April 2021. View first 3 chapters on Issuu here
Order at The Rocketship Bookshop , Yellow Lighted Bookshop,
Waterstones or from your local indie.
Winner of the Berkshire Book Award, 2022, Waiting for Murder has also been selected by the Booktrust for Bookbuzz 22/23
Watch a launch chat with me and Gill Lewis here.
It’s a long, hot summer. As the water drains away from the reservoir, a car emerges. And there seems to be a body in it, a body that then disappears… Daniel and Florence start to investigate and uncover a long-ago robbery, missing gold and murder. When the drought breaks, everything is swept downstream and the truth is revealed…
Here’s a sneaky peek:
They were draining the Sandford reservoir. Small things were emerging from the mud and baking in the heat, but I didn’t see the roof of the car until three days into our stay. By the fourth day the top of the window was showing. By then I could see that there was something, or someone, inside.
I’m being watched. But I’m going to pretend that I don’t know it. I’m lying on the baked grass staring up through the leaves of an enormous tree. Small things are crawling over my ankles. I can feel them but it’s too hot to move. Mum’s sitting on a blanket next to me; beyond her are David and Anya, the two other archaeologists. It’s so hot they’ve stopped talking. Even the pigeons have given up.
The only sound is a generator and a softer drone, a summer hum of bees and crickets. Every now and again a hot breeze rattles the dry grass and the leaves rustle overhead.
“Have some coleslaw, Dan.” Mum shoves a small plastic box my way. It’s encrusted with congealed mayonnaise. Pushing it back towards her, I roll on to my stomach to look across the lake. To my left is the dam. A group of people are standing on the top, staring down into the green soupy water of the emptying reservoir. Some of them are wearing hard hats and high-vis jackets. They must be very hot. Every now and then they tap the huge pipes that are pumping the water out of the lake into the fields behind and say things to one another and rub their chins. I’m not sure what they’re going to achieve by looking at the water. It’s so thick with weed and algae that it doesn’t even make me feel cooler. Further round to the right is a line of trees. Below them is a girl sitting in the shade of a tree. I don’t think she knows she can be seen. I think she thinks she’s hidden. She’s got her knees bunched up in front of her and she’s peering across the lake with binoculars. I wave and she drops the binoculars.
And reviews here:
“Fleur Hitchcock always writes well but this one is especially good – a long hot summer with a long ago mystery, missing people, attempted murder and stolen gold. All topped off with a storm and a fantastic climax.” Goodreads.
A review partly in rhyme… “I didn’t expect this book to be so action packed! I’m more than happy with a slow revealing mystery at a leisurely pace but boy did this mystery kick off! As the culprit becomes more and more desperate to stop Daniel in his tracks the action really ramps up which is brilliant as it adds a ferocious pace and an almost race-against-time quality to the narrative.” Read the whole review here on Tom’s book corner.
“Fleur Hitchcock delivers another scorching crime drama in Waiting for Murder… Full of thrills, twists and surprises, this will keep everyone on the edge of their seats.” Review by Andrea Reece in Love Reading for Kids.
Waiting for Murder has also been selected by the Booktrust for Bookbuzz 22/23