The Walpole Bay Hotel, three murders, two ‘Miss Marple with attitude’ lady sleuths and one slightly inept chief inspector from Dover feature in a new book by Palm Bay-based author Richard Savin.
The Man At The Walpole Bay Hotel is Richard’s 14th novel – and his 22nd book in total. The retired journalist held a private book launch last Friday but is also holding a public signing event this Thursday (October 5) from 10am to 4pm.
In his journalism career Richard worked extensively in Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. After ten years in Asia he returned to the UK, and in a change of direction, indulged his lifelong passion for cooking, opening his first restaurant under the name of La Petite Auberge de St Savin, where he was head chef.
He went on to open and operate two further restaurants in London as well as a popular City bar until selling up in 1990 and returning to journalism; first as editor for a national magazine and then as features writer and commissioning editor for Surrey County Council’s education tabloid newspapers.
His first book, Vakilabad – Iran; was published by Canongate, Edinburgh, 1980 but he did not return to writing books until his retirement.
His first novel was published in 2017 and since then he has completed 22 manuscripts of novels, memoirs, a children’s book and short stories.
Richard and wife Liz – a retired law editor with Cambridge University Press – left Surrey in 2014 and bought a house in France.
They then bought a home in Palm Bay so travel across the Channel is accessible.
Richard, 83, said: “We were looking for somewhere with a burgeoning arts community and Margate has grown fantastically even in the years we have been here.”
On the setting for the latest novel, Richard said: “We live in Devonshire Gardens and the first thing to strike us was the Walpole Bay Hotel. I said to my wife ‘it’s a wonderful, wacky place that’s got to be the basis for a novel.’ “
At the time Richard was completing other works but started work on The Man at The Walpole Bay Hotel, set in 1914, with his main characters Dorothy and Effie and Inspector ‘Artful’ Archie Page.
Richard says the ladies ‘of a certain age’ are ‘tearaways’ who like good wine, fast cars and a few evening cocktails.
The Inspector is irritated by them but the ladies think he needs help to solve the crimes.
Richard said: “The final round-up is in the Walpole Bay Hotel, with all the suspects and then the motive and killer is revealed.
“It’s a detective story that is character driven.”
Richard, who is a members of the IsleWrite group in Broadstairs, says he has received some good feedback about the book and will be doing readings as a guest at events planned for Turner Contemporary and Pie Factory Gallery,
Or get your copy at the book signing on Thursday at the Walpole Bay Hotel in Fifth Avenue, Cliftonville.
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