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When Inspector Shanti de Silva moves with his English wife Jane to his new post in the sleepy hill town of Nuala he anticipates a more restful life than police work in the big city entails. However an arrogant plantation owner with a lonely wife, a crusading lawyer, and a death in suspicious circumstances present him with a riddle that he will need all his experience to solve. Set on the exotic island of Ceylon in the 1930s, Trouble in Nuala is an entertaining and relaxing mystery spiced with humour and a colourful cast of characters. Interview with the Author Q. There are so many murder mysteries around, what makes Trouble in Nuala stand out? A. To a great extent its setting in Ceylon, modern-day Sri Lanka, in the days when the island was still a British colony. Then, as now, the island was a fascinating place not just for its wonderful scenery and wildlife but also its mix of peoples who seem to have recovered extraordinarily well from the tragedies of their recent past. The majority are Sinhalese, who see themselves as the original owners of the island. They are followed by the Tamils who migrated over the centuries from Southern India. Add the legacy of the early Portuguese and Dutch settlers and you have a very rich culture. Although the story sits firmly in the mystery genre, at the time when it’s set, colonialism also raised issues that my characters have to deal with and that provides an extra layer of interest. Q. What’s your connection to the country? A. I’ve been lucky enough to visit and I fell in love with it straight away. My books are often inspired by my travels and as I’d been planning to write a new detective series for some time, it presented the perfect setting. Q. The mystery genre is usually very plot driven. When you wrote Trouble in Nuala did the characters or the plot come first? A. Shanti de Silva was inspired by various people I met on my travels around Sri Lanka and he took shape in my mind early on. He’s pragmatic but principled with a mischievous sense of humour; at times impetuous and occasionally a rebel. As my plots develop though, I usually find that characters deepen and that was certainly the case here as Shanti de Silva and the other characters revealed themselves. Q. So what next? A. A second Inspector de Silva mystery is already well advanced and you can read a sample at the end of Trouble in Nuala. After that, there are plenty more adventures for de Silva queueing up to be written.Biographie de l'auteur:
Harriet Steel published several historical novels and a collection of short stories before turning to crime with the Inspector de Silva Mysteries. She was educated in the New Forest and London and subsequently graduated from Cambridge University with a BA in Law. She practised for many years as a solicitor before becoming a writer. She lives in Surrey and when she is not writing loves to visit art galleries and read about history, activities that inspire her writing. She is also a keen traveller and an enthusiastic gardener.
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