor Regis in 1982.
Her teenage years were filled with angst, a CSE in Arithmetic, raging pimples and Barry White. Marriage and motherhood ensued, followed by divorce in her early thirties and a desperate need for a career and some form of financial support for herself and her young daughter. Trundling a three-wheeled trike along a leafy path one wintry day, memories of her favourite author Enid Blyton, ginger beer and solving mysteries along with her lifelong passion to be a police officer, excitedly gave way to an epiphany. And thus began an enjoyable and fulfilling career with Merseyside Police.
On reaching an age most women lie about, she quickly adapted to retirement by utilising her policing skills to chase after two granddaughters, two dogs and one previously used, but still in excellent condition, husband. Having said goodbye to what had been a huge part of her life, she suddenly had another epiphany. This time it was to put pen to paper to write a book based on her experiences as a police officer. Lying in bed one night staring at the ceiling, Gina’s alter-ego Mavis Upton was born, ready to star in a humorous and sometimes poignant look at the life, loves and career of an everyday girl who followed a dream and embarked upon a search for the missing piece of her childhood.
Gina also joined me back in 2017 to reveal her Five on Friday choices.