Sunday 13 February 2022

Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo - Decima Blake

On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo

I'm delighted to welcome Decima Blake to Sunday Brunch

Decima, welcome to Jaffareadstoo. What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch? 

I’ve chosen Sachertorte from Fortnum and Mason which is a particularly delicious example of a favourite cake of mine. I hope you will enjoy it too! It should also be to the liking of our guests given its long history.

Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?

A strong Americano, please. It’s Hingston's favourite (he orders an Americano in a Piccadilly cafe in Chapter 1 of Hingston: Smoke and Mispers).

Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio? 

Let's eat in the dining room.

Shall we have music playing in the background, and if so do you have a favourite piece of music? 

Yes, a selection of Viennese waltzes, starting with my favourite, Thousand and One Nights by Johann Strauss II.

Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today? 

Agatha Christie, Wilkie Collins, M. R. James and E. Nesbit.

Which favourite book will you bring to Sunday Brunch?

That will be London Characters and Crooks by Henry Mayhew, selected by Christopher Hibbert, and published by the Folio Society. It will give us all plenty to talk about.

When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure? And is there a book you would like to read but haven’t had time for …yet! 

I'm keen to avoid any subliminal influences from other authors' work, so when I'm writing I don't read fiction novels. A book I'm waiting to read at the moment is Catch 22 by Joseph Heller which I last read almost twenty years ago for my A Level English Literature and thoroughly enjoyed, so it's about time it came back out!

Where do you find the inspiration for your novels? 

Hingston's investigations are inspired by my own professional background and topics that already interest me. I test the viability of my general ideas with extensive research, and this provides further inspiration with which to build the plot.

Have you a favourite place to settle down to write and do you find it easier to write in winter or summer? 

I write upstairs at my desk which is very compact. It has a hinged lid and a single drawer in which I keep my fountain pen, ink cartridges and working journals. Behind that open lid, I'm in a little world of my own. With the exception of very hot days, I find the longer daylight hours in the summer are helpful for writing.

When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing? 

I'm not easily distracted. Having worked in very busy environments, I've developed the ability to largely shut off from whatever is going on around me in order to maintain focus. Unfortunately or fortunately (whichever way you want to look at it), I can shut off to the point that I'm unlikely to hear someone speaking to me, unless they make it obvious they want my attention.

Give us four essential items that a writer needs? 

A desk, a computer, a comfortable seat and their favourite refreshment.

What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress? 

I'm currently researching the third Hingston novel, starting with City of London Police records dating back to the nineteenth century. I'm also busy illustrating. My first book in a children's series is being published this year and the illustrations take around four months' work per book, so I'm in the process of compiling the illustrations for the second book.


As the first door on the Advent calendar is opened, DS Hingston attempts to save the life of a teenager in a crowded London cafΓ©, but ultimately fails. Seventeen-year-old Leanna Snow chokes to death.

Days later, a girl from Leanna Snow's school is missing and another misper is found dead: his body hanging within the iconic Egyptian Avenue at Highgate Cemetery.

Working under the bombastic DCI Smythe and alongside Remi, his ex-girlfriend whom he still holds a torch for, Hingston discovers the magic of London this December is dark, deceptive and murderous.

Hingston and the Murder Squad are put to the test with this complex investigation that proves to be as mystifying as being asked by a magician to pick a card, any card, not knowing where you will be taken

More about Decima

Decima Blake, author of the Hingston series, has a long-standing interest in child protection and is deeply passionate about child victims of crime. Hingston: Smoke and Mispers is the second in the series, following Hingston's Box which was published in 2016. Decima combines historical research, accurate police procedure and a touch of spookiness to provide readers with an immersive experience as they join Hingston on his race to solve cases involving missing persons and murder. A percentage of royalties are donated to the charity Embrace Child Victims of Crime.

Decima, where can we follow you on social media?

Twitter: @decimablake

Instagram: @decimablake

Thank you so much for joining us today

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