Beyond BeliefI’m Emily. I’m twenty-six years old and I live in London. People have been asking since I was eight years old what I would like to do when I grow up, and I’m still not sure how to answer them. I enjoy gardening and puzzles. I know! You’re going to tell me I sound about a hundred years old. But what’s wrong with that? I like older people, they usually have something interesting to say.

Gardening and puzzles are hobbies for me, but London’s an expensive city, so I need to work. I never have any trouble getting a job because I’m resourceful and cheerful, and people like me. But it’s harder trying to keep a job. Either I get bored and want to move onto the next thing. Or something happens.

Take, for example, my most recent adventure. I had been working for an executive recruitment company just off The Strand in London. It was a temporary job in a stuffy basement, typing up notes from interviews. My friend Dr. Muriel called me up—she’s a neighbor who lives opposite me in Brixton—and was very mysterious. She said she needed help investigating a suspicious death. I went to meet her at the office of Royal Society for the Exploration of Science and Culture, just off the Mall—that’s the road that leads up to Buckingham Palace. It’s a very nice part of town!

Anyway, it turned out that the president of the RSESC wanted to hire me to attend a conference in Torquay called Belief and Beyond. Philosophers, psychics, sceptics and scientists were going to spend two days in a hotel discussing the nature of belief. Dr. Muriel had helped organise it.

You’re wondering about the suspicious death. Well, it hadn’t actually happened yet. A psychic called Perspicacious Peg had predicted that someone would drown in Torquay that weekend, and the most likely candidate was a magician called Edmund Zenon who had offered fifty thousand pounds to anyone who could prove the existence of the paranormal. Dr. Muriel said a weekend in Torquay would be a nice holiday. How could I refuse? I was only supposed to make a report about what happened. But then things got complicated…


You can read about my adventures in Torquay in a book called Beyond Belief, the fourth book in the “Emily Castles” mystery series. The first book in the series is Three Sisters.

Helen Smith is a British novelist who lives in London. She’s the author of the Emily Castles mysteries and other books. Visit her on her website and she’s on Twitter and Facebook. BEYOND BELIEF is available in audiobook, ebook and paperback.


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