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
  - Read extract
- 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
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DEATH OF A DANCER (Lloyd and Hill #3)
(US title: Gone to her Death) Macmillan, London (1989)/St Martin's Press, NY (1990)

My sixth novel, published Macmillan, London 1989/St Martin’s Press, NY as GONE TO HER DEATH 1990. Hardback, paperback, large-print.

It was her husband who found her, almost falling over the body in the darkness of the school playing field on a cold, wet St Valentine’s night.

The deputy headmaster’s wife had been murdered. At the run-down private boarding school, Detective Chief Inspector Lloyd and Sergeant Judy Hill find a multitude of suspects. What they can’t find is the murder weapon.

But then it went missing two months before the murder took place…didn’t it?

Why the change of title this time?
The US publishers had recently published a book with the same title. This time I supplied the alternative title! While trying to establish the availability of my books for these pages, I read a reader’s review on Amazon (I think) that said the title was confusing. I don’t quite understand why, but I apologise anyway, even though it wasn’t my fault – the title change was forced on me!

What made you choose another traditional setting?
I suppose the success of Redemption/Murder at the Old Vicarage was part of it, though I don’t remember consciously thinking that. I went to see the film director John Schlesinger give a talk at Oundle School (a very prestigious private school in the UK, which we confusingly call a public school) and the confines of a boarding school appealed to me as a setting. Of course, I downgraded the school considerably to a struggling, badly-run version, as that gave me much more scope.

Do you always know exactly what’s going to happen in your novels?
No, indeed I don’t. I start with a character, almost always, and then see if any basic plot idea can be used with that character. Sometimes it’s someone I see in the street, and I find myself giving him or her an imaginary life, sometimes it’s a dream, as with Record of Sin, and sometimes it seems to come out of nowhere at all, as with Redemption. In this case, I can’t remember what produced the character, but he isn’t in the finished book, as I had to abandon that plot and start again. But nothing ever goes to waste – I’ve used bits and pieces of that abandoned plot in other books! The character has also resurfaced in a way, with a change of gender, but only as a minor character in another book.

So did the new plot go smoothly?
No, because as I got towards the end, I began to realise that the person I had down as the murderer simply wasn’t one; the character that had evolved wouldn’t have murdered anyone. But – after having a quick panic – I looked through what I had written, and I could see who the murderer really was. I barely had to change anything at all to accommodate that major change, because much of what I had written as evidence of Person A’s guilt was able to be utilised as both a red herring and a clue to Person B, so I think my subconscious must have been heading that way anyway!

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