Carol: I read in your blog that the character of Libby Sarjeant came to you one day while you were driving through Kent. Libby is a character that many of us feel we know very well. I am sure Libby’s life and relationships have developed over the years but how much of her life and character came to you in that first flash of insight?
Lesley: I don’t think much did – it was a bit like meeting someone at a party – I could see what she looked like and the type of person she was, but it didn’t go any further than that.
Carol: Your love of the stage is clear and it is a fundamental part of Libby’s life. Did you have to do a lot of research to keep her theatre experiences so authentic or was it already at your fingertips?
Lesley: Sadly, I’m a theatre nerd. I’ve been involved since I was a child. My first professional performance was at the age of 15 in London. We have a lovely little Victorian theatre in our town and I’ve been performing and directing there for over 30 years. I have also written for the stage and have a deep love of pantomime and Music Hall.
Carol: Did the idea of Libby’s partner in detection, Fran, having psychic abilities come to you at the same time you discovered Libby?
Lesley: Not quite. She arrived separately while I was on holiday in Somerset, and I have no idea where she sprang from! I was toying with writing a book about her (and theatre, naturally) but along with Libby at the time, she got shelved.
1.Murder in Steeple Martin (2006)
2. Murder At the Laurels (2007)
3. Murder in Midwinter (2007)
4. Murder By the Sea (2008)
5. Murder in Bloom (2009)
6. Murder in the Green (2010)
7. Murder Imperfect (2010)
8. Murder to Music (2011)
9. Murder at the Manor (2011)
10. Murder by Magic (2012)
11. Murder at the Monastery (2013)
12. Murder in the Dark (2013)
13. Murder in a Different Place (2014)
14. Murder out of Tune (2014)
15. Murder in the Blood (2015)
16. Murder Dancing (2016)
17. Murder on the Run (2016)
18. Murder by the Barrel (2017)
2. Entertaining Death (2017)
To learn more about Lesley Cookson visit her web site at:
Read a review of Carol’s latest book The Fragility of Poppies