After eighteen years, Veronica Stallwood is bringing to a close her series set in Oxford and featuring historical novelist, Kate Ivory. The fourteenth and final book, Oxford Ransom, is now published as an ebook for the Kindle and is available on Amazon websites.
As full of wit and incident as all Stallwood’s books, Oxford Ransom sees Kate searching for her agent, the sharp-tongued Estelle Livingstone, who has disappeared a few weeks after celebrating her lavish wedding. Estelle’s husband, a dealer in secondhand books who refuses to go to the police about his wife’s unscheduled absence, is perhaps not all he seems. And his brother looks even dodgier. Kate needs Estelle on her side if she’s to produce her breakthrough novel; her partner, Jon, is just as keen for her to give up writing and contemplate marriage and motherhood. Nothing in Kate’s life will be resolved until Estelle is found. Then Craig Jefferson, a friend of Jon’s, makes a timely entrance on to the scene and seems to fancy a bit of sleuthing himself.
Faithful readers will be hoping for the answers to a number of long-running questions. Will Kate complete her breakthrough novel? Will she ever settle down with Jon, or even with another of her men friends? Will she find the redoubtable Estelle and receive the encouragement she needs? What is happening to her mother, Roz? And how will Jon deal with Kate’s habit of interfering in other people’s lives?
It’s sad for both author and readers to say good-bye to long-running character but it’s time for Stallwood to explore new characters and landscapes. She is already working on a new psychological thriller, while mulling over ideas for a new series. This, she thinks, is likely to be a four- or five-book sprint rather than a fourteen-volume marathon.
Oxford Ransom by Veronica Stallwood. Published on Amazon for the Kindle, October 2011, at £5.75 (including VAT).