Saturday, 28 July 2018

The Invisible Case by Isabella Muir + #Giveaway + Excerpt

The Invisible Case by Isabella Muir
First published in the UK by Outset Publishing on the 30th June 2018.

Where to buy this book:

The Book Depository : from £6.99 (PB)
Wordery : from £9.57 (PB)
Waterstones : from £6.99 (PB)
Amazon : from $1.31 / £0.99 (ebook)
Prices and availability may have changed since this post was written

Add The Invisible Case to your Goodreads

The Invisible Case
A shocking death turns a homecoming into a nightmare. 

It's Easter 1970 in the seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, and for one family the first Easter of a new decade brings a shocking tragedy. Amateur sleuth and professional librarian, Janie Juke, is settling into motherhood and looking forward to spending time with her family. When her Aunt Jessica is due back from Rome after nine years travelling around Europe, she arrives back in town with a new Italian friend, Luigi, and the whole family soon get embroiled in a tangle of mystery and suspicion, with death and passion at the heart of the story.

As time runs out on Luigi as prime suspect for murder, Janie has to use all of her powers of deduction in the footsteps of her hero, Hercule Poirot, to uncover the facts. Why did Luigi come to Tamarisk Bay? What is the truth about his family?
As Luigi's story unfolds, tragedy seems to haunt the past, present and unless Janie acts fast, possibly what is yet to come.


It’s Easter 1970 and Janie Juke is looking forward to her aunt’s homecoming.  Jessica has been travelling around Europe for the last nine years and has now returned to Tamarisk Bay from Italy, with a friend in tow.  She arrives at her brother’s house and is welcomed by an effusive niece, but later that day Janie finds that, Luigi, her aunt’s friend has been poking around in her father’s bedroom.  The more she discovers about the stranger, the more ill at ease she feels…

Chapter 4

Thursday - Summer Guest House

The next morning, Janie’s mind was not at rest.  Soon after breakfast she pushed the pram round to Philip’s house.  As she walked she mulled over Luigi’s behaviour again, trying to decide how to frame the conversation she planned to have with her aunt, with her dad out of earshot. 
Luck was on her side.  She arrived to discover Philip out, giving Charlie his morning walk.  Jessica was washing up, her hands full of suds.
‘Good timing, you’ve given me the excuse I needed to stop,’ she said, drying her hands.
‘We should come straight out and ask him what he was doing.’  Jessica said, once Janie had explained her concerns to her.  ‘Why would he be nosing in your dad’s room?  I’ll admit he’s been a bit fixated about meeting Phil, asking me questions about his time in the war.  Then your dad offers him hospitality and he repays him by snooping.  I’m going to say something to him.  I’ll admit I hate confrontation, but the more time I spend with him, the more I doubt him.’
‘Don’t worry, I’ve had an idea.  Let’s see if Rosetta has a room free.’
‘She’s lovely and she’s Italian.  It couldn’t be more perfect.  She runs a little guest house down on the seafront.’
‘You sure we’re not just moving the problem onto Rosetta?  It hardly seems fair.  And how are we going to justify kicking him out after just one night?’
‘We can explain that the room we’ve put him is so tiny and was only ever intended as a quick stop gap for his first night, which is true.   It’s been dad’s box room for years.  I stuffed everything up in the loft when we found out you were bringing a friend.  Anyway, when he discovers the Summer Guest House is run by someone from his home country I’ll bet he’ll jump at the chance.  And don‘t worry about Rosetta, she’ll keep him in check.’
Jessica smiled.  ‘Do you approach everything with such positivity?’  Then, hearing the front door open and the sound of Charlie’s feet approaching, she quickly added, ‘One thing you haven’t thought about is money.’
‘How do you mean?’
‘I’m guessing Rosetta doesn’t let her rooms for free, out of the goodness of her heart?’
‘Good point.  But she’ll give us the best deal, I’m sure.  Anyway, Luigi won’t have expected to stay here for nothing, would he?’  Janie tried to read the expression on her aunt’s face, but failed.  ‘I’ll tell him if you like, it might be better coming from me.’

A slightly awkward conversation and a phone call later, resulted in Janie leading Luigi along the seafront to the Summer Guest House.  Just as Rosetta Summer finished vacuuming the guest bedrooms, the front doorbell rang.  By the time she had run down the three flights of stairs and made her way into the hall, it rang again.
‘Aspetta, vengo. I’m coming,’ she called out, brushing a stray hair from her face.
‘Rosetta, this is Luigi,’ Janie said, nudging him forwards into the hallway.  ‘Sorry, we’re a bit early.  It’s just that I need to get straight back to Michelle.  I’ve left her at dad’s.’
‘Come in.  Piacere, it’s very nice to meet you.  Someone from home to talk to, very wonderful.’
Luigi stepped forward, holding out his hand.  ‘Thank you, Signora Summer, but we are in England.  We should speak English, don’t you think?’
Janie raised an eyebrow, noticing Rosetta’s smile fade.  ‘We’re grateful you have a room free.  Being Easter, I wasn’t sure how busy you’d be.’
Tamarisk Bay had long been a holiday destination for people making the short journey from London and its surroundings.  Visitors were attracted to the long promenade and open-air bathing pool and several new cafés and restaurants had opened up recently, creating a real buzz about the place.  
Summer Guest House was at the western end of the seafront in Tamarisk Bay.  Built around the turn of the century its red brick facade gave it a homely appearance, although much of the wooden paintwork was suffering as a result of the sea air that blasted through, regardless of the season.  For the last few years Rosetta had taken in long-term lodgers, but this year she had decided to take advantage of the growing tourist trade.  
The inside of the guest house was just as homely, despite its tired decorations.  All the rooms would have benefitted from a fresh coat of paint, but that meant spending money that Rosetta didn’t have.
Rosetta gestured to them to follow her into the amply-sized dining room, which was sandwiched between the sitting room at the front of the house and the kitchen in the rear.   The only windows in the dining room looked towards the east, over a little strip of land that lay between Rosetta and her neighbour.  It seemed as though no-one owned this piece of wasteland, which was a tumble of weeds and brambles.  As if to compensate, the dining room wallpaper was a colourful pattern of large and small bouquets of cut flowers and any thoughts of tired paintwork were soon forgotten.  The design brought such gaiety to the room it felt like walking into a flower shop.

Meet the author:

Isabella Muir is the author of Janie Juke series of crime mysteries - all set in Sussex. 'The Tapestry Bag' is the first in the series, followed by ‘Lost Property’. Now - 'The Invisible Case' - the latest in the series is available for pre-order from Amazon.

The 'Janie Juke mysteries' are set in Sussex in the sixties and seventies and feature a young librarian with a passion for Agatha Christie. All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries. Isabella has also published 'Ivory Vellum' - a collection of short stories.

She has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional Writing - she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.

Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.

Author links: 
WebsiteTwitter ~ Facebook ~ Goodreads

And now it's time for the Giveaway!
Win a signed copy of The Invisible Case
(Open Internationally until the 31st July)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel's Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel's Random Resources will delete the data. Rachel's Random Resources am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Isabella Muir / Historical fiction / Books from England


  1. Thanks so much for taking part in the blog blitz for 'The Invisible Case' - happy reading everyone! All the best Isabella Muir

  2. Thanks for hosting this awesome giveaway, this book looks great!
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

  3. This sounds like quite the mystery. There are a lot of elements to this story and I wonder what is going on with Luigi. Thanks for sharing!