The question I get often asked when I give talks about my crime thrillers, or meet readers, is – what does a diplomat do?

The heroine in my crime series(Jess Turner) is a British diplomat. She is sent all over the world to work in British embassies, high commissions, and consulates-general. Each one of my novels is set in a different country, with a different plot, although the central characters (Jess Turner and DI Tom Sangster) run through the series.

In novel 1 – Deadly Diplomacy – Jess is the British Consul in Canberra, Australia. She gets a call from the Brisbane Police to say a British businesswoman has been murdered in a Queensland resort, and flies up to liaise with the Australian police on the investigation, and to help the murder victim’s next of kin. Needless to say, all hell breaks loose in Brisbane.

I worked as British Consul in Indonesia in the 1990s. As Consul, I was responsible for the protection of British citizens in that country. I spent my time travelling around that huge archipelago of 33,000 islands trying to help Britons in trouble, liaising with the Indonesian authorities and police on investigations, and helping the next of kin of British victims. I dealt with murder, drownings, suicides, car and train accidents, backpackers lost on mountains, a terrorist kidnapping in West Papua, Britons suffering from all kinds of tropical diseases, and many other heart-rending cases. It was while I was doing that job that I thought I would one day write my diplomatic crime series.

Although the plots and characters in my novels are fiction, I hope I bring my experience of being a diplomat to my novels and how things work inside embassies and high commissions (which operate in exactly the same way as embassies, but are located in capitals of Commonwealth countries like Australia).

If you like a gripping, fast-paced crime thriller, then Deadly Diplomacy is for you.

I will tell you about novel 2, Deadly Deceit, and what it’s like to work in a Governor’s Office in a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean, in my next blog.