Benedict orginalates from South London, but now lives in Burgos, north of Spain with his wife and daughter. He writes two cozy mystery series; the Izzy Palmer Mysteries and the best selling Lord Edgington Investigates series. He has a love of crime fiction an a MA in Creative Writing–a great combination that his reads get to enjoy. You can find out more about author #15 in our anthology by stopping by his website.
A Corpse Wrapped in Tinsel by Benedict Brown
When (semi-)famous detective Izzy Palmer is dragged along to a London department store to see Santa by her eccentric best friend, she expects whiny kids and bossy parents, not a dead Mrs Claus wrapped in tinsel. Charged with getting to the truth, Izzy must face off against caroling police officers, the most handsome Father Christmas south of the North Pole and three elves who all claim to be the killer. It’s not the Christmas present she was hoping for, but at least this case comes with a free toy!!
What was your favorite or most memorable gift you got as a child?
When I was about five years old, I got up one morning and there was a ring at the door. I opened it to find a small brown bear with a card saying, “My name is Bertie, please look after me.” I have done my best ever since, and he’s still with me as an adult. When I was a kid, I thought this was the most magical thing that had ever happened, and I plan to recreate the moment for my three-year-old daughter before long.
What would be a great gift for your character?
This is the second Christmas in a row when Izzy Palmer has ended up investigating a murder, though she’s supposed to be enjoying the holiday. I think the best Christmas present for her would be a corpse-less Christmas.
Your story is set in London. Why did you choose that as the setting for your book?
Like Izzy, I grew up in a fairly unremarkable suburb in South London. So far in the series, she’s been out to the countryside, over to Spain (where I now live) and flown up to Scotland for Christmas. But London remains the anchor point of the series. For me, in terms of culture, it’s one of the richest cities in the world and I never get bored of going back. That makes it a great place to set murder mysteries and that’s why book four in the series, “A Corpse in London” is a love letter to my home city.
How does this story connect with your other books or series?
This novella is a standalone which follows my most recent novel, ‘A Corpse in a Quaint English Village’. It references a few of Izzy’s other cases, without giving any mysteries away. It’s the fourth Izzy Palmer novella I’ve written and the eleventh entry in the series overall. The only real spoiler in the story is that, unlike in the very first book when Izzy had a job that she hated, she is now a not very well-paid private detective. I have another series set in the nineteen twenties called “Lord Edgington Investigates…” and I managed to link them a tiny bit in the last Izzy novel, but it’s not too easy when they’re set one hundred years apart.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it? I get a lot of comments from people saying that The Izzy Palmer Mysteries should be made into a TV show and people have strong opinions on who would be the best actress for the part. The most common name is Phoebe Waller-Bridge from Fleabag. It would take someone with good comic timing who is around thirty, can speak with a British accent and is very tall and, so I’m glad I’m not casting it myself!