C.A Asbrey

C.A Asbrey

I’m particularly excited about our Writer of the Week because I’m so obsessed with her books – and the next in her awesome series The Innocents is out THIS WEEK!

You can read my thoughts on the books so far here – but let’s here from the author too!

About The Author

Chris Asbrey has lived and worked all over the world in the Police Service, Civil Service, and private industry, working for the safety, legal rights, and security of the public. A life-changing injury meant a change of course into contract law and consumer protection for a department attached to the Home Office.    

In that role she produced magazine and newspaper articles based on consumer law and wrote guides for the Consumer Direct Website. She was Media Trained, by The Rank Organization, and acted as a consultant to the BBC’s One Show and Watchdog. She has also been interviewed on BBC radio answering questions on consumer law to the public.

She lives with her husband and two daft cats in the beautiful ancient city of York.

The Background to The Innocents Mysteries Series

I first became interested in the female pioneers in law enforcement when I joined the police. History has always held a draw, and the colorful stories of the older officers piqued my interest, making me look even further back to find the first women in the roles.

The very first women in law enforcement had been in France, working for the Sûreté in the early 19th century. They were, however, no more than a network of spies and prostitutes, the most infamous being the notorious ‘Violette’.

The first truly professional women in law enforcement worked for the Pinkerton Agency, and they were trained by the first female agent Kate Warne, an ex-actress and an expert in working undercover. Kate Warne was an expert at disguise, adopting roles, and accents. She was said to be daring and able to pass her characters off, even in close quarters. In the only known photograph of her she is dressed as a man. These women were fully-fledged agents, with their skills being held in high regard by Alan Pinkerton who once said, “In my service you will serve your country better than on the field. I have several female operatives. If you agree to come aboard you will go in training with the head of my female detectives, Kate Warne. She has never let me down.” I started to wonder why one of the female agents couldn’t be a Scottish Immigrant. After all, Alan Pinkerton was one. He came from Glasgow, and his father was an officer in the oldest police force in the UK. Being a Scot in another land is something I know well, and they say you should write what you know.     

My work has taken me all over the world, but working in the USA and visiting the places where these women worked, deepened my passion for finding out more about how they lived. I researched the tools and equipment available to them at the time. Connections to police, and Home Office, experts allowed me to look at the birth of forensics with people who knew their subject intimately.   

The topic for the Innocents Mystery series simmered in the background for years, and all that time I was researching more and more deeply into the period. I loved the rapid pace of innovation, and invention, in the 19th century, along with the turmoil of social change. Nothing pleased me more than finding spy gadgets available at the time which were invented far earlier than most people would think possible.

Work and life got in the way of the books being anything more than an idea until I was suddenly grounded by a serious accident. The enforced leisure time of recuperation focused my mind, and the old dream of writing resurfaced. It started as a short story which took on a life of its own when it grew and grew—then grew some more.

It developed into a tale of two people on opposite sides of the law, inextricably drawn to one another, but with the power to destroy each other’s lives if they act on it. I worked to make it more than a physical attraction, and present a meeting of minds between two clever people who try to outwit one another using everything available to the 19th century science enthusiast. The difference is that she uses science to solve crimes, and he uses science to commit them.

The stories take place over a backdrop of real political and social issues of the day, such as how mental health was treated, immigration, and women’s rights began to evolve.

Eventually, ‘The Innocents Mysteries’ evolved into a six book series. Four are published. The fifth is released in February 2020. The last in the series is written and will be out later this year. This is my first foray into fiction. I have produced magazine and newspaper articles based on consumer law, and written guides for the Consumer Direct Website. I was Media Trained, by The Rank Organization, and acted as a consultant to the BBC’s One Show and Watchdog. I have also been interviewed on BBC radio answering questions on consumer law to the public.

I run a blog which explores all things strange, mysterious, and unexpected about the 19th century. It was a huge compliment to be told that another writer finds it a great resource. The link can be found below.

Blog- C.A Asbrey – all things obscure and strange in the Victorian period –  http://caasbrey.com/

The Innocents Mystery Series Group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/937572179738970/ 

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/mysteryscrivener/

Amazon –  amzn.to/33JbnlD

Twitter- https://twitter.com/CAASBREY

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17899618.C_A_Asbrey 

Bookbub – https://www.bookbub.com/profile/c-a-asbrey

Link to latest book – In All Innocence – mybook.to/InAllInncence

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