The Killing of Polly Carter

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I don’t know about you but I am the BIGGEST Death In Paradise fan I think there has ever been. I have watched every episode from the beginning and even own all the series on DVD…I’m a little obsessive! So when the lovely Julia got in touch and asked if I wanted to take part in the blog tour for a new Death In Paradise novel I jumped at the chance!

The Killing Of Polly Carter is written by Robert Thorogood (the creator of Death In Paradise) and has the most amazing blurb:

Supermodel Polly Carter was famed for her looks and party-girl lifestyle. Now she’s dead, apparently having thrown herself from the clifftop near her home on the island of Saint-Marie. Those who knew her say Polly would never have killed herself…and when he is called in to investigate, DI Richard Poole is inclined to agree there is more to Polly’s death than meets the eye.

Already fighting a losing battle against the intense summer heat of the Caribbean, Richard now faces fresh adversaries: a stream of alibis; a host of conflicting motives; and, worst of all, a visit from his mother. A frenzy which would surely allow a murderer to slip away unnoticed…yet Richard is certain that the guilty party is still on the island.

As his team closes in on Polly’s household, Richard becomes convinced that the model’s death was an inside job. And he’s determined to prove who planned the killing of Polly Carter, and why…

I honestly cannot wait to delve into this book! I have a few more review books to go and then I am making a beeline for this one! I am so lucky today to welcome Robert to the blog to talk about his inspiration behind the setting for Death In Paradise

RobertThorogoodHello everyone.  I thought I’d use this guest blog post to write a bit about what my inspiration was for the setting of Saint-Marie, the (very fictional) island where Death in Paradise is set.

But to go back a bit first, I should explain: I’ve always wanted to write murder mysteries, but it’s so hard in the modern era of mobile phones, GPS and CSI-style science to create a credible murder mystery show that relies more on traditional interviews and puzzle-solving than it does on super-whizzy forensics and technology.

Then, in 2007, the Pakistani cricket coach Bob Woolmer died in suspicious circumstances in the Caribbean and I read that the Met Police were sending over a Detective Inspector from London to head up what was possibly going to be a murder case. (As it turned out, Mr Woolmer’s tragic death was later ruled to be an accident rather than a homicide.)

I found it odd in the extreme that the Metropolitan Police didn’t think that the local Police on a Caribbean island were capable of running their own Police enquiry, and then it hit me: on a tiny Caribbean island there wouldn’t be any forensic or ballistic labs, there wouldn’t even be a Coroner to carry out any autopsies, and in that moment I realised that it could possibly be the perfect setting for a ‘Golden Age’ murder mystery show…!

The only problem was, I’d never been to the Caribbean before. And so, don’t tell anyone, but I bluffed it. In my head, I decided that the show should be set on St. Lucia (it was the first island I could think of), and I bought every guide book I could from Stanfords in London and tried to cobble together a script that seemed to have an ‘authentic’ setting based on the books I’d bought.

Luckily enough for me, I got away with it, because the BBC commissioned a second script from me which—again—required me returning to Stanfords and buy even more books on the Caribbean so I could pretend I knew about the place!

And then the BBC commissioned a third script from me. By now I was down to the dregs of what I could make up about St. Lucia based on research, and I remember going to a very important meeting at the BBC and turning to Tony Jordan (the owner of Red Planet, the company who make the TV show) and saying ‘what on earth do I say to the BBC if they ask me about the Caribbean, I’ve never been!’ Tony, who knows a thing or two about getting TV shows made, was quick as a flash in his answer. ‘Just lie.’

So that’s what I did. I continued to lie that I’d been to the Caribbean when I hadn’t. And in the end, the very first time I ever set foot in the Caribbean was long after the TV show had been greenlit. But whatever you do, don’t tell anyone…!


Killing of Polly Carter jacket (email(Well, there you have it everyone, it just goes to show you can write about ANYWHERE even if you’ve never been there before! I am amazed – reading the books you would never ever be able to tell the author hasn’t been to the Caribbean! Well done Robert, your bluffing skills are impressive 😉 

The Killing Of Polly Carter is out tomorrow, December 3rd. Make sure to get yourself a copy! It sounds like a complete and utter treat.

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