Granny Smith is set in the small Welsh village of Gilfach, a semi-fictional village loosely based on Gilfach Goch, a village I grew up in. When I started to create the series I wondered what my own village would be like if it were populated by charters from an Ealing movie, and from there the village of Gilfach developed. There are many secondary characters who pop in and out of the Granny Smith series and I hope they add colour to the story, and give a sense of reality to this much larger than life village.
It's Miss Marple on Steroids!!!
Are the Granny Smith book cozies? Well yes and no. They certainly follow the conventions of the genre but spoof many of the usual tropes. On review, which I very much liked, said that Granny was less like Miss Marple and more like Batman with dentures.
The first book in the series Granny Smith Investigates is still available from all the usual outlets so if you've not got into the series yet then maybe now is the time.
"A nice easy read for lazy Sunday afternoons curled up on the sofa in front of a roaring fire with a nice glass or two of wine and chocolates, brilliant ." STARRED REVIEWS
"I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Granny is a wonderful character, refreshingly different and politically incorrect. I loved that she still smokes in a time when it is frowned upon; that she is an unrepentant hippie and even that she is blind to her son's faults. She is astute and not scared to speak her mind. She is also very human and that is a large part of her charm. I think most of us can identify with her." AMAZON REVIEWS
Go get Granny Smith Investigates now - and below find a short taster of the new book Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs .
Get ready - the geriatric crime-fighter is back!!!
Sample from Granny Smith and the Deadly Frogs
This wasn’t getting them anywhere and they had strayed so far from the point of the meeting that they were in danger of losing sight of it all together.
‘Capitalism by its very nature exploits the working man,’ Mark brought a fist down on the table to illustrate his point.
‘And the working woman,’ Sue chimed in. ‘It’s not all about men you know.’
‘Right on, sister,’ Mansall punched the air and had to adjust his cap when it fell forward over his eyes.
‘I had the impression it was about frogs,’ Granny chimed in.
‘Right on sister,’ Mansall repeated, this time neglecting to punch the air but throwing his support behind Granny as well as Sue.
‘I really think we should get back to the frogs,’ Granny said and then used the pun she had been itching to use for the last ten minutes or so: ‘We seem to have hopped away from the point of this meeting.’
Maud liked that and nudged Granny gently in the side as a token of her appreciation.
‘Indeed,’ Mark stood and leaned forward, his knuckles on the edge of the table. ‘But I used the word man as in mankind. I was referring to the species and not any specific gender.’
‘Womankind,’ Sue chipped in again. When she got something between her teeth she held onto it with all the tenacity of a terrier. She also found Mark to be a pompous ass and took pleasure in annoying him.
‘Oh, give it a rest,’ Carol was sat leaning forward on the table, her chin resting in her cupped hands. She looked bored and other than this one utterance was content to allow the proceedings to go on around her.
‘Please, please,’ Councillor Pipe stood and glared across the table at Mark. He didn’t say another word until Mark had sat himself back down, and then gave a tight smile before continuing. ‘You have stated your case and I have listened but please do not let this resort to petty arguments. If this meeting is to continue then I must insist on the correct decorum.’
‘Well what are you going to do, Dwain?’ Granny asked. She had known the councillor since he had been knee high to a grasshopper and would never, no matter what position he held in the council, address him by anything other than his Christian name.
The councillor frowned at the use of his Christian name.
‘I will arrange for a spokesman from your little group to put your concerns before a full council meeting,’ he said.
‘And when will this be?’ Mark asked, his tone aggressive. ‘The development is due to star in less than a month and I imagine someone in the council will benefit from things going ahead. This is nothing but typical bureaucratic stalling for time.’
‘I beg your pardon,’ the councillor once again glared at Mark. ‘What are you inferring?’
‘It is you that infers,’ Mark said, smugly. ‘I’m implying.’
‘Semantics,’ the councillor waved a hand as if to dismiss Mark.
Mansall, wondering what apes had to do with anything, turned his head back and forth between the councillor and Mark like a spectator at a tennis match.
‘And I imply that palms have been greased within the council,’ Mark wasn’t going to let this go.
This time the councillor was speechless and looked to Granny for support, for it was she who had cajoled him into attending this impromptu meeting, which felt to the councillor like an inquisition.
The focus of the meeting should have been the small pond on Graig Meadow, which was a known spawning ground for the extremely rare Lesser Crested Frog, and yet the amphibians had been all but forgotten. The meeting looked to be in danger of becoming a full-blown argument.
‘If the development starts and the pond is destroyed,’ Sue said, frowning. ‘That it’ll be too late. It’ll be no use stopping things once the pond’s been destroyed. That would just be a waste of time.’
‘The pond goes,’ Amy said, offering Sue a smile of support. ‘The frogs will have gone forever.’
‘I am aware of your concerns,’ the councillor started but he was cut short by a hostile “bollocks” yelled out by Mark.
‘That’s the point, Dwain,’ Granny said, quickly stepping in to defuse the situation. Mark seemed to be getting riled and Granny knew he had a nasty temper. ‘The Lesser Crested Frog is a very territorial creature and if it’s habitat is destroyed then it will move on elsewhere and will miss the next spawning season. The frogs are rare enough as it is in this part of the world so time is limited. We can’t wait for a full council meeting,’ she pulled her battered pipe from her pocket and placed it in her mouth. She would have liked nothing better right now than to puff on a bowl of burley tobacco but the smoking ban meant that she would have to wait until she went outside.
‘The meeting will be arranged by the end of the week,’ Councillor Pipe said, firmly. ‘I’ll call an extraordinary meeting which means I only have to give twenty four hours notice.’
‘There,’ Granny said. ‘That’s something at least.’
‘Excuse me,’ a short man wearing an over sized raincoat and clutching a tan leather briefcase to his chest said as he approached the table. His eyes went to each of them in turn before settling on the councillor since he was the only one wearing a shirt and tie and looked to be in charge. ‘I’m looking for a Terry Mansall.’
Mansall looked up at the newcomer and once again had to adjust his errant cap. He was about to identify himself, but then his eyes clouded over with suspicion and he remained silent. He had learned from past experience that whenever anyone came looking for him by name it usually wasn’t a good thing. The small man didn’t look like a bailiff, Mansall had enough experience with that breed to know one when he saw one, but the man was carrying a briefcase and Mansall could see no good reason for anyone connected with himself to carry a briefcase.
Mark was about to speak, likely pointing Mansall out, but Granny, noticing Mansall’s reluctance to make himself known, cut in.
‘And you are?’ she asked.
‘Forgive me,’ the small man said and had to put his briefcase down while he fished in his pockets for a business card, which he handed across to Granny.
Richard Purser, PhD