Today it’s a huge pleasure to welcome my lovely friend, Susan King, on to my Thursday Themes blog to discuss her debut novel, Marrow Jam.
One of the advantages of being at home at the moment, is being able to read a funny book without laughing out loud in the middle of a packed train! I’m reading Marrow Jam at the moment, and it’s hilarious.
Thank you for inviting me to join you on your blog to talk about the themes behind my debut novel, Marrow Jam.
The idea for my novel initially seeded itself many years ago when a friend of the family suggested I join her in entering the floral competition at the local show. I did question if it was entirely fair, for having worked as an apprentice florist for 12 months soon after leaving college, I was convinced I must be over-qualified. But, having been assured that it would be of no consequence; I duly entered the competition and have continued to enter, off and on, ever since.
On this particular day, it was at the prize-giving ceremony, when my friend received the award for Best in Show, that a thought crossed my mind. Everyone was smiling but, I was sure, like myself, questioning what they needed to do to find themselves on the winner’s podium. What lengths, I wondered, would someone go to in order to win the coveted trophy?
Marrow Jam is a comedy crime caper (cozy crime), based upon community rivalry and the quest to win Best in Show at the annual village fête. I think we all have a competitive streak inside of us that makes us want to win, but there are also those amongst us, and I’m sure we have all met at least one in our lifetime, who simply feel they must win (otherwise known as a bad loser).
Marrow Jam follows one such person, Beattie Bramshaw, as she sets out to win the Best In Show trophy, but finds herself centre stage amidst a background of murder and mayhem (mostly of her own doing). As the story unfolds, I think it would be fair to say the story touches on each and every one of the seven deadly sins (envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth, and wrath), all converging to ensure our heroine goes on a journey of self-discovery and, one hopes, learns a lesson or two along the way.
The over-riding theme of Marrow Jam is, of course, comedy and my sincere hope is that when the reader turns the last page, they do so with a smile on their face. There is nothing better than laughter to lift the spirits, and at the present time I think that is something we could all do with a little more of.
Some people would describe Beattie Bramshaw as a pillar of the community. Many would applaud her numerous successes in the bakery competition at the annual village show. A small number might say, if pushed, that they find her a little on the bossy side. And one or two might just whisper the words ‘interfering’ and ‘busybody’ behind her back.
But no one would have her down as a murderer.
So why is she being questioned in Dreighton police station after being found in the local allotments, at the dead of night, wielding a kitchen knife just yards away from where local lottery winner, Yvonne Richards, was found stabbed to death? And what does all of this have to do with Doug Sparrow’s prize marrows?
Marrow Jam is a comedy crime caper in the spirit of Agatha Raisin. It will have you chuckling all the way through many a cup of tea.
Susan A King lives with her husband in a quiet suburb in Hampshire. Between them they have four grown-up sons, all of whom have now flown the nest.
The inspiration for her first novel, Marrow Jam, came from her long experience and observation of competitors at the annual Romsey Show, where she regularly aspires to win Best in Show with her floral arrangements.
Marrow Jam, was shortlisted for the Write Here, Right Now novel competition, Bradford Literature Festival and is published by Eye/Lightning Books.
Find Susan on Twitter: @SusanKing63
Marrow Jam (the book!) is available from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2JVws47