Blog Tour With Kat Staford by Hannah Dennison

Murder At Honeychurch HallI am looking out of the window at a field full of cows. Red Ruby cows if we’re being specific. How can I, Kat Stanford, born and bred in the City of London end up in a place that frankly reminds me of Cold Comfort Farm—or perhaps that’s too unkind. How about the Twilight Zone?

Just days ago I was celebrating my exit as the TV host of Fakes & Treasures and starting my dream antique business with my newly widowed mother… until I got “The Phone Call.”

Honestly, I adore my mother and of course once I learned that she had broken her hand in a car accident, I offered to stay and take care of her. The news that she had moved two hundred miles away and deliberately didn’t tell me was a shock—but I thought I dealt with that quite well. After almost fifty years of marriage to my dad— who could be a tad oppressive—why shouldn’t she reinvent herself? But why, of all places in the United Kingdom, pick rural Devon? And why buy a dilapidated carriage house on a country estate in the middle of nowhere?

But that was just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, over the last few days I’ve realized that I hardly know who my mother is at all. Case in point—she casually asked me to help her with a “bit of typing.” It turns out that for the past few decades Mum had not been lying in a dark room with a migraine. Instead she’d been secretly writing steamy romance novels under the pseudonym of Krystalle Storm. And trust me, they’re steamy and I should know because I am typing up her manuscript.

It’s embarrassing. How can my prim, conventional mother who has only known one man in the biblical sense (or so she says) write this stuff? And I can’t even take a cold shower because the plumbing is shot to pieces. Mum says the plumber will be coming “dreckly.” When I asked the Dowager Countess what that means, she laughed and explained that in the West Country, “dreckly” is like “mañana only not so urgent.” So for the time being we have to make do with a pitcher and washbasin. Victorian collectibles, toys and curios are my specialties and you’d think I’d relish the opportunity to have a taste of Victorian living. But I don’t.

Although I am determined to make my mother see sense and persuade her to return to London to stick to our plan, I have to admit that I am captivated by Honeychurch Hall. Apart from the fact that it’s stuffed full of antiques and heirlooms, the house has been around for six hundred years—as has the Honeychurch family who all seem as mad as hatters. Even the Earl’s son Harry, aged seven, strolls around the estate dressed as the famous fighter pilot called Biggles. Then there are those “below” stairs. Since when can a housekeeper afford to wear Louboutin shoes? I suspect Mrs. Hughes from Downton Abbey would have had something to say about that!

I can hear Mum calling me from upstairs through the hole in the ceiling. She needs help getting dressed. I have no idea what today will bring—other than typing up scenes of heaving bosoms and luscious lips—although yesterday, the nanny disappeared (in real life) and there was some scandal about Lord Honeychurch being involved, but I’m trying to stay out of it.

My mother, however, has already started meddling which reminds me of the promise I made to Dad to keep Mum out of trouble. I thought he was joking but now I am not so sure.

This is the third stop on the Murder at Honeychurch Hall Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour. For other stops on this tour, click HERE

You can read more about Kat and her mum in Murder at Honeychurch Hall, the first book in the “Honeychurch Hall” mystery series, published by Minotaur. Book is available at retail and online booksellers.

Comment on this post by 6 p.m. EST on May 16, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of MURDER AT HONEYCHURCH HALL. One winner will be chosen at random. Unless specified, U.S. entries only.

Meet the author
Born in England, Hannah Dennison relocated to Los Angeles with her daughter and two cats to pursue a career in screenwriting. Along the road to publication, she has worked as an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet HannahDflight attendant and Hollywood screenplay analyst. Hannah is the author of the Vicky Hill Mysteries (Constable UK) and the first, in her new series, “Murder at Honeychurch Hall” (Minotaur). Now living in Portland, Oregon, Hannah continues to teach mystery writing at UCLA, has served on numerous judging committees for the Mystery Writers of America and still works part-time for a west coast advertising agency. She is married to an advertising executive and enjoys hiking, horseback riding, skiing and seriously good chocolate.

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46 responses to “Blog Tour With Kat Staford by Hannah Dennison

  1. This looks like a little different than some of the cozies I have recently read. I would like to win a copy.

  2. Sounds delightful. A must read for me.

  3. Love trying out new cozy series. Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  4. Love the mother-daughter scenario. I am adding this series to my list. Must find the first in this series. Thanks for the intro to a new author!

  5. What a fun read!

  6. Sounds like great beginning to a new series! Thanks dot the giveaway.

  7. Debbie Carnes

    Sounds wonderful, would love to read this

  8. the dog on the cover looks like he’s inviting us in, but deep down, he’s saying ‘enter at your own risk’………..LOL!!!!

  9. This sounds like a fun book. Thank you for the chance to win

  10. Cathy Genna

    Thank you Dru and Hannah, this is a fun read blog. I’m new to you Hannah and look forward to reading A Murder at Honrychurch Hall
    Have a great day

  11. Thank you for the chance to win 🙂

  12. I want to start this series!

  13. This looks great! Would love to win and read this new-to-me book!

  14. I enjoyed the Vicki Hill Series I look foreword to reading this new series. Congrats

  15. I enjoyed Hannah’s Vicky Hill series and look forward to reading this one.

  16. This sounds like a hoot, I am going to check out your other books based on the description of this book.

  17. Kathy Gonzales

    New to me author and series , I’m looking forward to reading this one !

  18. Now I’m wondering if my mother had some kind of secret “steamy” life—she was so prim and proper in real life.

  19. Ah, watch out for those mothers with hidden lives! What fun.

  20. Good morning from the west coast … what a great welcome! Yes … things are often not quite what they seem, are they? Although my own mother is not a romance writer – I only recently discovered that she used to belong to a nudist colony in the sixties. That was a bit of a shock! Thanks so much for stopping by.

  21. This sounds like a fun read, as for my mother, I don’t think anything would surprise me, she’s a feisty old broad, I keep telling her that I hope that I have her stamina and fight when I hit 94…I wish I had it now, LOL. Thanks for the chance to win.

  22. Sally Schmidt

    This one sounds like a definite must-read. Sometimes you can just tell from the writing in the blog that it’s going to be a good book. Thanks, Dru, for providing such long blog posts so we can get the feel of the book.

    My mother was the wild child of her family – and what a smile. My grown childen have great memories of all the quirky stuff grandma used to do. I would have liked to meet her when she was young!

  23. Jean Johnson

    This book looks very good! Congrats on the release day!

  24. Haven’t read this author yet, but I definitely want to read this book. Love old “halls” and homes of all kind actually. Mostly, I would enjoy seeing how a teacher if mystery writing does in her own books.

  25. What a great little glimpse of family life. I’m sure we’re in for lots of fun here. Thanks.

  26. Actually … the Countess in the book is based on someone I knew who lived to be 98. I vividly remember her showing me how many sit-ups she could do when she was 86. 100!!! I counted. Amazing. I wonder what the secret is? A love of life – or a scandalous past ….

  27. This sounds really good! Thank you for the chance to win a copy!

  28. This is a series I am not familiar with. Thanks for highlighting it! And thank you for the chance to win.

  29. This must become a series because all this wonderful stuff should not be confined to one book. I would love to win this book.

  30. Cynthia E. Blain

    I am anxious to read this book as I loved the Vicky Hill series that the author wrote awhile back. Loved the interview and will be looking forward to getting her latest book.

    Thank you.


  31. Dru, this one is just too good to be true… I gotta have it. Toss my hat into the contest ring please.

  32. Debra Woloson

    Thanks for the great review. I feel that this is a laugh out loud book and I can’t wait to read it. Thank you for the giveaway.

  33. Margaret Utsey

    This sounds really good and I am looking forward to reading it..I hope that I win.

  34. Gosh … I have to say everyone has been so generous and enthusiastic with their comments! Today is the official publication day for Murder at Honeychurch Hall and truly, I couldn’t have had a better place to celebrate. Thanks so much for inviting me Dru and thank you everyone, for stopping by.

  35. I enjoy how Hannah includes the reader in her stories..we are a part of the tale…no just “reading on-lookers”, and that is enjoyable!

  36. Barbara Tobey

    Sounds interesting.

  37. Sounds like a good mystery, I can’t wait to read it.

  38. The cover is stunning, but holy cow does the story sound like a ton of fun! Mama sounds like a real character!

  39. Thank you for having this giveaway. Sounds good and I like the cover.

  40. Interesting day

  41. Looking forward to this new series.I love all of Hannah’s books.Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  42. Would love to win

  43. Thanks Hannah for introducing us to Kat and her mother.

  44. contest is closed.