There are individual stories behind some of the covers for my quirky mystery novels, but the big story as far as I’m concerned is that I use my late brother’s photographs of Scotland as the basis for all of them.
He was a very keen photographer who spent much of the final year of his life driving around Scotland with his camera. One of my ambitions is to produce a book of his best photographs. He was particularly skilful at finding patterns in the landscape: ploughed fields, unusual rock formations and the shadows of bridges.I’m fortunate enough to own the rights to all these, although of course I would prefer him to have lived long enough to publish his own collections.
The rather grey, bleak photograph on the cover of ‘Crime in the Community’ was one of his pictures of a Fife coastal town – I must admit I haven’t been able to identify it. He often took monochrome pictures for artistic effect. Some people have commented adversely on my use of this one for what is not exactly a grey or bleak story, but I stand by it anyway!
The picture of a graveyard on the cover of ‘Reunited in Death’ is one of his photographs of the place at Lintrathen where quite a few of our ancestors were laid to rest, including our great-great-grandparents, buried by the wall of the church.
I chose the duck and its reflection for ‘A Reformed Character’ on the grounds that the duck’s shape was ‘re-formed’ by the rippling water! I’m not sure anyone else gets that though – possibly too tenuous a connection.
I’ve been browsing through his photographs again in the past couple of days, trying to find a suitable image for the cover of ‘Death at the Happiness Club’. I can’t possible divulge what it is yet, but it won’t be long now before it is released into the wild. I feel it’s appropriate anyway.