Maureen Carter, a former editor of BBC Midlands Today and Newsnight reporter, has secured a two-book publishing deal for her new line in crime fiction.
The Birmingham-based journalist-turned-novelist signed the deal with new crime publisher CrÃ¨me de la Crime for Working Girls, to be published on 23 September, and Dead Old, coming out next year. Both novels feature “feisty Birmingham detective Bev Morriss”, a West Midlands Detective Sergeant drawn from Carter’s own experience of reporting crime stories and working closely with the police, including on several murder cases.
“As a TV news reporter, I witnessed first-hand the trauma of violent deaths on people’s lives. I hope it’s given me the sort of insight and sensitivity that crime fiction needs. I believe we owe it to readers to be accurate and authentic,” Carter said.
Working Girls sees the character investigating the murder of a schoolgirl prostitute and trawling the heart of Birmingham’s seedy vice-land for answers. Carter said she was inspired to write the novel by a police pilot scheme to treat younger prostitutes as victims rather than criminals.
Dead Old has Morriss battling a vicious street gang after a woman is beaten to death in the city’s Moseley district.
“CrÃ¨me’s call offering me a two-book contract was incredibly exciting,” Carter said. “I’m still buzzing. It’s what every budding crime novelist prays for. Now I can concentrate on my fiction writing and spend much more time with my series detective.”
Carter also said she wanted to explore “the uneasy relationship shared by the police and the media” in her novels.
“They need each other, yet – often – they’re on opposing sides: the police want publicity; the media want news. It can lead to real conflict. I try to reflect and explore some of this in my writing.”
By Wale Azeez