1. Tell us a little bit about yourself--both something we learn from [the story] and something that readers might not guess?
My name is Rose Hardie and I’ve been married to Craig for forty-one years. We live in Nanyuki which is a small market town, three hours north of Nairobi in Kenya. Craig was a farm manager so we’ve lived in various rural areas but we decided to retire to Nanyuki, primarily for its proximity to the cottage hospital. Craig caught polio when he was a boy which damaged his leg and left him with a limp. Unfortunately, late in life he has developed a secondary condition which is gradually eating away at his body and causes him pain, although he refuses to admit it.
We don’t have a lot of money, but I get paid a small amount by European farmers for my veterinary work. I’m not a qualified vet and when the government changed the veterinary legislation in 2011, I thought I might have to stop, but the only qualified vet in Nanyuki, Dr Emma, doesn’t like treating larger animals and prefers her patients to come to her pharmacy. I’ve always been a community vet so now I practice as a ‘veterinary para-professional’ overseen by Dr Emma, and continue to attend animals in Nanyuki, and the surrounding Laikipia county. Many of my African clients can’t pay in cash, but they give me fruit or vegetables which means we always have food on our table.
Readers won’t know that I used to ride horses competitively and represented Kenya in showjumping when I was twenty. We travelled with our horses to Zambia, mainly in specially constructed railway carriages, and competed against teams from Tanzania, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. It was great fun and an amazing experience.
2. How did you first meet your writer?
Victoria and her young family moved to Nanyuki when her husband took a job here. She had ridden and wanted to start again so I found her a horse which she stabled with me. I was given a couple of rescue ponies by the KSPCA (Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals) to rehome so we taught Victoria’s children to ride. She understood the importance of community and joined both the Pony Club and horse show committees, which I was also involved with so our friendship grew.
3. Want to dish about him/her?
I didn’t understand what this question meant but my young friend Thabiti explained it. I don’t like to gossip as I take people as I find them. I’m sorry Victoria and her family moved back to the UK as I’ll miss them. She was always organized, hard-working and enthusiastic, although those two boys of hers were a handful.
4. Why do you think that your life has ended up being in a book?
I know Victoria loved Kenya and really threw herself into life here. It’s not easy and many wives, particularly those whose husbands are working away a lot, can’t make the transition from a well-organied, generally safe, western society to Kenya. In the book Chloe highlights some of the differences. Life exists on the edge here. There is amazing scenery and wonderful weather but a far higher chance of being injured or killed: I have lost too many friends too early from road traffic accidents or plane crashes. Many of the conveniences of a first world society don’t exist. We suffer frequent power failures, shortages of varieties of food, such as sugar, and there are far fewer products in general available here.
Victoria told me she would never view the world in the same way having lived in Kenya. She said she wouldn’t take anything for granted but would appreciate the smaller things in life. A birthday is to be celebrated for another year experienced rather than ignored or hated because it is a symbol of aging. Life is to be lived and I have certainly done that and continue to do so. I think that’s why I ended up in Victoria’s book.
5. Who's your favorite character? Why?
I’ve been delighted and relieved that Thabiti has survived the traumas thrown at him. He still has mental wounds to heal but his boyish good humour and love of life are helping his recovery. I hope he finds his purpose in life. In the meantime he is great company for Craig.
Sam intrigues me. I suspect he is a man with many faces and hidden talents. I would choose him to help me if I found myself in a sticky situation.
6. Who's your least favorite character? Why?
I don’t have a least favorite character. Even those who have acted wrongly have generally done so out of some misguided sense of what is right and wrong. Mind you, the poacher’s grandson would do a lot better if he buckled down and did some real work and helped his family in a meaningful way.
7. What's next for you?
I suppose it’s back to a quiet life, and whilst Craig would prefer I didn’t take on any more investigations I think I’m going to miss piecing puzzles together. I’m joining my young friends, Thabiti and Chloe this weekend for the Great Grevy Rally, north of Nanyuki in the Samburu National Reserve. We are conducting a census of the endangered Grevy’s zebra.
Readers can join my mailing list by visiting VictoriaTait.com and they will receive a free copy of my novella, Grevy Danger.
Two deaths. No crime. For this determined sleuth the answers are not black and white.
When Rose joins an endangered zebra expedition, she’s shaken to her core when an injured girl she treats suddenly dies. And after another death days later, Rose can’t silence the alarm bells in her head that point to murder. Will Rose’s pursuit for justice lead to her own extinction?
Two Grevy’s Zebra
About Fowl Murder
Cozy Mystery 1st in Series
Publisher: Kanga Press (July 21, 2020)
ebook, 190 pages
Digital ASIN: B089RRXBC1
A shooting on the savannah. A tragedy she’d rather forget. When past and present collide, will she survive to see her future? Kenya, 2016. Semi-retired vet Rose Hardie just wants to enjoy her golden years and care for her disabled husband. But her peace of mind shatters when a forgotten confidant returns and reopens a case where Rose pulled the trigger. With her memories of the poacher’s shocking death flooding back, she barely catches her breath before her childhood friend is brutally murdered.
Braving blackmail and entrenched corruption, the tireless woman dives headfirst into helping the victim’s son solve the crime. But when the lead suspect is killed, Rose’s plans for a peaceful life end up dead and buried…
As her own traumatic history unravels, can Rose catch a killer before she becomes the next victim?
Foul Murder is the first book in the compelling Kenya Kanga Mystery series. If you like determined heroines, unpredictable twists and turns, and vivid African settings, then you’ll love Victoria Tait’s pulse-pounding tale.
About Victoria Tait
Victoria Tait is an exciting new author launching her Kenya Kanga Mystery series. She’s drawn on 8 years living in rural Kenya with her family to transport her readers to a world of curiosity, community and conspiracy. The Kenya Kanga Mystery series brings to life the beauty of the Kenyan landscape, the magic of its wildlife and the warmth of its people.
Author LinksYou can find Victoria at https://www.victoriatait.com/
or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/VictoriaTait
Purchase Links -
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