Intro on Author: Kate Hardy & The Body at Rookery Barn

This week our Intro on Author: Kate Hardy. She has a new book out this month, The Body at Rookery Barn. 

Kate Hardy lives in Norwich with her husband, two grown-up children, two spaniels and too many books to count. 
She’s won three Romantic Novelists’ Association awards for her romantic fiction – and is thoroughly enjoying her new life of crime! When she’s not writing or researching, she’ll be out at a gig or the theatre, at ballet class, doing cross-stitch, taking photographs of the sunrise while persuading the spaniels to stay still for one second, fossicking around on a beach or in archives, or exploring ancient buildings. 
She loves learning new things, which is why you’ll always discover something different in a Kate Hardy book…

Kate Hardy on the web:

Website        Facebook     Twitter       Instagram         Tiktok

What is your writing Kryptonite?
Repetition! I think it stems back from a former editor who used to like the ‘tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you’ve told them’ model – it’s years, now, but I still have that bad habit! (And I am very, VERY grateful to the editors who pull me up nicely). I also have a couple of phrases I overuse, but unfortunately it changes with every manuscript and I can never see it myself!

•  Do you have unpublished or half-written manuscripts?
Definitely – it’s the book of my heart. It’s based on a certain Shakespeare play, and every time I casually mention it to an agent or editor they stare at me, their jaw drops, and then they say ‘that’s not commercial enough’. I need to find a better way to pitch it 

•  What kind of research do you do and for how long before you write a book?
Because I write for two Mills and Boon lines as well as Storm, I tend to overlap books and I have quite tight deadlines. Sadly I don’t have the luxury of spending months on research (which is my very, very favourite part of the writing process), so I tend to work out what I need to research when I write the outline, and get as much of it done as possible before I start.

How I do it – haha, it worries people now that I write crime, but I’m a ‘Method’ author in that I like to be quite hands-on. So when I wrote a book set in the world of ballroom dancing, I talked my husband into going to ballroom dancing lessons with me. And for the one I’m working on now, set in an icehouse, we’ve been visiting various icehouses and working out the logistics for murder. (He did point out I was saying things that might get me arrested if people didn’t realise I was an author!) 

Other research might be at my desk – poisons and antidotes, for example. And with The Body in Rookery Barn, I wanted to know how hazardous waste is disposed of; my son’s an analytic chemist, so I asked him and he was very helpful!

  Tell us about your book...
It’s a cozy crime with a few bits of quirkiness and a bit of a romance going on. And there’s a spaniel in it at the end, because my edit-paw-ial assistants wanted a walk-on part (and I’d worked out a dog would be very useful for books two and three). It’s about friendship. About love. About accepting the past and moving on. And about just deserts. Oh, and did I mention the Shakespeare I sneaked in? Watch out for more of that…
My edit-paw-ial Assistants

The Body at Rookery Barn: A totally gripping cozy mystery (A Georgina Drake Mystery Book 1)


Outside, Rookery Barn glows in the mid-morning sunshine while fat bees flit lazily between the forget-me-nots. Inside, a body lies dead…

Georgina Drake has no regrets about moving to beautiful, sleepy Little Wenborough in rural Norfolk. Until she opens the door to her rental property and finds the dead body of her latest guest, irritable university professor Roland Garnett. And on top of that she’s suddenly hearing a woman’s voice through her hearing aids.

Completely shaken by the discovery, Georgina can hardly believe it when the police conclude that Professor Garnett was poisoned, with a dinner delivered by Georgina herself. Is she about to be accused of murder? Georgina needs to pull herself together, try to ignore the distracting voice, and clear her name!

Asking around, it seems Roland Garnett offended half the village during his three-week stay and made unwelcome advances to the rest. But who was provoked enough to poison him? Georgina’s best lead is the deadly oleander found in Roland’s system. Her gardener, Young Tom, had access to the plant, but before she can talk to him Tom becomes the killer’s next victim.

As the crimes mount up, so do the clues, but does Georgina have what it takes to follow them to their conclusion? Even when her amateur sleuthing puts her next in the killer’s sights…?

An addictive and completely gripping cosy crime novel. Perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Faith Martin and Midsomer Murders.

Buy on:

Amazon Kindle

Amazon Aust

Amazon UK


  1. Loved it. Five star read

  2. Thanks for introducing me to this author and book!

  3. Great interview and that book sounds really interesting.

  4. Hi Nas - excellent guest to have here as the dark nights creep down! Sounds 'fun' - cheers Hilary

  5. Great review! I shall add it to my to be read list.

  6. I wish you ongoing success in your craft. :D And your dogs are adorable.

    1. Thank you so much (and yes, they are!) xx

    2. Thank you so much (and I think they're adorable, too!) x

  7. I don't read romance very often, but Kate Hardy sounds like a good author. Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

  8. I am not a big fan of romance but have read some romance that I have liked and enjoyed.

    1. You might enjoy Rookery Barn more than my romances, then, because there are two mysteries x

    2. Thank you for stopping by! x

  9. Any dog lover is a friend of mine! Definitely going to check out her books. I like that she's always willing to learn new things. Keeping an active mind must make for richness in her writing.

  10. LOVE cozy crime! Miss Marple fan, here!

  11. I love Agatha Christie mysteries so this sounds good!

  12. I haven't read this genre in awhile so thanks for the heads up on Kate's book! And I hope she gets to publish her unpublished manuscript someday:)


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