Author Showcase ~ As She Left It by Catriona McPherson

as she left itOpal Jones ran away from home when she was twelve. Now, returning to Mote Street as a grown up after her mum’s death is like going back in time. Nosey Mrs. Pickess is still polishing her windows to a sparkle. Fishbo, her ancient music teacher, still plays his trumpet and leads his band. And to Opal’s delight, her favorite neighbour, Margaret Reid, is going strong.

It all looks the same, but everything has changed. Margaret’s grandson, Craig, disappeared ten years ago and, every day he’s not found, shame and sorrow settle deeper into the neighbourhood’s forgotten corners. Everyone has something to hide and when Opal decides to tackle the mystery of little Craig, she sirs up more secrets than she can bear about these people she thought she knew. Worst of all, the doors she closed on her own past start to open again.

– – – – Page 1 – – – –

It’s all connected. Everything’s joined to everything. You think you can keep it all out of your head, if you concentrate hard. You think your brain’s in charge. And then Blammo! From nowhere, one little thread starts to fray, one little rock gets lifted and the light shines in. That’s when you know it’s your blood that runs the show. Your bowels. Your guts and your glands. When you’re shaking so hard you can’t talk and you’re breathing so fast you can’t think and all of your careful stories have blown away.

‘Tell me,’ he says, as the van rocks along. There isn’t another car or a single house in sight. The moor fog’s coming down.

‘Dunno if there’s time.’

‘Make time,’ he says. ‘Talk fast. Tell me now.’

‘Okay . . . Okay . . . Well, it’s all connected, see? That’s the main thing. I see that now. The mum and the dad and the boy and the girl. The little old lady and the poor old man. The baby that’s lost and the baby that’s . . .’ Big breath. Try again. ‘They’re all the same.’

‘Start at the start,’ he says, ‘and keep on til the end.’

‘The start?’

‘When does it start?’

‘I suppose . . . I dunno.’

‘Once a upon a time then.’ And goosebumps pop up on her arms.

‘No! No more stories. It probably starts about . . . a month ago.’

‘So,’ he says, ‘once upon a month ago then.’

– – – – End of Page 1 – – – –

KIRKUS STARRED REVIEW: “A stand-alone that is worlds apart … fascinating, mysterious … can’t put down.”

Release: June 2013
Publisher: Midnight Ink

Catriona is giving away one (1) copy of AS SHE LEFT IT. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. Contest ends June 10; US entries only.

Meet the author
Catriona McPherson is the author of the Dandy Gilver series of mysteries, set in Scotland in the 1920s where – but not when – she was born. The series has been nominated for a CWA Dagger and a Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year award in the UK and she has won the Bruce Alexander Memorial Award and an Agatha Award for her Dandy Gilver series.

Since 2010, Catriona has lived on twenty acres in a beautiful valley in northern California where she is slowly learning to garden in a Mediterranean climate. The plants don’t look good but the blogs about them can be entertaining. Visit the Dandy Gilver website at or Catriona’s blog at

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.

28 responses to “Author Showcase ~ As She Left It by Catriona McPherson

  1. Kathy Gonzales

    This book sounds amazing, and I would love to win a copy!

  2. Debbie Carney

    This book sounds great, would love to win

  3. Janet Morrissey

    I would love to win this book!

  4. Jan Mackinem

    Sounds intriguing! I would love to win a copy!

  5. Sounds like an interesting read. Count me in! Dee

  6. Wow. I Iike it. And what a different voice from the Dandy Gilver stories.

  7. please enter me for this giveaway!! thank you!!!!

  8. Lori Cimino

    I am new to Catriona and this sounds like an excellent introduction

  9. THIS book sure sounds like the kind of story that I LOVE to read. I would love to be entered in the giveaway and will be thrilled if I were to win. Sounds like a great story. Thank you to the author and to Dru.

    Have a lovely weekend.

  10. Eleanor Cawood Jones

    I can’t wait to read this. The plot looks amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  11. Sounds great. I can’t wait to read it.

  12. Hi, everyone! I’m starting late today after a book launch party in 100 degree heat last night. There were some people there purely for the a/c, I’m sure. One of them, strolling past with his iced coffee, looked at the book jacket of ASLI and said: what’s with all the dystopian settings? I said: that’s not dystopia; that’s Leeds. Poor old Leeds – but it does have some of the friendliest people on earth and quite a few of the characters in the book are drawn from life there.

  13. Oh, Catriona! I guess, to dyed-in-the-wool Californians, Leeds might look dystopian. *sigh*

    I can’t wait for this book. Such an intriguingly different voice from the Dandy books, which I love.

  14. Kathy Franklin

    Sounds like a great read.

  15. I met this delightful author at BEA in the Mystery Writers booth. I’m thrilled to have discovered a new mystery writer…and one from the country where my mother and grandmother were born!

  16. The moors. Wuthering Heights is a fave. Take me back there, Catriona. judydee22002@yahoo dot com

  17. Lisa Garrett

    I want to know more about the secrets.

  18. This sample is really a compelling read. It draws you in as a reader to want to know just how did this scenario begin. I would love to win a copy.

  19. Wow I am totally hooked would love to read the rest.

  20. Families and small towns and secrets–they all go together. I’d like to see what this one has in store for the reader.

  21. Vivian White

    I’ve never read any of her books but it sounds great. Please add my name to the list . Thanks!

  22. Oh, you lovely ladies! (quick check for men – possible apol to idlvru) Thank you so much. This would be a very flat post-launch day if it weren’t for Dru and you.

  23. I luv Cationa – her writing is as wonderful as she is…
    Cheers, Nancy

  24. Thanks Catriona for letting me do a shout-out to your new release and offering my readers a chance to win a copy.

  25. Louise Kelly

    I’m not in the US so not eligible to win but I read an Advanced Readers Copy of this book, and It’s a fantastic read. I found myself wanting to give half the characters a comforting hug and a few of them a right good ticking off: they’re so vividly drawn. Definitely worth splashing out on if you’re not one of the winners.

  26. Shonda Abercrombie

    I love mysteries and this sounds like a really good one. I am putting this in my must read. Thank You

  27. Have done some reading about Leeds and I know for sure that this book is going to kick off a new extension of my favorite reading material. You do a fabulous job with your novels, Catriona and I am anxious to get to read more and more and more of your work. Looking forward to your drawing for the book too. 🙂

  28. Contest is closed, but comments are always welcomed.