Murder on the Home Front Launch and a Giveaway


Jessie: In New Hampshire where there is a flood warning!

Today is the official launch day for my second WPC Billie Harkness mystery, Murder on the Home Front. To tell you the truth, I find myself a bit shocked by it. This is my seventeenth published novel and it seems like only yesterday that I wondered if I would ever see my very first one in print.

Here’s a taste of what it is all about:

Disrespect, disdain – and dead bodies! It’s all in a day’s work for WPC Billie Harkness, a pioneering female police officer protecting the home front in this gripping WWII British historical mystery.

“A fresh and different take on WWII stories with an appealing young heroine” New York Times bestselling author Rhys Bowen on Death in a Blackout

1940. It’s been a month since rector’s daughter Billie Harkness left her rural village to make a fresh start in the northern city of Hull. Now she has a new home and an exciting new job as one of only two female police constables in the whole city. But Hull still feels like a foreign country, and some people are less than impressed by the idea of a woman doing a ‘man’s job’.

Facing disrespect from her colleagues and suspicion from the public, Billie throws herself into her work. The tasks she’s assigned might be menial, but she’s determined to do her bit for the war effort. The chance to prove her worth comes when during a search for a missing air raid shelter inspector, she makes a shocking discovery: his dead body, in a shelter that’s been stripped of all its valuables. 

The officers summoned to investigate the scene believe it’s an open and shut case, but Billie’s not so sure. Asking questions means making enemies though – and little does she know that vile rumors about her are spreading, with the power to spoil everything she’s tried so hard to achieve . . .

Murder on the Home Front is the second stunning mystery in the new WPC Billie Harkness series. It’s a great choice for readers of Jacqueline Winspear, Rhys Bowen, and Susan Elia MacNeal.

This series is near and dear to my heart. I have loved the chance to write about life in England during such upheaval. Creating a character who was a country mouse who finds herself in the big city was a change of pace for me and one I truly enjoyed. The research into the setting, Kingston Upon Hull was tremendously moving. All in all, it has been a delightful experience.

I hope that you will celebrate with me, as well as continuing our month-long 10-year anniversary celebration by leaving a comment for a chance to win a hardcover copy of the novel!

Readers, are you more of a country mouse or a city mouse?

58 Thoughts

  1. Kudos, Jessie! Sounds interesting, especially when the setting and period add to the storyline.

  2. I’m a farming country mouse who loves adventure in the city with family and friends! Woohoo! Congratulations Jessie on your new novel!🎉🍾

  3. Total country mouse here! Lots of flooding my way in Maine, too. Can’t fight the power of Nature!

  4. Jessie, congratulations on the 2nd Billie Harkness book coming out. I read and loved the first book (it made my Best of cozy list last year. So you can imagine how much I’m looking forward to reading Murder on the Home Front.

    As for your question, I’ve never lived in a city setting so I guess I would be considered a country mouse. Hell, I hate even driving into the city. When I go to a concert in Boston or Worcester, I tend to have someone else do the driving and just give them gas money. And I limit how many shows I try to attend in the city if I can.

    1. Thanks so much for your enthusiasm for the series! I am not an eager driver in cities either and tend to appreciate others taking the wheel for those jaunts!

  5. Congratulations, Jessie, on the publication of this book. I was thrilled that you set it in Hull. My husband’s brother and also good friends live close to Hull, and I’ve been to that area numerous times. How did you pick Hull as your setting?
    Grace Topping

    1. How lovely that you have a connection to Hull! I found out about its history, especially the amount of determination its people showed during their outsized amount of bombing during WWII. I knew it was a place I wanted to write about when I was looking over photos from that era and realized that I was crying by just viewing them.

  6. Congratulations on the new book baby, Jessie from this city mouse!

  7. So many congratulations, Jessie! I can’t wait to read it.
    I’m a country mouse these days, but cities can be exciting and stimulating.

  8. Congrats, Jessie! I really enjoyed the first book in this series. I’ll be looking for this one.

    I think I’m a country mouse who’s always lived in the city. LOL

  9. Congratulations on the release of “Murder on the Home Front”! On my TBR list and can’t wait for the opportunity to dive in reading it.

    I’m definitely a country mouse that took years of being a city mouse before discovering I wasn’t fit to be there. Hubby thought we would always live the city life, but situations (drug bust across the street, murder around the corner and dog fights down the street) all had me saying “If we can sell this house, I’m out of here!” We built our first country home and I absolutely loved it. When we moved and downsized, I knew the first thing was finding property, which I knew without a doubt was going to me in the country. Our forever home is exactly where it needs to be – country quiet and lifestyle while being close enough to city conveniences like stores, doctors and restaurants. Can’t ever see me going back the other way.

    Thank you for the fabulous chance to win a hardback copy of “Murder on the Home Front”! Shared and hoping to be the very fortunate one selected.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  10. This sounds great! Can’t wait to read it. I’m a country mouse at heart, I think, though I’ve almost always lived in a city.

  11. Wonderful blog, Jessie…and great news about your new book “Murder on the Home Front”! I lived all my life as a city mouse, but now I am truly a country mouse in the mountains, living the life of a rancher. Thank you for the hours of reading fun that you gift us with! luis at ole dot travel

  12. Congratulations Jessie! The book sounds very intriguing. I. Would have to say I’ve been both. I was born in a small town in Illinois then when I was four my family moved to a town just outside St. Louis. As I grew up, so did the town until it was more city than town. I was by that time very much a city girl. Between my junior and senior year of highschool we moved to a small town just south west of St Louis.i met my future husband there and I’ve lived here ever since. I love being a country girl. I love being around animals and living in the country outside of city limits where I can have my animals around me. I’d never want to move back to the city.

  13. I’m a suburban mouse! I love having a house & yard but close to the city’s theaters, museums & restaurants. Also not too far from country for outings.

    I loved the first Billie Harkness book & can’t wait to read the new one! Also love the recommendation you quote mentioning 3 other great authors – love all of rhem too!

  14. congratulations. i would tend to think i’m a country mouse in general but can appreciate and enjoy some of what cities have to offer

  15. I’m definitely more of a city mouse.

    Congrats on the new book. I loved it! (And, obviously since I’ve read it, please don’t enter me in the giveaway.)

  16. Like Judith, I’m a suburban mouse. I’ve lived in huge cities (which I loved at the time) and in a very small town (which wasn’t so great.) I now live in a older (1963) suburb of a medium size city. It’s perfect. I have lots of nature around me, but close to shopping, hospitals, etc. which is a real plus as I grow older (and older.)

    I love anything you write, Jessie, so I have to go back and find the first in the series and go from there.

  17. I’m more of a country mouse.
    Congratulations on your book coming out! It is definitely the type of book I love to read!!! It looks and sounds amazing!!!!

  18. Congratulations on your book release! I’m more of a city mouse.

  19. Help! I am a country mouse trapped in the body of a city mouse! Living in one of the larger growing areas of the US was not one of my best choices, but when I worked, there was always work here. Now I long for the peace and quiet of a smaller town, but my husband wants to stay here where he has always lived. Compromise might be some day trips to places in northern AZ where there is grass, trees, and blessedly cooler summers.

    Congratulations on your new release! I have not yet been able to read the first in series, but am looking forward to it.

  20. It’s hard to say! Although I live in a city now, I live in a gated community that is set apart from the main part of the city. My previous home was in a country setting with horses nearby, and I loved it except for having both a well and a septic system. I will NEVER buy another home with a well!! If you lose power, you have no running water. Once I had no electricity for six days and had to shower elsewhere and use imported water just to wash my hands!

  21. I’m definitely a city/suburban mouse, but I would really like to try being a country mouse. Congratulations on your new release. Sounds interesting and I’m looking forward to reading the book.

  22. I am a country mouse. I do agree with Patti about the problems of a well when the power goes out though. I hate that. Trying to save for a generator now. But I love the horses and other animals we have. And, the space and quiet, too.
    Congrats on the new book.

  23. Congratulations on the new book! I am definitely a city mouse…although I like visiting the country.

  24. Even though I was born and raised in NYC I much prefer the slower pace of life here in Florida. So I definitely can say with confidence that I am now a country mouse.

  25. Congrats on the new book and looking forward to reading it!

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