Have you read them all?

Four booksFascinated by Japan? Like a good whodunnit? Try the Josie Clark in Japan East-West fusion murder mystery series – just £1.99 each ($2.99 in the USA).

The Tokyo Karaoke Murder (a Josie Clark pocket mystery)

dfw-fp-ttkm-cover-thumbIt’s not just the song that gets murdered!

An evening of karaoke turns out really badly for expat Londoner Josie Clark as she’s accused of murder and theft on an innocent night out in Tokyo. She’s got just an hour to work out who the real killer is before the police arrive. Can she do it? Can you?

Buy it on Amazon UK or Amazon USA

The Cherry Blossom Murder

dfw-fp-tcbm-cover-thumbBehind the scenes a killer is lurking!

Josie’s got a new life in Tokyo: great job, Japanese boyfriend and fun weekends with her friends in glamorous actress Tammy’s fan club. Until she stumbles across a body under the cherry blossom and finds herself heading backstage at Japan’s unique and spectacular Takarazuka Revue to expose a murderer and save a priceless treasure.

Buy it on Amazon UK or Amazon USA

The Haiku Murder

dfw-fp-thm-cover-thumbWho’d have thought poetry could be so dangerous!

A haiku-writing trip turns to tragedy when a charismatic financier falls from the top of Matsuyama castle. But was he pushed? And what happened to his missing bag and its mysteriously valuable contents? Josie needs to find the answers fast, before more people die.

Buy it on Amazon UK or Amazon USA

The Bullet Train Murder


High speed sleuthing on a speeding train!

Josie hopes her transfer to Osaka will give her career a boost. But when a colleague is found stabbed to death on Japan’s famous bullet train she’s forced to take a fresh look at her fellow workers. One of them is a murderer – but which one?

Buy it on Amazon UK or Amazon USA


Four book card-5

Japan Society Book Giveaway

cherry blossom and haikuWant to win signed copies of the first two books in the Josie Clark in Japan murder mystery series? Then you’re in luck, because the Japan Society is running a giveaway in time for Christmas.

Josie Clark is an expat Londoner living in Tokyo, where she’s inclined to stumble across a surprising number of bodies. In The Cherry Blossom Murder she goes backstage at Japan’s spectacular Takarazuka Revue to expose a murderer and save a priceless treasure and in The Haiku Murder she finds that poetry can be more dangerous than you’d think when a charismatic haiku-writing financier falls to his death from the top of Matsuyama castle.

Lush imagery captures Japan’s bustling cities and restful countryside… believably crafted characters, a fast pace, and clean prose.‘ Publishers Weekly

To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is email your name to william.upton@japansociety.org.uk by 12 December 2014. A lottery will be held following the closing date and the winners announced on the Japan Society website and on social media.

The Japan Society is the leading  independent body in the United Kingdom dedicated to the enhancement of the British-Japanese relationship, with a history stretching back to 1891. Find them on Twitter @japansocietylon and Facebook.

The Japan Society


Another murder case (or two) for Josie Clark

Josie Clark mysteriesBack in February I published The Cherry Blossom Murder, the first book in the Josie Clark in Japan mystery series. It’s done really well, reaching the quarter finals (meaning it was one of the top hundred in the mystery and thriller category) of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, a competition with 10,000 entries worldwide. Now the next book in the series, The Haiku Murder is coming out – plus a prequel novelette, The Tokyo Karaoke Murder. They’ll both be published on 13th October, but you can pre-order the ebooks now. Continue reading

Rei Shimura and Josie Clark – amateur sleuths in Japan

The Flower MasterSince I write murder mysteries set in present day Japan I’m always interested in other authors working in the same genre (if you can call it a genre – there’s probably too few of us to qualify for that title!).

So I was excited when someone pointed me in the direction of Sujata Massey’s Rei Shimura series. I downloaded The Flower Master and just loved it.

It’s fast and engaging and the cover’s great too.


Sujata Massey

Sujata Massey is an American writer living in Washington DC , though she was born in England and her parents are from India and Germany.

She moved to Tokyo when she got married and set her Rei Shimura mysteries in the area where she used to live.

She also writes the Daughters of Bengal series, set in India.

Her protagonist, Rei Shimura, is half Japanese, half American and works in Tokyo as an antiques dealer when she’s not solving murders. The Flower Master is about a murder at an ikebana school – nice contrast between the supposedly calm world of flower arranging and the search for a killer.

My protagonist, Josie Clark, is an English girl living and working in Tokyo. Just like Rei Shimura, she understand Japanese culture but is not completely part of it, enabling her to ask questions other people can’t ask.

Maybe sometime we should get together and write a Rei Shimura meets Josie Clark mystery. That would be fun! 🙂

ABNA Quarter Finalist!

Amazon Quarter Final blog postThe Cherry Blossom Murder has been selected as a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award 2014!

The contest runs annually and accepts 10,000 entries worldwide in five categories – general fiction, mystery and thriller, romance, young adult, and science fiction, fantasy and horror. The Cherry Blossom Murder is in the mystery and thriller category.

In the first round, entries are reduced from 10,000 to 2,000. In the second stage those 2,000 compete for a place in the quarter finals, open only to the best 500 (the top 100 in each category). That means that 95% of entries fail to make it to the quarter finals.

So you can see, it’s pretty exciting to still be in the running as one of the top 5%, especially as a competition as prestigious as this, run by the biggest publisher in the world, attracts a mass of high-quality entries.

It’s a long, slow process, the ABNA. It began back in February when it opened to submissions and it won’t finish until July when the eventual winner is announced. But just now I’m savouring the taste of victory and crossing my fingers for the next stage. Wish me luck in the semi-finals!

Screen Shot ABNA Quarter Finals

The Cherry Blossom Murder reaches Round 2 of ABNA!

I’m so pleased and excited! The Cherry Blossom Murder is through to Round 2 of ABNA!

ABNA is the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. It runs annually and is open to books in the English language regardless of where in the world they are written. It accepts ten thousand entries so you can see it’s a big competition.

There are five categories in ABNA – The Cherry Blossom Murder has been selected in the Mystery/Thriller category. ABNA selects the top four hundred books in each category to go through to the next round, which means that, overall, eighty percent of the entries fail to make it through to this stage. So you can see why I’m pretty thrilled still to be in the running.

So have I won anything? Yes! I get a third prize, which is an Amazon Editors review of the first chapter of my book. If I make it any further there are more goodies. Second prize, for getting though to the quarter final, is a Publishers Weekly review of the book, first prize is an Amazon publishing contract and the grand prize is a publishing contract plus 50,000 dollars.

A long way to go yet, and plenty of fabulous books to compete with. But I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for the next round!

The Cherry Blossom Murder – Five Star Reviews!

The Cherry Blossom MurderThe Cherry Blossom Murder has done really well since it launched just over a week ago, reaching 22 in the Amazon International Mystery and Crime Sales Ranking. I’m just stunned as I never imagined it reaching that level – and certainly not in its first week!

Judging by the reviews so far, readers seem to like the Japanese setting.

Adventures of a London Kiwi called it ‘an enthralling romp through glitz, intrigue, theatre, sake with a dash of the humble cup of tea’.

Blogcritics said ‘What impressed me most about The Cherry Blossom Murder was how it brought to life the sights, sounds and aromas of life in Japan.’

It has two five star ratings on Amazon so far. If you like murder mysteries and find Japan intriguing, it could be right up your street (or dori).

If you’re in the UK you can get it on Amazon UK for Kindle or in paperback.

If you use Amazon.com, here are the links for Kindle and paperback.

And here’s the link for Kobo and other ebook readers worldwide.

Out now! The Cherry Blossom Murder

Today is publication day! My new murder mystery, The Cherry Blossom Murder is out!

Stubborn, down-to-earth Londoner Josie loves her life in Tokyo and her friends in glamorous actress Tammy’s fan club – until she finds a body under the cherry blossom. Determined to find the killer, she goes behind the scenes of the spectacular Takarazuka Revue to expose the secrets and lies, save a priceless treasure – and sort out her own increasingly tangled love life.

The Cherry Blossom Murder

It’s an entertaining murder mystery about a British female amateur detective and it’s set in present-day Japan. The Takarazuka Revue is real and truly amazing – for more about it see my Takarazuka page.

I’m truly grateful to all the wonderful friends and bloggers who’ve supported and encouraged me to get this far – special mention goes to TeamCake on Twitter:

If you’re in the UK you can get it on Amazon UK for Kindle or in paperback.

If you use Amazon.com, here are the links for Kindle and paperback.

And here’s the link for Kobo and other ebook readers worldwide.

The Cherry Blossom Murder

February 10th is publication day!

The Cherry Blossom MurderYes, that’s right – it’s less than two weeks to go to publication of The Cherry Blossom Murder on February 10th!

Excitement is mounting here at Casa Pickering. The paperback’s ready, the ebook is formatted and the advance review copies have arrived safely, so the reviewers are reading it as I write. Reviews will go up soon after publication day so check back here to find links to them.

And that’s not all. There’ll be a special giveaway with your chance to win a free copy. Full details of how to enter will be posted here on publication day.

Josie is a no-nonsense girl from Catford who’s living and working in Tokyo when she discovers a body under the cherry blossom. Her determination to see justice done makes for an entertaining murder mystery as she tries to expose a murderer, save a priceless treasure and sort out her tangled love life.

Plus the story takes you backstage at Japan’s unique and spectacular Takarazuka Revue – if you want to know more about that, check out my Takarazuka page.

The Cherry Blossom Murder be available on Amazon as an ebook and paperback, and the ebook will also be formatted for Nook, Kobo and other ebook readers. it’s the first book in the Josie Clark in Japan Mystery series.

Remember the date – 10th February!

Proof copies have arrived!

The Cherry Blossom MurderThe proof copies of The Cherry Blossom Murder have arrived! It’s an exciting moment – the first time I get to see the book in the flesh, so to speak.

The cover design looks great, just the way  wanted it, and printing it matte rather than glossy really works.

The e-book version will be ready this week too, which means I can get on with setting a publication date. Not long to go now! Can’t wait to see it published in February.

Check out the home page for more information about The Cherry Blossom Murder.