Ella Fitzwilliam’s world is about to spiral out of control.
She’s not cut out to be a private investigator. With little or no aptitude for the job, she’s been sent undercover to expose the hidden lives of two men who meet nearly every week at Buxham’s – a private members’ club where portions are large and secrets are held in strictest confidence.
One of those men is Harry Drysdale, a defence barrister.The other is Marcus Carver, an eminent surgeon with a tarnished past and much to lose.
Ella knows he has unhealthy appetites, she’s sure he’s feeding his perverted habits and putting his female patients at risk but she has to prove it.
When Harry Drysdale goes missing, Konrad Neale TV journalist tries to reveal the truth behind the lies, but some of the secrets start to reveal themselves… and they are big.
*This book was previously published as Fat Chance.
I’m delighted to be taking my turn on the blog tour today for Death By Indulgence by A. B. Morgan. My thanks to Sarah Hardy at Books On The Bright Side Publicity for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the author for providing this wonderful guest post for you to enjoy. So, over to Ali to tell us more about the writing of this book.
Where did the idea for this story spring from?
The initial nugget came from a friend of mine who likes to play with words and she was constantly asking me if I could make up stories from information on mundane packaging or objects. At the time she was landlady of a village pub and after a trip to see her I had a small bill to pay. When she handed me the receipt it had a table number at the top. Table No 88. There weren’t more than thirty tables in the place.
‘Bet you can’t make a story out of that,’ she challenged.
After few milliseconds I replied. ‘Bingo. Two fat ladies eighty-eight.’ Then another idea popped into my unpredictable mind. ‘…Or a story about a bariatric surgeon who has a penchant for the larger lady.’ In the end I married the two thoughts.
Why not call the book ‘Table Eighty-Eight?
That is a very good question. While I was writing the first draft, I had a working title of ‘The Enormity of Table Eighty-Eight’ but during a book launch at a local village library the well-meaning librarian told me book titles shouldn’t have the number eight or eighty-eight because these had Neo-Nazi connotations. I thought she was kidding, but when I looked it up I was amazed to find she was right (but not far right…). H is the eighth letter of the alphabet and is code for Hitler, and 88 therefore translates as Heil Hitler.
Death by Indulgence was originally published as Fat Chance, but the title and the cover didn’t seem to attract the readers, possibly not obvious enough as a crime title, more like a diet book. Therefore after a conflab with the publishers we took the plunge and re-launched. To be honest there are times when I wish I’d stuck to the original title.
In Death by Indulgence we meet Ella Fitzwilliam. She’s larger than life in more ways than one. Where did the idea for her character come from?
Ella begged to be created and because of her personality she’s a joy to have in my head when I’m writing. I see her. She’s plumptious, with thick chestnut wavy hair and always smiling. A people-pleaser and a loyal friend she wants to help out her old pal Valerie Royal and that’s when she comes unstuck. Ella lives with a bipolar disorder which in the main is well controlled, until the pressure gets too much, then the social boundaries start to crumble with disastrous but at times hilarious consequences. She doesn’t make a natural private investigator but she’s a trier!
‘Become a private investigator. One day taster course for anyone considering a career change but who doesn’t know exactly what a private detective does. Why not find out if you’ve got what it takes?’
It’s all in the book.
Why did you go down the route of exploring adipophilia? Or fat fetishism as it’s more commonly known.
Like many other people, I watch documentaries featuring the lovely Louis Theroux. Why? Because he gets to the nitty-gritty of some peculiar people and their bizarre lifestyles. Fascinating stuff.
Taking on the tricky subject of obesity was merely one way of exploring the issue of body image and acknowledging that those of us on the larger side are sexy. We’re just as vulnerable to sexploitation as the slim girls, the young girls, the wrinkly girls, the short or the tall. Male or female we all have different ideas of what is sexually attractive.
The storyline takes a twist because the antagonist, or one of them, is a bariatric surgeon and he is hiding in plain sight, tempted every day by the women he is supposedly helping. I wanted people to question why holding a preference for big beautiful women can sometimes be seen as a perversion. It’s not – it’s normal. Take it underground to private clubs and then it becomes one. Exploit and assault women because of their size and it’s a crime.
She’s such a fabulous character, will we see Ella again?
Yes, you will! Ella is too lovely and unpredictable to leave behind just yet and she has such a great turn of phrase.
She’s very much alive and has another story to drag you into. I’m not sure when it will be published, but you won’t be surprised to hear that Ella’s clumsiness hasn’t improved, and her habit of getting into trouble continues to make her life less ordinary.
Thank you for that fascinating peek into your writing world, Alison.
Death by Indulgence is out now and you can get a copy here.
Do make sure you visit the rest of the blogs on the tour for more reviews and content:
About the Author
Alison Morgan: A former mental health nurse, country bumpkin at heart, married to a hairy biker, fascinated by words, loves live music and she has an innate ability to make people smile and laugh.
Her crime thrillers have a strong cast of characters helping to define the style and pace of each story inspired by her life and career as a Psychiatric Nurse, and her fascination with the extremes of human behaviour.
AB Morgan is the critically acclaimed author of A Justifiable Madness, Divine Poison, The Camera Lies and Stench.
Her latest psychological suspense has again been applauded for being refreshingly different within its genre.
Connect with Alison:
Facebook: A B Morgan writer