Meet the Characters – Belinda Penshurst from Murder in the Village by Lisa Cutts

I’m delighted to welcome fellow Bookouture author, Lisa Cutts, to my blog today. Lisa’s latest novel, Murder in the Village, is the first in a new detective series and was published yesterday. She is interviewing her MC, Belinda Penshurst.

Let’s take a look at the cover and find out more about the book.


Belinda Penshurst loves her home village Little Challham, with its shady lanes, two pubs and weekly market, and she’s determined to keep it peaceful. She may live in Challham Castle but she knows almost everything that goes on under her nose. So when irritable pub landlord Tipper is found dead in his cellar, she’s perfectly placed to investigate.

Retired detective Harry Powell moved to Little Challham for a quiet life. He didn’t expect to be dragged into a murder investigation. But the police don’t seem half as enthusiastic as Belinda about the case, and there are strange things happening in the village. Particularly the number of dogs that have disappeared lately…

Is there a dognapper snaffling schnauzers and luring away Labradors? Is Belinda barking mad to be worried that her brother Marcus was arguing with Tipper on the day he died? Belinda and Harry track down the suspects: the rival landlord, the outraged barmaid, the mysterious man in the black car following dogwalkers around. But are the dogged detectives running out of time to sniff out the killer, before he starts hounding them?

Readers’ Comments:

‘Fun, full of mystery… Top notch cosy crime… Has a kind of Midsomer Murders vibe and in spite of the murderer on the loose, kept me smiling from start to finish… Fabulous… I can’t wait to see what this fabulous duo get up to next. Fans of cosy mysteries (and dog lovers) are just going to eat this up.’

‘What a great start to a new series!… A lively, spark-filled investigation… Wonderfully entertaining with the perfect set of ingredients.’

‘A zany cast of characters, most of whom are suspected of being dognappers, murderers or both. A humorous mystery perfect for dog lovers

Buy Links


Now let’s move on to Lisa’s interview:

Lisa: So, Belinda, what’s it like living in a castle?

Belinda: It’s difficult to deny how wonderful it is. As important to me as the grounds and views, is the location within the beautiful village of Little Challham. The local people truly are amazing, when they’re not murdering each other, obviously.

Lisa: Suspicious deaths aside, you’re clearly very fond of your home village. I know it was the place you grew up in and, yet, as an adult you’ve travelled extensively. Are you here to stay this time?

Belinda: Yes, of course. Well, probably. I love it here, I love my home and the local Kent people, and then there’s Harry Powell. I have a lot to stay for this time round. I’ve travelled and spent time abroad, particularly South Africa where I intended to settle down at one point. My feet seemed that little bit less restless when I met Harry and we investigated our first murder together.

Lisa: Wasn’t that somewhat strange?

Belinda: I was upset that someone thought that they would get away with a murder in our village. It was heart-breaking, so I decided to do something about it. Harry was reluctant at first, what with him being a retired detective inspector. He wanted to leave it to the police, while I wasn’t leaving anything to chance. Before long, he was equally determined that we would find the killer.

Lisa: Dogs feature very heavily in Murder in the Village. Was that something that brought you and Harry together?

Belinda: Imagine my joy when I found out that he loves animals, especially dogs, too. The thought of a dog being hurt was the catalyst for what happened next.

Lisa: Harry sounds as though he’s someone you can see being a very large part of your life. Is your relationship purely platonic?

Belinda: We’re both a touch, shall we say, fragile from our previous partners. In all honesty, I think he’s in a more painful place than I am right now. Time is a great healer, and I am very patient. Some things are worth waiting for.

Lisa: You’ve invested in a number of businesses in Little Challham and opened your family home to tours, weddings, sports events. It seems that you certainly have more than one string to your bow.

Belinda: My family had some financial problems a few years back. My kind-hearted brother Marcus makes up in charm what he lacks in brains, his antics causing us some economic uncertainty. I’ve made sure that’s all behind us now. Even so, I’ve found it best to cover all my bases to avoid ever being in that position again. I have some other splendid investment opportunities that will ensure the Penshurst family has a home in Little Challham for generations to come.

Lisa: What do you think the future will bring for you?

Belinda: I’ve always preferred to see where life takes me rather than make concrete plans. I had thought I’d find my way back to South Africa, but staying put here in Little Challham seems like a much more attractive idea at the moment. I have plenty to occupy me and not all of my projects are financial investments.

Lisa: Are we back to talking about Harry again?

Belinda: I’d rather not go there, if you don’t mind. All I can say is, Little Challham is better with Harry Powell in it.

It sounds intriguing doesn’t it? If, like me, you fancy reading it you can download the book here:


Meet Lisa


Lisa Cutts recently retired after twenty-five years with Kent police. She spent most of that time investigating murders for a living and the last ten years of her service, writing crime fiction alongside her full-time job.

Murder in the Village is the first in the Belinda Penshurst Mysteries set in Kent.

Lisa lives in the county of Kent with her husband and Labrador.

She is the author of the DC Nina Foster books, Never Forget and Remember, Remember. Never Forget was longlisted for the Waverton Good Read Award 2013 and the winner of the Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Award 2014 for Best Thriller.

Lisa has written four books in the East Rise Incident Room series, Mercy Killing, Buried Secrets, Lost Lives and Don’t Trust Him. All four centre around DI Harry Powell and his Major Crime Team battling to solve the latest murders within the county.

She writes a monthly column, Behind the Tape, for Writing Magazine answering police procedural questions from other writers. If anyone has a question for their crime writing, please contact her at the email address She would love to help you and your question may appear in an upcoming issue of the magazine.

In early 2016, she was honoured to become the Patron of Rochester Literature Festival and help establish Murderous Medway, an annual crime fiction festival packed full of amazing author panels.

As well as being on BBC Radio 4’s Open Book, Lisa has twice appeared on This Morning to chat about TV crime dramas Broadchurch and Line of Duty.

You can contact Lisa here:

Twitter @LisaCuttsAuthor


Instagram lisa_cutts


Thanks so much for dropping by to talk to us, Lisa. I can’t wait to read your book!

Karen King – Writing about the light and dark of relationships.

Amazon Author Page: