The Body on the Doorstep by A. J. MacKenzie Blog Tour + Extract

Posted April 21, 2016 by thischickreads in guest post / 0 Comments

Hi guys,

today I’m kicking off the blog tour for The Body on the Doorstep by A. J. Mackenzie. ‘The Body on the Doorstep’ is published today, bu Zaffre publishing and looks like a gripping read. If you’re a fan of historical mysteries, seems like this is the book for you. I know I’ll definitely be checking it out. Read the short intro bellow:


The Body on the Doorstep by A. J. MacKenzie Blog Tour + ExtractThe Body on the Doorstep by A. J. MacKenzie
Series: Romney Marsh Mystery #1
Published by Zaffre
Published on 21.4.2016
Genres: historical fiction
Pages: 272
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Kent, 1796.

Shocked to discover a dying man on his doorstep - and lucky to avoid a bullet himself - Reverend Hardcastle finds himself entrusted with the victim's cryptic last words.

With smuggling rife on England's south-east coast, the obvious conclusion is that this was a falling out among thieves. But why is the leader of the local Customs service so reluctant to investigate?

Ably assisted by the ingenious Mrs Chaytor, Hardcastle sets out to solve the mystery for himself. But smugglers are not the only ones to lurk off the Kent coast, and the more he discovers, the more he realises he might have bitten off more than he can chew.



The Body on the Doorstep (short intro to the book)


The year is 1796; the place, the village of St Mary in the Marsh, in the lonely fields of Romney Marsh. A few miles away across the English Channel the French Revolution is underway, and England and France are at war. Undeterred by the conflict, smugglers make their way back and forth across the Channel, running their cargoes inshore under cover of the new moon.

Late at night, as the Reverend Hardcastle sits writing at his desk, he is interrupted by a knock at the door. He opens the door to find a young man lying bleeding on his doorstep. He has been shot, and is dying. In his last few seconds of life he breathes four words into the rector’s ear.

Tell Peter…mark…trace

The dead man’s pockets are empty; there is nothing to identify him. No one locally has seen him; no one has any motive for killing him. But at the same time the young man was shot outside the rectory at St Mary, another man also died on Romney Marsh; Curtius Miller, a Customs officer, was killed in a skirmish with smugglers. Mrs Amelia Chaytor discovers the spot where he died.

Unlike the first, this death seems at first unremarkable. Clearly the officer was killed by the smugglers, desperate, lawless men who could be hanged if they are caught. But the more Hardcastle and his friend Mrs Chaytor look into the matter, the more they become convinced that things are not what they seem. The local Supervisor of Customs seems determined to hush up the death of his officer. The justice of the peace is behaving oddly too. The dean of Canterbury Cathedral instructs Hardcastle not to meddle – what is the Church’s role in these murders?

Rumours circulate of a secretive gang of smugglers known as the Twelve Apostles. Who are these men really, and where in this time of war and violence does their true allegiance lie? As Hardcastle and Mrs Chaytor dig further into the affair, they come back to the same questions. Who really killed Miller, and why? Who was the mysterious man at the rectory, and what did his last words mean? Questions are many, answers are few, and only one thing is certain: the more the rector and Mrs Chaytor (helped by Mr Turner, a young artist) investigate, the greater the danger they draw around themselves.



About A. J. MacKenzie

A.J. MacKenzie is the pseudonym of Marilyn Livingstone and Morgen Witzel, a collaborative Anglo-Canadian husband-and-wife duo. Between them they have written more than twenty non-fiction and academic titles, with specialisms including management, medieval economic history and medieval warfare.
THE BODY ON THE DOORSTEP is their first novel.

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