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
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- 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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MURDER…NOW AND THEN (Lloyd and Hill #6)
Macmillan, London/St Martin's Press, NY (1993)

My eleventh novel, published Macmillan, London/St Martin’s Press, NY 1993. Hardback, paperback.

Victor Holyoak made his millions by selling state-of-the-art security systems. In the end, even the most sophisticated devices were no protection against the intruder who murdered him in his own factory.

The millionaire’s death shocked the townsfolk of Stansfield. But was there something they didn’t know about their deceased benefactor?

Chief Inspector Lloyd is convinced he had seen Victor somewhere before. Is his memory playing tricks on him? Or does the murky past hold the clues to a murder? A murder that should come under the heading ‘unfinished business’…?

Did you write the two ‘time-lines’ separately?
No, I wrote it as it is read. I didn’t ever consider writing them separately – I think they would have read like two separate novels if I had done that. By writing a ‘Now’ chapter, and moving on to ‘Then’, I could keep cohesion, and keep track of ‘Then’ catching up with ‘Now’. Just thinking about it exhausts me, but it didn’t seem too difficult at the time!

What was your intention when you wrote it?
I had a vague idea for a plot where the investigation of an old murder produced the clues that solved a new one, and vice versa. I’m not sure that I actually achieved that, but I got quite close, I think. And when I was casting round for a plot for the next Lloyd and Hill, I realised that the Now and Then plot would let me introduce their back story, which I had alluded to in previous books. It was fun fleshing out the allusions, and I think readers liked finding out about the early relationship.

Was the series becoming as much soap-opera as whodunit by this time?
I suppose it was, though I hadn’t really seen it like that. I always try to give the readers a classic whodunit with Lloyd and Hill, complete with clues to its solution, along with the developing storyline. The Lloyd-Hill relationship wasn’t planned, as I’ve said elsewhere – it never has been, and never will be. It just evolves, and yes, I think readers began to like that ‘continuing story’ aspect of it just as much as they enjoyed the crime investigation – perhaps more.

Does the continuing story give you problems?
In some ways, yes, mostly because of the time factor. If Lloyd and Hill years were the same as ours, they would both have retired some time ago! Judy was pregnant for about three years, poor woman. But in other ways, it makes my life easier, because the developing relationship produces a different dynamic with each book. I try, whenever possible, to make their current situation relevant to the enquiry, and in Verdict Unsafe, for instance, it was the focal point. The plot would never have occurred to me without the continuing story.

What do you think of series characters who never age?
I think it’s very sensible! And I’m entirely happy with the device when reading. Poirot, Miss Marple, Morse…their situations remain the same, and so do they. It’s comforting, and I have no problem at all with it. But writing is a different matter – I think I would have trouble with the artificiality of it. But if I produce another series character, I might just try it.

I think Conan Doyle had by far the best idea about the problem with series characters (as he did about many aspects of the genre he can claim to have truly invented). Holmes did age, and if his circumstances hardly changed, that was because he liked it that way, like I do. Watson’s circumstances changed from story to story. But the device of Watson dipping into Holmes’s archives meant that Holmes could be whatever age Doyle needed him to be for a given story, while the time-frame covered a couple of decades. So I might prefer to do something like that.

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