Howdy, y'all. I'm A.R. Ashworth, a denizen of the Texas Hill Country who writes about DCI Elaine Hope, a female detective chief inspector in the London Metropolitan Police. Go figure.
Growing up, I thrived on healthy doses of C.S. Forester, Patrick O'Brien, Isaac Asimov and Ursula K. Le Guin. Le Guin's Left Hand of Darkness was a mind-opener for me about gender roles. My current favorite mystery/thriller writers are Peter Robinson, Val McDermid and Louise Penny. I find many of the Scandinavian Noir writers to be good reads, including Henning Mankell, Arnaldur Indridason, and Helene Tursten.
Dorothy Sayer's Gaudy Night gets my vote as the best mystery ever written, and a book all aspiring mystery writers should read. I say this because the central crime isn't murder and the academic and romantic plots are every bit as engaging and tension-filled as the detection plot. Sayers taught me that, if you write to the heart and the human condition, your story can transcend genre. Gaudy Night succeeds at this on every level.
I wrote my first fiction when I was bored witless during the interminable flights and homogenized hotels of my career in high tech. I decided to put my laptop (a novelty in those days) to work. Those short stories didn't survive; that's for the best.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope you buy my books.