‘Craven Scar’, the fourth novel by Susan Parry and the latest in her ‘Yorkshire Dales Mysteries Series’ will be launched during September at signings in Northallerton and Richmond. The story begins with two chance meetings at a wedding in Burnsall which result in a series of mysterious events, including the search for an art teacher who has been missing for three years.
As the title implies, the book is set in the Craven Dales, on Malham Moor and close to the bustling village of Grassington. ‘Upper Wharfedale is a beautiful part of the Dales. The first visit Mark and I made to the Dales after we were married was a walking holiday based in Grassington. We learned a great deal about the local industrial archaeology as well as discovering the wildlife of the area.’
The archaeological theme of the series is continued by Susan with her central character, Mills Sanderson, studying the old lime kilns of the Craven Dales. Forensic tests play an important role in the book, reflecting the author’s own scientific work as a consultant. In her professional life, Susan has worked with her business partner – also a university professor – on a variety of forensic and archaeological studies, including the provenance of pottery using fingerprinting techniques and authentication of valuable art through dating of lead in pigments. She continues to enjoy researching the background for her books and has taken advice from local archaeologists to ensure that technical aspects of her book are accurate.
Since the publication of ‘Corpse Way’, her first book in the series, five years ago, Susan Parry’s popularity has grown steadily. After a delay due to the serious illness that paralysed her, she recovered sufficiently to complete her second novel ‘Death Cart’ two years later. The third book, ‘Grave Hand’ was published last year and she now plans to complete a book every year. ‘The support I have had from local traders over the past five years has been truly wonderful. Booksellers, newsagents, gift shops and even teashops have stocked the books, providing valuable access to visitors.’ A number of visitor attractions now stock her books, including the Wensleydale Creamery, Stump Cross Caverns and the Richmond Brewery. ‘I am delighted that my books can be seen on the shelves in the Yorkshire Dales National Park Centres because there are many villages and walks described in the books that I hope will encourage visitors to explore the area further.’
Susan has continued to attend local agricultural shows to meet her readers and sign copies of her latest book. ‘I really enjoy speaking to readers and hearing what they think about my books.’ When asked if she plans to devote more time to her writing, Susan admits she would like to have a few more hours a week but points out that she prefers to combine her role as an author with her scientific work, since her professional experience can, and often is, used in her fiction.
As part of the calendar of local events to launch her latest book, Susan Parry is a guest at the Lewis and Cooper literary lunch to be held on 23rd September and will be signing copies of ‘Craven Scar’ at Richmond Station on 25th September during the Richmond Walking and Book Festival, in collaboration with Castle Hill Bookshop.