BEFORE I FOUND YOU by Daisy White
Do you love gripping mysteries? Then discover Ruby Baker, a young woman with a talent for uncovering the truth.
A child found alone on the beach.
A mother who served ten years for a crime she says she didn’t commit.
Ruby Baker is back with another seaside mystery. When she and her friends rescue a child from the beach in a storm, police are baffled. Nobody has reported a child missing, and the girl appears to be so traumatised that she is unable to speak.
In Johnny’s hairdressing salon, the notorious Beverly Collins makes an appointment with Ruby, but it soon becomes clear the woman wants more than a haircut.
Beverly has just been released from Holloway Prison after serving ten years for child cruelty. The body of her missing daughter was never found, but Beverly insists she is innocent, and she wants Ruby Baker’s Investigation Bureau to prove it.
This isn’t going to be an easy investigation. Opinion is divided on Beverly’s innocence. Reporters Kenny and James are keen to uncover a big story, while Ruby’s best friend, Mary, is distracted and struggling to deal with motherhood.
As Ruby tries to unravel the past, she discovers that Beverly Collins release seems to have triggered a bizarre chain of events.
Has she really been framed for her crime, and if so, where is her daughter Ella Collins now? And who is the mystery girl on the beach?
Discover a gripping new mystery writer today. Great for fans of Agatha Christie or LJ Ross.
This is the second book in a mystery series is set in 1960s Brighton, a tumultuous time of change and opportunity.
RUBY BAKER SERIES
Book 1: BEFORE I LEFT
Hi I’m Daisy White – mum, entrepreneur, and writer. I started off self-publishing, then signed YA series to two fabulous US publishers.
I’ve always wanted to write crime but none of my initial manuscripts were anywhere near good enough to show the world!
In 2016 I rewrote an earlier idea and entered it into the UK International Novel Writing Competition. It was long-listed and that gave me the confidence I needed to submit to publishers.
My second crime novel for Joffe Books, ‘Before I Found You’ is out Feb 2018, and my first story for younger children will be published in an anthology for Patchwork Raven later this year. I’m also finishing off a standalone thriller, which I’m really excited about!
As well as writing, I give talks, workshops and signings. Writing is an obsession, a compulsion and a love, but like most writers I also diversify to pay the bills!
Blog Q&A’s for ‘Before I Found You’. Part 1
Where did you get the inspiration for ‘Before I Found You’?
I wanted to develop the characters further, but in way that delved deeper into certain personalities and their response to various challenges. A lot of my research comes from the three generations of family who lived in Brighton during the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. The Stockers are entirely fictional, but again based on memories of various individuals. I liked the idea of a rather odd relationship between Stocker and his wife, versus the traditional views at the time.
Something that came through strongly in my research, and I wanted to convey in the book, was the support from family and friends, and the community spirit. Everyone had your back – unless you happened to be accused of murder of course.
Why did you base the Ruby Baker Mysteries in the 1960’s?
I have grown up hearing stories of Brighton in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s and was fascinated by the challenges of an age without technology as we know it. The role of women was hugely different, and in 1963, when the first two Ruby Baker books are set, things were changing. Mary, as a single mum, faces disapproval, but is absorbed into the salon ‘family’ once her circumstances become known.
I did a lot of research into clothes, social conditions, views and places of the time, but in all the books I am careful to keep most places fictional, unless they are the iconic pier, or Black Rock of course!
I was very lucky to be able to speak to a retired policewoman, who helped me with police procedures at the time, which of course were very different.
‘Before I Found You’ deals with Mary’s issues as a new mum. Was this hard to write about?
It was hard because ‘baby blues’ were considered to be normal, and our modern perception of PND just wasn’t recognised. Any depression or emotional struggles after having a baby was deemed to be ‘something you need to deal with’. My own grandmother, and my mother mentioned that there was no help available because you wouldn’t have asked!
I suffered from PND after the births of both my children, and I wanted to show Mary as a normal new mum, who didn’t have an easy first few months. She loves Summer, but doesn’t understand why she is finding motherhood so hard. Unlike Mary I am very lucky to live in an age where help is available, and I had a fantastic husband and family to support me.
Something that fascinated and terrified me in equal measures, was looking at records of births from the Workhouse in Brighton from the 40’s, and wondering just how many women who were deemed ‘lunatic’ were in fact new mums who just couldn’t cope.