- If you were stranded on a desert island and could take one crime novel, one DVD boxset and one character from a crime novel, who/what would you take?
This is the sort of question I spend a lot of time debating when I should be working! My desert island book is usually The Mating Season by PG Wodehouse as I think that would cheer me up (unlike Ruth I don’t like solitude). But crime novel? It would have to be The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. DVD boxset would be The Office (US version) and the character would be Charles Paris from Simon Brett’s novels as at least we’d have a laugh – and a drink.
- Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would be on the menu?
I’d invite Clive Stafford-Smith, Marcus Brigstocke, Bruce Springsteen, Germaine Greer and Jilly Cooper. We’d eat Italian food ideally cooked by my late Nonna (it is a dream after all).
- What is your favourite line from a film/TV series/book?
It’s a few lines but Flora Poste’s telegram in Cold Comfort Farm. ‘Worst fears realised darling. Seth and Reuben too. Send gumboots.’
- If you could write a book with any other crime or thriller writer, who would you choose and why?
I’d have great fun with Lesley Thomson, David Harrison (Tom Bale), Jim Kelly or Alison Bruce. Alison, Jim and I have talked about our fictional detectives meeting as our books are all set in the Cambridge/King’s Lynn area. They’d probably all hate each other too which would make for a fun read.
- Who is your favourite onscreen detective?
I really like Jackson Brodie (Jason Isaacs) but my favourite is probably still David Suchet as Poirot.
- If your book was being made into a film or a TV series, who would you want to play the lead character?
Ruth Jones or Eva Myles. She’d have to become Welsh but it would be worth it.
- What crime novel do you wish you had written?
The Woman in White.
- What’s the scariest place you’ve visited for inspiration?
The prison chapel in Lincoln Castle.
- You are master of cluedo and have any name, weapon and room at your disposal, whodunit and what happened?
It would have to be the Reverend Green as I do like a theological thriller. Reverend Green (who’s a woman) in the library with the bible.
Elly’s The Outcast Dead has been shortlisted for the Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.
To find out more on the 2015 Award Click Here.