Approaching research by Eric Brown

Twice winner of the British Science Fiction Award, Eric Brown is the author of more than twenty SF novels and several short story collections. His debut crime novel, Murder by the Book, was published in 2013 and his latest book featuring crime writer sleuth Donald Langham, Murder Take Three, was published in the UK in April, and will be published in the USA in August.  

HMurder Take Three book jacketere, Eric Brown speaks a little about his approach to research…

One of the dangers of writing books set in a certain historical period is the temptation to put too much of your hard-won nuggets of research into the finished novel. In early drafts of Murder By the Book, the first Langham and Dupré novel set in 1955, I stuffed a lot of needless detail into the narrative that might have been relevant to social historians of the period, but which, I realised, held up the flow of the story. I found that a guide of how to suggest the period was to read novels set in the fifties, when authors were writing of the time – they didn’t need to establish a sense of period: it was a given. What I learned from these novels was that a greater flavour of the fifties could be given by writing realistic dialogue that reflected the time: morals, social standing, education, etc. This allowed me to get on with the story I wanted to tell.

Praise for Eric Brown’s previous books:


“Charming characters and a consistently entertaining tone mark this crime debut from sci-fi veteran Brown”  Kirkus Reviews 


“Plenty of unexpected twists. Agatha Christie fans will find a lot to like.”  Publishers Weekly 

 “Brown’s charming English locked-room mystery (after Murder by the Book) features a well-crafted and exciting plot and two attractive protagonists who epitomize a postwar English generation willing to reach across class lines. For readers who enjoy classic Golden Age mysteries.”  Library Journal 


“This promises to be a fine series, if future instalments are as good as the first three have been”  Booklist 

 “This charming book, which follows Murder at the Chase, brings to the page well-defined characters and a classic locked-room structure. Recommend for anyone who loves English country house murders”  Library Journal 

For further information about Eric Brown and his work, please visit our website here.


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