Thursday, May 7, 2015

"Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall"

British born, Hannah Dennison originally moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting. She has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. Now living in Portland, Oregon, Dennison continues to teach mystery writing at UCLA Extension and still works for a west coast advertising agency. She writes the Honeychurch Hall Mysteries (Minotaur) and the Vicky Hill Mysteries (Constable Crime) both set in the wilds of the English countryside.

Here Dennison  applied the Page 69 Test to her new novel, Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall, and reported the following:
Since page 69 takes place in the middle of the Chapter Seven, here are a couple of things you need to know.

My heroine, Kat Stanford, has learned that a high-speed rail network will be cutting through the six-hundred-year old Honeychurch Hall estate where she and her mother currently live in the Carriage House. We join Kat as she questions Valentine Prince-Avery, a consultant from the Department for Transport, in his hotel room.

From page 69:
“I had no idea there were so many [railway lines],” I said.

“The storms last winter really put the nail in the coffin,” Valentine went on. “The flooding that hit the West Country completely wiped out the line south of Dawlish and even though it’s been repaired, it illustrates just how vulnerable the old network is. It needs to be modernized.”

I remembered those storms. I’d watched the footage on television and had been shocked by the ferocity of the elements and the misery and suffering of so many people who were cut off for weeks. The floods on the Somerset Levels had been particularly brutal.

“But what’s the connection with Operation Bullet?” I asked.

“It’s all one and the same.” Valentine took a sip of wine. “Devon needs a new rail system. There is no escaping it.”

I looked at the map again. “But why does the line have to extend so far south?”

“I couldn’t tell you,” said Valentine. “My job is to solely assess the properties affected for compensation.”

“You should use this map tonight,” I suggested. “I always feel that people respond more to visual images.”

“Have you tried getting anything printed in Little Dipperton?” Valentine polished off the wine in his tooth mug and poured himself another. “But try telling that to the ministry. They’ve completely thrown me under the train—no pun intended.”

“What a horrible position to be in,” I said.

“Not only that, I arranged to have my presentation materials shipped to the pub from London but they never arrived,” he said. “To be honest, I think someone stole them.”
This excerpt definitely hints at what troubles lay ahead at Honeychurch Hall. It’s not just Kat who is upset about the proposed development and potential destruction, but the villagers as well. We’re also not quite sure who this Valentine person is—he certainly enjoys a tipple. Either way, there are plenty of motives for murder. I would say this excerpt passed the Page 69 Test!
Visit Hannah Dennison's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: Murder at Honeychurch Hall.

My Book, The Movie: Murder at Honeychurch Hall.

Writers Read: Hannah Dennison.

My Book, The Movie: Deadly Desires at Honeychurch Hall.

--Marshal Zeringue