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
  - Read extract
- 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
Useful Info
- Chronological Order
- Translations
- Title Changes
- Lloyd & Hill interview
- Locations
- Lloyd & Hill on TV
  Buy the Book
Macmillan, London/St Martin's Press, NY (1991)

My eighth novel, published Macmillan, London/St Martin’s Press, NY 1991. Hardback, paperback, large print.

Question: Which one is the odd one out?

An ex-call girl wife of a wealthy crook who has kept one step ahead of the law, a struggling artist married to Stansfield’s prospective Conservative party candidate, or the telephone line which links them?

Answer: The telephone line. It isn’t dead.

A double murder investigation brings Chief Inspector Lloyd and the newly-promoted Inspector Judy Hill together again as colleagues. But the case is a severe test of both Judy’s professionalism and Lloyd’s ego, and soon threatens their more private relationship…

Why the mouthful of a title?
I couldn’t think what to call it, and mentioned this to my niece, then aged ten. ‘What’s it about?’ she asked. ‘It’s about someone called Mrs Austin and someone called Mrs Beale who have both been murdered.’ ‘Call it The Murders of Mrs Austin and Mrs Beale,’ she said. I related this to my editor, who said that was exactly what she was going to call it.

How did the plot come about?
Necessity. I had promoted Judy and put her in charge of the CID in another division, but I needed to have her and Lloyd working together. A murder in his division that was in some way connected with one in hers was called for. And as the plot evolved, it became quite natural for it to be a live phone-line that connected them.

Which character came first this time?
Lennie. All I knew about her to start with was that she was an artist, didn’t like being called Eleanor, and that she lived in the pre-war part of Stansfield with a husband whom she had married for reasons other than love. Stansfield, of course, is based on Corby, where I live. Corby was originally a village which dated back to Elizabethan times, and when Stewarts and Lloyds came in the thirties, it expanded into a small town, with ‘Lloyds’ houses being built to accommodate the influx of workers. Then, in the fifties, it became part of the New Towns programme, and turned into a much larger town, mostly built in the sixties and seventies. The three ‘ages’ of Corby are reflected in the fictional Stansfield. Then Beale appeared, as someone who wanted to buy her paintings, and the plot evolved from there.

This one was a bit like A Perfect Match – no one seemed to find anything to complain about. I haven’t seen a bad, or even a critical review of it – which isn’t to say that there aren’t any, just that I haven’t come across one. It’s very satisfying when you please that many people with one book. I felt it worked pretty much the way I wanted it to work, which is also a very good feeling.

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