Death In the Spires is out!

Today is the official publication date of my very first murder mystery. Obviously I have written many (many) murders, some of them mysterious, but this is my first genre murder. Which is to say, it’s not a romance novel. Do not go in expecting a HEA, okay?

Death in the Spires is very much a book of my heart. It is, in fact, the book I was discussing with Mr KJC one summer afternoon in the pub about eight years ago, just before I told him that I would rather eat out of bins than keep doing my then job till Christmas as planned, and he said, “Put in your notice tomorrow.” So I did, and moved to being a freelance writer/editor, and then a full time writer, and you can thank/blame Mr KJC for the thirty-odd novels I now have under my belt.

If you’re wondering about ‘eight years ago’: I wrote it, and it didn’t quite work. Couldn’t put my finger on it, so I shoved the MS to one side for five minutes because I was building my career in romance, and then Brexit, Trump, pandemic, before you know it six years have elapsed. But then last year I sent it to exciting new publisher Storm, and they liked it. A terrifically brutal/brutally terrific edit by Kathryn Taussig and Natasha Hodgson later, it did work, and here we are.

It’s a mystery starring an intense group of friends whose glittering Oxford and future careers are abruptly cut short when one of them is murdered…by one of them. Ten years on, scholarship boy turned drab clerk Jem sets out to discover who did it.

It’s running at an average five stars on NetGalley, which is nice. A few review quotes:

One of the best books I have read so far this year. The people and places all feel so real. Even though the setting is historical so many of the issues are ones that are completely relevant now just with a slightly different slant.

This is a mystery story but it is also a beautiful love story. I loved the character of Jem and was with him every painful step of the way

This is, in my humble opinion, the absolute best book K.J. Charles has written so far

A great, satisfying mystery. I read the whole thing in a day

KJ pivots toward a more classic murder mystery, but still gives us strong, nuanced characters in whose emotional lives we can’t help but be invested. As always, her eye for detail and twisty plotting result in a brilliant story that will keep readers breathlessly barreling toward the satisfying conclusion.

Why yes, I do have my usual K.J. Charles book hangover. Thanks for asking.

Clicky for content warnings. Again: not a romance. Available in print and e, and audio read by Tom Lawrence.

Buy links here!

8 replies
  1. Claire
    Claire says:

    It’s so good! I love how twisty it is! And how much character development you put into it. Very satisfying ending. 🙂 (and yes, I posted a review 🙂

  2. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    It was phenomenal – and I’ve already left a review saying as much (possibly incoherently since it was posted at 2am but if you want coherent reviews you should try writing books I can put down in the evening?)

    I might disagree about not expecting an HEA because for me it certainly felt happy enough for now, but it definitely is more a murder mystery than anything else. Still a bloody good book though.

    “Do I have to explain my limp?”

    God I felt for Jem. It’s probably not good that we share some many of the same problems though …

    (Bad feet, life made distinctly worse by the actions of an obnoxious politician, lousy bosses, Big Drama among previously inseparable friends who now no longer speak, going to university didn’t end up as good an idea as everyone said it would be …)

    Yeah, murder mystery protagonists probably shouldn’t be quite this relatable 😀

  3. azteclady
    azteclady says:

    So good, so good! I have been shouting about it in my (sadly small) readerly circles.

    (my review is at my blog, for what is worth–your spam detector won’t let me link to it properly:

      • azteclady
        azteclady says:

        Thank you, most sincerely, for your writing; I hope you forgive the sap, but your books are among the few that are guaranteed to grant me respite from ::gestures at the wider world::

        May they always bring you joy in the writing and success (in all meanings of the word).

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