Telling the Story

As with The Last Queen of England there is no historical narrative this time around. There was never any question in my mind about that, as I felt the action had to remain locked on JT in order to best tell the story--to keep the pace fast and the tension high. Switching the point of view back and forth with a lead character from the past, as with To the Grave and The Lost Empress, wasn’t the right way to go in this case. That’s not to say that the past does not play its part. To the contrary, Dying Games is very much about the past--and JT’s past is about to catch up with him.

This book set some different challenges to most of the previous books in the series because, rather than having to immerse myself in one time period and place in history, which I would gradually become more and more acquainted with during the course of writing the book,  this time I had to visit several historical time periods and locations in the same book. My research for each of these time periods was less intense, of course, but it was also quite a test to come up with so many intricate genealogical puzzles for JT to solve each time--and always before the clock runs out.

A Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery #6


With five books written and published in my Jefferson Tayte Genealogical Mystery series, I thought it was about time JT was called back  to his homeland, setting the scene for his next adventure in Washington, DC. The idea that a serial killer was going around bumping off my lead character’s former clients is one that I first envisaged some years ago, after writing the third book in the series, The Last Queen of England. At the time, however, I felt it was a book for later on, so I put it to one side. For book six, Dying Games, the streets of DC seemed an ideal setting for the story I had in mind, and now, having published two more books since the idea came to me, I felt the timing was right, too.


As you can imagine, in Dying Games Jeffeson Tayte finds himself visiting the US National Archives on more than one occasion. His research also takes him to some of the cemeteries in the DC area while looking for the answers he hopes will help him to solve the next clue before it’s too late. He finds himself out and about much of the time, playing cat and mouse with a vengeful killer, doing the research the old-fashioned way as he tries to stop him. He also puts the Internet to good use, particularly when accessing newspaper archives, for which both JT and I found the Library of Congress’ website, Chronicling America, very useful. There’s also a visit to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, where he finds himself poring over microfilm, and we get to see JT’s own archives from all his long years in the business. So many filing cabinets!

Back CoverDying_Games_back_cover.html

‘A serial killer. A deadly game of revenge.’

I hope you enjoy the book. As the title suggests, and certainly the terrifying murder in the prologue, Dying Games is not cozy-crime. It is perhaps my darkest Jefferson Tayte book to date. Having said that, I don’t feel it’s overly graphic in nature as I prefer to leave that to the readers’ imagination as much as possible. As Peter Calver of said in his newsletter, ‘Nobody who has watched CSI will be shocked.