Sandstone Press

On the blog: Ant and Bea on Tour

To celebrate the publication of Rachel Ward's new Ant and Bea mystery, Dead Stock, Ant and Bea are on tour! We kicked things off on Monday with a live event at Blackwell's in Edinburgh featuring Rachel, along with local crime writers William McIntyre and Lesley Kelly. Since then we've moved online, so you can keep up with Ant and Bea's antics from the comfort of your own sofa (in your PJs, if you like!) wherever you happen to live.

The first two Ant and Bea mysteries, The Cost of Living and Dead Stock, are now available online and from all good bookshops.

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Today we'd like to introduce you the characters that make Rachel Ward's cosy crime mysteries so wonderfully heartwarming with some character profiles written by the author herself.

Bea has worked on Costsave’s checkouts since she left school a few years ago. She lives with her mum, Maggie/Queenie. Bea is intelligent and resourceful. She likes to look good (hair just right, megalashes in place), is compassionate and enjoys a bit of banter with her customers and her best friend, Dot.

Ant is a lanky teenager with a troubled background. He’s a trainee at Costsave, who has been given a chance to ‘make good’ after several scrapes with the law. He lives with his large, unruly family, and appears to be cocky and confident, but he harbours a secret – he can’t read. He’s trying his best to keep to the straight and narrow, but does enjoy blurring the edges of acceptable behaviour, especially if it means getting the better of deputy manager, Neville.

Queenie is Bea’s mum (real name, Maggie). She’s only in her fifties but has had agoraphobia since her husband died six years ago and relies on Bea to pay the bills and deal with the outside world, even more so since her benefits were cut. She likes routine – having a set rota of evening meals – and feels guilty about being a burden to Bea.

Dot is Bea’s best friend at work and occupies the checkout next to hers. She is immaculately turned out and she and Bea share an earthy sense of humour. She has one grown up daughter, and lives on her own, but is always up for a romantic adventure.

Neville is the uptight deputy manager at Costsave, most frequently seen clutching a clipboard while supervising the shop floor from his customer service desk. He is a stickler for the rules, and is involved in doing good works in his local church.

Bob-on-Meat is Costsave’s butcher. He is large-framed and steady, and has held a torch for Dot for years. He is old-fashioned and practical and helps his older customers with odd jobs outside work.

Dean is the weaselly son of Eileen, one of Bea’s co-workers. He blames Bea for his sacking from his job in Costsave’s stores.

Tom is a police constable, who went to primary school with Bea and has recently returned to Kingsleigh. He has set his sights on a move to the CID, and on Bea herself.

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Click the links below to find out more about the books and the author, and be sure to follow the rest of the blog tour for author interviews, book reviews and more!