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Here you can read up to date news of the books I have published so far.
Annabel Austen is my pen name, and I have written four murder mysteries under this name.
All four books feature my female detective, Julie Lane, who is only in part modelled on me, and, as well as providing a mystery to be solved, they also portray the challenges that women like Julie (and me) face in our everyday lives.
In the second book in the series, Julie is diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, and a donation from sales of both The Art of Killing and The Silence of Killing goes to support the work of Breast Cancer Care in the UK.
In addition to her sleuthing activities, my heroine, Julie, is an avid flower arranger and has made her tips and ideas available in Julie’s World of Flowers.
I have also published four animal books:
Minty’s Adventure and, under my own name, Pony Tricks , Pony Dances, and View from the Muck Heap all about our rather devious pony, Prince Igor, and written mainly with my daughter in mind, partly to celebrate the end of her GCSEs, but also as a happy reminder of her formative years and of a much loved family pet when these are long gone.
Prince Igor Smith’s View from the Muck Heap
Here are a couple of comments about my books:
“An assured, entertaining and thought-provoking sequel to Annabel Austen’s first novel, The Art of Killing
Julie Lane returns with her nose for sniffing out rats and her dogged tenacity in plumbing the depths of the mysteries which shroud them. Thanks to her virtuoso exposure of the killers of both John and Helen Burgess, she’s earned the grudging respect of husband Tom and won a staunch ally in the form of Inspector Southgate. Her confidence has blossomed – yet entwined with trust in her ability as a sleuth is a darker dimension to her determination to uncover the truth. Julie has been diagnosed with cancer, and her mind map and musings provide a sense of purpose and welcome distraction from her own confrontation with mortality.
I found Austen’s exploration of cancer compelling. Julie’s voice is disarmingly frank and free from self-pity; the contrast between her highs and lows bumps the reader along her rocky emotional terrain. Like Julie, I have been accustomed to thinking of cancer as `something that was either curable, or you died fairly quickly.’ Julie’s illness falls into neither camp; her cancer inhabits a liminal zone in that it can be suppressed but not cured. The superfluity of chemo in her case leaves Julie paradoxically unsatisfied; in escaping its dramatic physical discomfort, she battles feelings of fraudulency in combination, I suspect, with the sense of a lack of a tangible opponent to fight and to overcome.
The title of Austen’s book, therefore, doubles as a metaphor for Julie’s experience of cancer. Such experience is notably absent from mainstream discourse, and The Silence of Killing is a welcome antidote to the all too often clichéd treatment of the subject in women’s magazines.” The Silence of Killing
“What a lovely book well written and brilliant story’s a must for all horse owners of all ages very enjoyable.” Pony Tricks
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