Monday Mysteries with Francesca Catlow and The Little Blue Door

Mysteries, thrillers, crime novels, who-dun-its,
cosy mysteries
 … real mysteries, historical mysteries…
it’s all a mystery to me!

My guest today… mysteries are not always about murder and mayhem, sometimes a romance can have elements of mystery..

Francesca Catlow

I’m Francesca Catlow and my first novel ‘The Little Blue Door’ is out on the 28th June 2021… Today!

Upon writing my very first novel I had to decide what genre it was. It’s a romance, but it is so much more than that – most stories are. When I wrote The Little Blue Door, I threw down the first draft of forty thousand words as a “Freewrite” in four weeks. That’s to say, I was as surprised to find out what happened next as anyone! This was particularly true of the opening. I wrote of a girl with green eyes who despite only being thirteen unnerves the protagonist, Melodie. 

The mystery set up at the start soon begins to unravel, but triggers another line of mystery alongside the developing romance storyline. 


The Little Blue Door is not in the ‘mystery’ genre, it’s a romance. Even so, I’m compelled to write novels and short stories with twists and mystery, because it’s what makes me finish reading nine out of ten stories. It makes me carry on – even if it’s a book I’m not enjoying! I can’t be alone in this, in fact Writers Online confirms mystery/crime/thriller novels are the top selling genres in the UK and US market[1], so I know I’m not on my own here.  

Almost all stories have some layer of mystery when you look at them. It can be as simple as “will they won’t they?” or a character with a dark and compelling past. If there wasn’t something mysterious about it, would anyone read it? Even in life writing, it’s the idea there is a new perspective – one unknown – that makes picking up *another* Princess Diana biography a must. The idea of cracking the mystery of any person or story, real or fictitious, is appealing.  

So, when someone says they like romance, sci-fi, historical non-fiction… 

Maybe they just love a well written mystery?  

About Francesca:

The Little Blue Door is Francesca’s first novel – written during the lockdown of 2020 while feeding her baby in the early hours. It’s available for pre-order…

Amazon UK

Amazon US


The Little Blue Door is the first in a series. 

More about Francesca – stay in touch!


Twitter @FrancescaCatlow

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Helen’s Latest Release

A new edition with new additional scenes

When the only choice is to run, where do you run to?
When the only sound is the song of the sea, do you listen?
Or do you drown in the embrace of a mermaid?
Throughout childhood, Jesamiah Mereno has suffered the bullying of his elder half-brother. Then, not quite fifteen years old, and on the day they bury their father, Jesamiah hits back. In consequence, he flees his Virginia home, changes his name to Jesamiah Acorne, and joins the crew of his father’s seafaring friend, Captain Malachias Taylor, aboard the privateer, Mermaid.
He makes enemies, sees the ghost of his father, wonders who is the Cornish girl he hears in his mind – and tries to avoid the beguiling lure of a sensuous mermaid…
An early coming-of-age tale of the young Jesamiah Acorne, set in the years before he becomes a pirate and Captain of the Sea Witch.
“I loved this little addendum to the Jesamiah series. I always had a soft spot for the Lorelei stories and enjoyed that the author cleverly brought her over from the Rhine valley to fit into the story.” Amazon Reviewer
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Helen’s cosy mystery set in 1970s north London 

The first in a new series of quick-read,
cosy mysteries set in the 1970s.
A Mirror Murde

Eighteen-year-old library assistant Jan Christopher’s life is to change on a rainy Friday evening in July 1971, when her legal guardian and uncle, DCI Toby Christopher, gives her a lift home after work. Driving the car, is her uncle’s new Detective Constable, Laurie Walker – and it is love at first sight for the young couple.

But romance is soon to take a back seat when a baby boy is taken from his pram,  a naked man is scaring young ladies in nearby Epping Forest, and an elderly lady is found, brutally murdered…

Are the events related? How will they affect the staff and public of the local library where Jan works – and will a blossoming romance survive a police investigation into  murder?

“Lots of nostalgic, well-researched, detail about life in the 1970s, which readers of a certain age will lap up; plus some wonderful, and occasionally hilarious, ‘behind the counter’ scenes of working in a public library, which any previous or present-day library assistant will recognise!” Reader Review

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