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‘Ice-pick-sharp, packed with intrigue, action and spine-chilling suspense. Devour will keep you gripped from the very first page’ Kathryn Fox

Larkin's Latest

Welcome to my blog, Larkin’s Latest. News on thriller authors and great books to read, the writing process and festivals, incredible people I interview and exciting story locations, courses I run, and things that make me laugh!

Having fun as Jekyll and Hyde

January 22, 2015

I’m having fun playing Jekyll and Hyde. With my writing, anyway.
A few weeks ago I was in the middle of a line edit for my new cozy mystery novel, Monty And Me, available in hardback for Christmas this year. The primary narrator of the story is a dog called Monty, who teams up with trainee detective, Rose Sidebottom, to help solve his master’s murder, and this is the start of a great crime-busting partnership. The story is fun and sad, whimsical and inventive, an escapist read for young and old and for anyone who wonders what their dog really gets up to when they’re not around. Monty brings the humour and the pathos to the story and he is my Dr Jekyl.
Today, I am working on my new suspense series, an action thriller starring resilient and resourceful investigative journalist Olivia Wolfe. As Wolfe struggles to uncover the truth about a mysteries death in Antarctica, a Russia army deserter and an Afghan warlord running a drugs trafficking ring from prison, Wolfe’s professional and home life is threatened by a vicious cyber stalker. I am working on this cyber stalker at the moment – my Mr Hyde. There’s nothing funny about this character. I have to go to a dark part of my imagination to find the right voice for somebody with so much hatred, so I can translate this into the written word.
It gets complicated when I’m inside the stalker character’s head and I have to switch back to the lovable dog character, Monty, as happened yesterday when I was asked to compose an email from the canine super-sleuth. Perhaps I have two very different sides to my personality, but I enjoy the chance to move between terrifying thrillers with high stakes and equally high body-counts, to a gentler, humorous world in which dogs do so much more than fetch balls and a shy young detective gets a second chance to prove she has got what it takes. It keeps my writing fresh, and me excited. And I’m not alone. Spencer Quinn writes the Chet And Bernie Mysteries and, also, thrillers as Peter Abrahams. JK Rowling and Robert Galbraith is another example. Or James Rollins and James Clemens.
Time to get back to my writing. To my dark side.
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The literary award nobody wants to win

November 16, 2014

It’s a tough life at the top of your literary career, as author Richard Flanagan has just found out. Is his nomination for the UK’s Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2014 a touch of sour grapes I wonder? After all we are talking about the 2014 Man Booker Prize winner. Or maybe I’m just being a touch protective?

Flanagan is one of ten nominees, and here is an extract from the scene in question:

Whatever had held them apart, whatever had restrained their bodies before, was now gone. If the earth spun it faltered, if the wind blew it waited. Hands found flesh; flesh, flesh. He felt the improbable weight of her eyelash with his own; he kissed the slight, rose-coloured trench that remained from her knicker elastic, running around her belly like the equator line circling the world. As they lost themselves in the circumnavigation of each other, there came from nearby shrill shrieks that ended in a deeper howl. Dorrigo looked up. A large dog stood at the top of the dune. Above blood-jagged drool, its slobbery mouth clutched a twitching fairy penguin.

I leave it up to you, and the judges, to decide, but before you scoff, perhaps have a go at writing a sex scene yourself. Are you going to err on the side of caution and adopt the ‘heaving bosoms’ and ‘throbbing members’ of some romance novels or will you cut to the thrust, so to speak, and get dirty? Either way, writing good sex scenes is incredibly difficult.
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This photo has melted people’s hearts

October 23, 2014

The inspiration for Monty the dogtective, the star of my new mystery, MONTY AND ME, is in fact a duck-toppling, burger-munching, fishing dog, and this photo of him in his fishing Doggles has melted many hearts.

So here he is. Deep, deep undercover.


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‘Monty And Me’, a new dog-tective series

October 20, 2014

Have you ever wondered what your dog is really thinking? You’re about to find out.

Most of you will know me as thriller author L.A. Larkin, but in November 2015 my new cozy mystery series kicks off with MONTY AND ME, featuring loveable dog-tective, Monty, and DC Asha Sidebottom. I am over the moon to be working with my new publisher, Katy Loftus from Avon (a Harper Collins UK imprint).

Katy Loftus says, “The dogs vs cats debate is set to rage on, with Monty set to show off his detective skills and warm heart. I am delighted that we will be publishing Louisa’s charming and gripping tale about (wo)man’s best friend.”

I am also delighted that the German rights have been bought by Kirsten Nägele of Heyne.

I’ll be writing as Louisa Bennet and a new website, Facebook page and Twitter handle will be launched soon for The Monty And Sidebottom Mysteries. Watch this space!

Set in a fictional English town, Monty must help rookie policewoman, Asha, track down his master’s killer. Little does she realise that Monty is much more than a duck-toppling, burger-pinching, failed guide dog. When Asha starts barking up the wrong tree it is up to him to help her crack the case. M C Beaton meets Spencer Quinn meets A STREET CAT NAMED BOB, MONTY AND ME is both a page-turning mystery and a heart-warming tale of the love between a dog and his owner.

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