Sometimes it’s the little things that matter most in life. Today let’s chat with an interesting character from Helena Dixon’s cozy mysteries, Miss Kitty Underhay. Welcome, Kitty! After we find out a little bit about Helena, I’m looking forward to finding out more about you.
Helena Dixon splits her time between the Black Country and Devon. Married to the same man for over thirty-five years she has three daughters, a cactus called Spike, and a crazy cockapoo. She is allergic to adhesives, apples, tinsel and housework. She was winner of The Romance Prize in 2007 and Love Story of the Year 2010 as Nell Dixon. She now writes the Miss Underhay historical 1930’s cozy crime series.
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Betty: How would you describe your parents?
Kitty: My mother vanished when I was six and my father went to America. I have only recently become reacquainted with my father who is something of a rogue. I was brought up by my grandmother at the Dolphin Hotel.
Betty: Who taught you to tie your shoes?
Kitty: Mickey, the maintenance man in the hotel that I co own with my grandmother.
Betty: Do you know how to swim? How did you learn, if so?
Kitty: I live in Dartmouth, a small riverside town in Devon. When you live by water you need to know how to swim.
Betty: What do you think is your greatest failure? Why?
Kitty: I can be quite impetuous and sometimes this has placed me in considerable danger.
Betty: What is the most wonderful thing that has happened to you?
Kitty: I met my fiancé, Captain Matthew Bryant who is a private investigator. We are due to get married on Christmas Eve
Betty: If you could change the past, what would you change?
Kitty: I wish my mother was still alive. I spent years trying to find out what happened to her.
Betty: What’s your greatest fear? Who else knows about it?
Kitty: I really don’t like rats. I think everyone knows!
Betty: What’s your favorite game to play?
Kitty: I like to play billiards although I’m told this is not very lady-like.
Betty: Do you have a favorite sibling? Who?
Kitty: I’m an only child.
Betty: If you could live anywhere, where would you live?
Kitty: I love living in Dartmouth. Being by the sea has to be the best place to live in the world. The countryside here is beautiful and we have the best seafood and clotted cream.
Betty: How do you like to relax?
Kitty: I like to read, especially whodunnits. I also go to the cinema with my friend, Alice. She is a huge fan of the talkies as my grandmother still calls them.
Betty: What genre of books do you most enjoy reading?
Kitty: Mysteries. I love Mrs. Sayers.
Betty: How do you like to start your day?
Kitty: I wake up early and my best days start when Alice my friend sneaks into my room to share a cup of tea with me. She’s a chambermaid at the Dolphin and has to avoid Mrs. Homer, our housekeeper. We have a good old chat and its such fun. I shall miss that when I marry Matt.
Betty: What kinds of friends do you have?
Kitty: All kinds. Alice and her sister Dolly are my closest friends but there is also Father Lamb who is a priest at Exeter. He’s very kind and generous. Dr. Carter, who I always seem to meet whenever there is a murder. Since I met Matt I always seem to end up embroiled in murders.
Betty: Who would you like to meet? Why?
Kitty: I would like to meet Queen Mary, she always seems so very gracious. Plus, Mrs. Craven has met her and won’t stop bragging about it.
Kitty Underhay is drowning… in murder.
Kitty Underhay hopes for plain sailing as she caters a 21st birthday party for the Chief Constable’s daughter aboard a luxury paddle steamer. So her heart sinks when she learns that the man her fiancé Matthew has been tailing on orders from Whitehall, Gunther Freiburg, is aboard. And she’s even more horrified when she steps below deck to discover Gunther dead in the engine room. One of the Chief Constable’s party must be responsible for his demise, but who, and why?
And the evening is on course for further disaster. As the lights go out around the candlelit cake, a terrible scream rings out over the merry hubbub. A priceless diamond necklace has been snatched from around the birthday girl’s neck… Something fishy is going on, but is this the work of the same sailing assassin, or is it a red herring?
With the local inspector in deep water having to investigate his own boss, Kitty and Matt dive in to help. But when Kitty’s eavesdropping puts her in mortal danger, will everything turn out shipshape, or will it be her turn to go swimming with the fishes…?
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The lessons we learn from the various people in our lives can yield some interesting developments. Thanks, Kitty, for stopping by for a chat!
Award-winning Author of Historical Fiction with Heart, and Haunting, Bewitching Love Stories
Visit www.bettybolte.com for a complete list of my books and appearances.
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