Before the novels were published, I wrote several short stories about Bethancourt and Gibbons for Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. I am (slowly) working on transcribing them and making them available in ebook format, but that has to take second place to actual writing. In the meantime, here is a list of them as they appeared.
All the stories take place within two or three years while Gibbons is still a Detective Sergeant and while Bethancourt is dating Marla. In the last story, Gibbons is studying for the Inspector exams and is due to be promoted to that rank in the next story. Bethancourt and Marla's relationship is also undergoing a change. The Young Widow, the first novel, goes back to the beginning.
The Dressing Table Murder
The introduction to Bethancourt, Gibbons, and Marla. Also published in the anthology "Murder Most Cozy" (Signet).
Murder in the Garden
In this one Bethancourt has been invited to play polo--a very rare occurrence as he is a poor player despite his enthusiasm for the game. The story takes place in the country and involves the murder of a child.
Murder at Christmas
An unidentified corpse is found in an elderly woman's attic in Dorset. This is the first story where Carmichael is featured as a character, although he has been mentioned before this.
The Charnwood Forest Murder
A friend of Bethancourt’s sister, convinced an elderly lady in her village has been murdered, calls on Bethancourt to look into the case. The local police believe it was an accident. He drags Gibbons off to Leicestershire for the weekend to help him, but Gibbons is more interested in enjoying the countryside.
The Recalcitrant Witness
Marla is called upon to seduce answers out of a recalcitrant witness. Cerberus also plays a large part.
The Birthday Murder
London in the middle of a summer heat wave. This is also the debut of Spencer Kendrick, the fashion photographer and Bethancourt’s friend. He had been in my mind for some time, but I had never managed to work him in before.
Murder at Rokeby House
A murder crops up at one of Britain's stately homes, owned by Arnold Prendergast, who was at Oxford with Bethancourt. Also published in the anthology "Murder at Tea Time" (Signet).
Murder in the Vestry
Bones in the Rose Garden
Two retired detectives stumble across a body, murdered 20 years ago, and Bethancourt and Gibbons must discover what occurred in the past.
Death in the Dales
Probably the best of the stories. It was nominated for a Derringer Award for best novella of 1999. This one takes a personal turn. Bethancourt returns to his childhood home in Yorkshire and his parents are introduced.
The Model Murders
Gibbons is now a Detective Inspector, and investigates the deaths of
fashion models while Bethancourt has the flu.
The Body in the Boot