Lloyd & Hill Books
- Unlucky For Some
- Births, Deaths and   Marriages/Death in the Family
- Scene of Crime
- Picture of Innocence
- Plots and Errors
- A Shred of Evidence
- Verdict Unsafe
- The Other Woman
- Murder...Now and Then
- The Murders of Mrs.Austin and   Mrs.Beale
- Redemption/Murder at the Old   Vicarage
- Death of a Dancer/Gone to Her   Death
- A Perfect Match
Other Books
- Record of Sin
- An Evil Hour
- The Stalking Horse
- Murder Movie
Writing as Elizabeth Chaplin
- Hostage to Fortune
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Useful Info
- Chronological Order
- Translations
- Title Changes
- Lloyd & Hill interview
- Locations
- Lloyd & Hill on TV
  HOSTAGE TO FORTUNE (non-series)
Scribners, London (1992) /Mysterious Press, NY (1993)

My ninth novel, published Scribners, London 1992/Mysterious Press, NY 1993, writing as Elizabeth Chaplin. Hardback, paperback (US only), large print, Soundings Audio Books (unabridged, credited as Jill McGown).

That the Benthams’ long marriage was basically unhappy wasn’t the least unusual. What was totally unexpected was the effect on it of Susan Bentham’s more than one-million-pound win on the pools.

For her lawyer husband Jeremy, the money was an answer to a prayer, giving him the comforts of a Rolls-Royce and a new mistress. Susan’s reaction was more profound, and perhaps more sinister. She had the chance to have a new image, different friends, an unexpected lover – and the opportunity to avenge herself for twenty years of frustration with Jeremy. All she had to do was concoct a plan to trap her husband in a noose of his own making.

Unfortunately for them both, by the time he took a good look at his wife and her anger, someone had to die. But no one could guess who, when and why.

Why the pseudonym?
It is – so far – my only suspense novel as opposed to a whodunit, which is why I chose to write it under a pseudonym, but I think that any future suspense novel will be written under my own name, as Elizabeth Chaplin seemed to be a tad unlucky for me.

Why the change of publisher?
My editor for eight years at Macmillan left to go to Scribners, and though I was just starting on a new Lloyd and Hill for Macmillan, I had already had the idea for Hostage to Fortune. Because it was going to be written under a pseudonym, I hoped I might be able to write for Scribners on non Lloyd and Hill books, and Macmillan had no objection. Unfortunately, Scribners was owned by Robert Maxwell, who fell off his yacht the week Hostage to Fortune (was ever a title more apt?) was published. The discovery about his financial affairs meant that his assets were frozen, and that included my novel. The review copies had gone out, but the book wasn’t available. By the time it was available, no one wanted to review it. Perhaps they didn’t want to review it in the first place – I’ll never know now. But I think it’s one of my best books, and I hope that one day someone will publish it here in paperback, under my own name.

Why wasn’t there a UK paperback at the time?
It didn’t create enough interest in hardback over here – maybe because of the lack of reviews, or maybe because of the pseudonym, or maybe because it just didn’t. But it got very good reviews in the States, so I think it might have done all right here if it hadn’t proved to be such a hostage to fortune itself. The intended second book was written for the American publishers, but it didn’t pan out, so Elizabeth Chaplin retired.

Why was it your last non-series novel?
Because it had become obvious that it was the series novels that sold, and Macmillan suggested that I concentrate on them, which is what I’ve done ever since. I don’t know how they would feel about a non-series novel, but my finances have always been too precarious to risk one, even if Macmillan were prepared to publish it. The Lloyd and Hills are what put butter on my bread and they take me about a year to write, so I can’t fit in non-series novels without taking a year out. But maybe one day, if I can produce a Lloyd and Hill quickly enough, or acquire another source of income, I might find the time. Another suspense novel might be fun.

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