My first full-time job in books was as a Blackwell’s Broad Street Oxford bookseller in 2010-11. I remember how overwhelming it felt to realise that I was actually being paid to talk about (and unpack, and shelve, and sell) books all day long. It’s been almost ten years since I worked there, but I still miss it sometimes, and I still feel like part of the Blackwell’s family.
Murder Most Unladylike also began in 2010. I wrote the first draft of it for NaNoWriMo in November 2010, and to make up my word count for each day I brought my laptop to work and wrote through my lunch breaks in the Blackwell’s break room.
Four years later, when Murder Most Unladylike finally published, Blackwell’s were hugely supportive – they’ve been there since the very start of my series, and over the past five years Blackwell’s stores and booksellers have tirelessly promoted my books. I owe them so much, and I’m so grateful for the work they’ve put in.
Which is all why it feels especially incredible to be able to say that this year, Blackwell’s booksellers have voted Top Marks for Murder their favourite children’s book of 2019!
It’s on the list with three women I admire so much, both as writers and activists – I feel so proud and honoured, and I can’t thank Blackwell’s enough. What an amazing thing to happen!