Feature: Alice Castle, The Girl in the Gallery

Happy Sunday everyone, and welcome to my last guest post of 2017! Thanks so much to everyone who’s visited, liked and commented this year, already looking forward to 2018… For this last post then, I’m delighted to have Alice Castle back, who previously visited to tell us about Dulwich, the setting for her novel Death in Dulwich. Now, she’s back to tell us about the follow-up, The Girl in the Gallery.

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Thank you so much to Jennifer for hosting me today on her lovely blog. I was here three months ago with my first cozy crime mystery, Death in Dulwich, and now I feel very privileged to be back again with the next in my London Murder Mystery series, The Girl in the Gallery.

In the opening chapter of The Girl in the Gallery, my amateur sleuth heroine, single mum Beth Haldane, has decided to give herself the morning off work to spend some time in one of her favourite places, the Dulwich Picture Gallery. By strange coincidence, this is one of my favourite spots in the world, too, and it’s celebrating 200 years of exhibiting art to the public this year.

One of the many quirks of the magnificent building, created by the architect Sir John Soane, is the mausoleum which lies at the centre of the gallery and houses the remains of the original collectors of the artworks on display. I think I can safely say that this is a unique feature in a public art gallery and, of course, one which couldn’t help but fascinate me as a crime writer. You can be sure it comes in for plenty of attention during the course of the novel!

As well as this rather grisly attraction, the gallery is stuffed with world class art. Tiepolo, Canaletto, Rembrandt and Van Dyck are just a few of the very big names on display. I’ve been coming here for years and, like Beth, I look on the paintings as friends. I also like to think of the changes they’ve seen in their two centuries on display. Not just in terms of costume, though when the gallery opened, women’s full crinolines would have swished across the oak parquet, whereas now girls in the shortest of shorts saunter through the galleries. Our relationship with art has changed, too, and fashions in paintings have altered drastically. When the gallery opened, pastoral landscapes like Cuyp’s Herdsmen with Cows were all the rage, while now we sigh over the romanticism of Gainsborough and Rubens instead.

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Beth can’t spend the whole of the book wafting around the gallery, though, as her investigation soon leads her to another important, though less architecturally significant, south London landmark, King’s College Hospital. She will venture even further afield in my next book in the series, Calamity in Catford, which features, amongst other gems, the enormous fibreglass cat guarding the entrance of the Catford Centre.

If you’d like to read Beth’s adventure, you can find it on Amazon at www.myBook.to/GirlintheGallery or at Village Books, Dulwich Books, Herne Hill Books and Clapham Books in south London. If you’d like to find out more about Death in Dulwich or The Girl in the Gallery, visit my website www.alicecastleauthor.com, find me on Facebook or Twitter at @DDsDiary.

The Girl in the Gallery by Alice Castle

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Just when you thought it was safe to go back to Dulwich…

It’s a perfect summer’s morning in the plush south London suburb, and thirty-something Beth Haldane has sneaked off to visit one of her favourite places, the world-famous Picture Gallery.

She’s enjoying a few moments’ respite from juggling her job at prestigious private school Wyatt’s and her role as single mum to little boy Ben, when she stumbles across a shocking new exhibit on display. Before she knows it, she’s in the thick of a fresh, and deeply chilling, investigation.

Who is The Girl in the Gallery? Join Beth in adventure #2 of the London Murder Mystery series as she tries to discover the truth about a secret eating away at the very heart of Dulwich.


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