Author Charlotte Fielden Releases Her Latest Book, The Somerset Strangler: A Garrotte With a Twist

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It’s 1970 and society is undergoing major changes. Virginia Gilmore, screenwriter, travel writer and co-owner of a Toronto travel agency, encamps with her extended family and friends into ancient Glastonbury in the southwest of England to write a travel article while her husband works on his latest film.

Even as hippies, New Agers and assorted anti-establishment types descend on this picturesque town for the first Glastonbury Festival, things are going swimmingly. The food and wine is good, the company and conversation invigorating. The film is moving ahead. Then Virginia disappears. Without a trace.

For Detective Chief Superintendent Bruce Fenston, the problem is compounded. Virginia is the fourth woman, all tourists with wealthy husbands, to disappear in recent months. Three of them have been found strangled and buried in a peat bog. Will Virginia become the fourth? Fenston has a serial killer on his hands. But who?

Is it the husband and wife team who run the healing centre where Virginia was last seen? A man who garrottes rabbits? A ne’er-do-well musician and tree planter with a criminal record and murky past? Or the unbalanced woman writer whose father made his fortune by plagiarizing her work? To top it all off, one of the suspects is having an affair with a member of the local constabulary.

Clearly, Fenston needs help, and it arrives in the person of Virginia’s mother Cassandra, a psychic and empath whose paranormal skills have been utilized successfully in the past by high-ranking international police agencies.

Time seems to be running out when one of the suspects commits suicide and the police still have no hint of Virginia’s whereabouts. Cue the skills of Cassandra, who communicates telepathically with her daughter, determines she is alive, but becomes alarmed at her mental state. Virginia claims to be conversing with famous women authors while being held captive. Is confinement causing her to lose her mind?

Charlotte Fielden, veteran author of 14 books, picks us up and takes us along for a giddy ride in a classic police procedural reminiscent of the English crime writer Elizabeth George. The cast of characters is large and compelling, and Fielden’s knowledge and love of the English countryside suffuses this highly-charged work, making the settings themselves function almost as characters.

But it is the twist in the tale that is the star of this whodunit. Employing a double Stockholm Syndrome device, Fielden delivers an ending that is not only wholly unexpected, but one guaranteed to throw readers for a loop. If this doesn’t get you, nothing will.

Author Biography: Charlotte Fielden is a Toronto-born novelist, playwright, and poet. She is also a retired therapist and actor, and a founding member of both the Writers Union of Canada and the Playwrights Guild of Canada. She studied with mine Marcel Marceau in the 1950s and was featured in the Stratford Festival of Canada. She has written for television, radio and film, and her short stories, articles and poetry have been included in various anthologies, literary reviews and news publications. She provided the English-dubbed versions for Claude Jutra’s films Mon Oncle Antoine and Kamouraska.

ISBN: 9780988086821

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