The release of the third Brough & Miller novel is as good an excuse as any to have a bit of a retrospective and get people up to speed with my detective duo.
They made their first appearance in BLOOD & BREAKFAST – I needed some cops to investigate the bizarre murders that were going on. In the first draft, they didn’t appear for a while, but I enjoyed writing them so much, I refocussed the action so that it centres around their investigation. The book begins with Detective Inspector Brough arriving in the Black Country town of Dedley, his new posting. He meets Detective Sergeant Miller and at first they are at odds. Brough doesn’t like Dedley but circumstances from his past mean he has to stay put. The other cops in Serious Crimes aren’t keen to see him either.
In the second book, GREY LADIES we get a few hints about where Brough has come from and why; he is more settled in Dedley and is six months into a relationship but, still unnerved by the outcome of the previous investigation, Brough is haunted by a shadowy figure. Meanwhile, Miller is dealing with housing her mother in a care home, which just happens to be the site of some gruesome murders.
And now, there is THE FOOTPRINTS OF THE FIEND, a brand new case for the pair to investigate. The first half of the book also has chapters that finally detail what Brough was up to before he came to Dedley – he has to confront someone from those dark days before he can get on with the business of investigating the mysterious footprints that have been appearing on the roofs of Dedley’s pubs. Miller’s relationship with a colleague is put to the test and the detectives of the Serious Crimes Department all have to rise to the challenge of this peculiar mystery.
When I wrote Blood & Breakfast, I wasn’t intending to create a series, but now there’s three of them out there – and I’m beginning to get some ideas for a fourth… Brough & Miller are proving to be a very fruitful partnership.
(Update: June 30th, 2015: Currently anticipating publication of Brough & Miller’s seventh case: ZORILLA AT LARGE!)