Thursday Themes – Val Penny

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For this Thursday Themes, I’m delighted to welcome Val Penny to my blog, with an extract from Hunter’s Revenge – due for release on Sunday 9th September.

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DS Jane Renwick and DC Rachael Anderson make an interesting discovery when they go to pay the hotel where they are holding the blessing of their civil partnership.

 Rachael couldn’t think of a time when she and Jane had had so many days off together. It was lovely. Today, they were going to stop by the hotel in Belford Road, where they had chosen to have their blessing.

There were plenty of fancier venues than the three-star Bruce Hotel, in Belford Road, on the banks of the Water of Leith. But this hotel was within easy walking distance of one of Jane’s favourite attractions in the city: The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. Rachael had agreed to the choice because she knew Jane would like guests to be able to visit the gallery if they wanted to.

“Janey, did you notice the hotel has been sold to a different chain?” she asked.

“Yes. I don’t think it will really affect us, but I want to visit and see for myself.”

“May be not, but the chain’s name is totally unpronounceable.”

“The hotel is still called The Bruce Hotel; it’s just the company that owns it which has changed. The hotel still has the same rooms for our guests who are staying over, and the function suite for us. It will be fine!”

“As long as the honeymoon suite is still as nice, that’s all I care about,” Rachael said.

“We’ll check! I want to take another look at the bar and the restaurant and make sure our cake is organised.”

“One fruit tier for you and one chocolate tier for me.”

“Yes, my little peasant.” Jane laughed and pushed open the door to the hotel reception.

“What cheek! But I’m glad we have time off and can do this together, Janey.”

“And guests should get parked easily on the big day.”


Jane and Rachael went to reception to ask for the Events Manager. They were both relieved when the same woman they had made all their arrangements with came out to greet them.

“Hello, ladies. Jane and Rachael, isn’t it? Not long to wait now! Are you getting excited?”

“Ooh yes,” Rachael said.

“Your wedding planner has been in touch to finalise access and arrangements, but would you like to see the function suite again? It has been redecorated since our takeover by Gemuetliche Erholung.”

“So that’s how you say it. I’m glad they haven’t changed the name of the hotel,” Rachael smiled.

“That may change, but not yet. Hang on and I’ll just get the rest of my keys.” The lady disappeared into a room behind the reception desk.

“What are you doing, Janey?” Rachael asked.

“Reading the guest forms on the desk,” Jane replied quietly.


“Because I’m a cop and I’m nosey. Look, it seems Lenny The Lizard Pratt is staying here.”

“He must be feeling the cold today, it’s a bit brisk. Doesn’t he live in Malaga with Jamie Thomson’s mum now?”

“Yes, that must be expensive. From comments the boss has made, I believe Janice is a bit high-maintenance. But it looks like he’s here today. Lucky us.”

“Look at that notice-board, Janey.”

“Goodness, the General Manager is a Heinrich Reinbold. I wonder if that is a coincidence?”

“The boss doesn’t like coincidences.”

“Neither do I, Rache.”

After looking around the function area and having another look at the luxurious honeymoon suite where they would spend their wedding night, Jane and Rachael joined the Events Manager for coffee in the bar and paid the balance of their bill.

“We are going to have such a fun day, aren’t we, Rache?” Jane said, as the Events Manager went to get their receipt. “And it is forever?”

“Of course!” Rachael reached out for Jane’s hand, but noticed she was looking towards the far side of the bar. Two men were sitting with their heads close together, whispering.

“You might pay attention to me when I’m being romantic, Janey. Oh, is that Lenny The Lizard you’re looking at?” Rachael asked.

“Ssssh.” Jane moved seats to sit opposite Rachael. “Make it look as if you are taking my picture, but get those men in the shot,” she whispered.

“Well, at least smile.” Rachael took a couple of photos. She could tell that the men in the background never noticed.


Hunter's Revenge Cover

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until his friend’s death is revenged.

 DI Hunter Wilson is called to the scene of a murder. He is shocked to find the victim is his friend and colleague, George Reinbold. Who would want to harm the quiet, old man? Why was a book worth £23,000 delivered to him that morning? Why is the security in George’s home so intense? Hunter must investigate his friend’s past as well as the present to identify the killer and identify George’s killer. Hunter also finds a new supply of cocaine from Peru flooding HMP Edinburgh and the city. The courier leads Hunter to the criminal gang but Hunter requires the help of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable, Sir Peter Myerscough and local gangster Ian Thomson to make his case. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taught crime thriller.




Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels. Her crime novels, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ and Hunter’s Revenge are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, published by Crooked Cat Books. The third book in the series, Hunter’s Force, follows shortly.


Val can be found online at:


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