Author of crime series to appear at town book shop

PUBLISHED: 08:35 24 September 2018 | UPDATED: 08:35 24 September 2018

Cambridge author Susan Grossey. Picture: WARREN GUNN

Cambridge author Susan Grossey. Picture: WARREN GUNN


When anti-money laundering consultant Susan Grossey, who lives in Cambridge, decided to turn her hand to writing fiction, there was really only one topic she would choose - financial crime.

Susan conceived the plot for her first novel, Fatal Forgery, while researching a banker who defrauded his own customers in 19th century London and she will be giving a talk at Hart’s Books, in Saffron Walden, on October 10.

She wrote the first draft from the point of view of the disgraced banker, whose trial in 1824 attracted worldwide media attention, but quickly realised that she had much more in common with those who were pursuing him.

In the hiatus between the Bow Street Runners and the Metropolitan Police, Londoners had to rely on local magistrates to keep crime at bay, and they operated by instructing their own magistrates’ constables to arrest those suspected of crime. And so the narrator of Fatal Forgery became a magistrates’ constable, Sam Plank, who is based in the police office in Great Marlborough Street in Piccadilly.

Once the book was finished, Susan discovered that she had committed the cardinal sin of authorship and had fallen in love with her character. Unable to contemplate life without Sam, she decided to embark on a series of seven Sam Plank novels, set in consecutive years in the 1820s, and each concentrating on a different financial crime – from investment fraud to bribery, and from art forgery to religious fraud.

Five novels have now been published, and work is well under way on what is currently called ‘Plank 6’.

All five novels are self-published, in both paperback and e-book formats – the first two in the series are also available as audiobooks, with the third being recorded at the moment.

Susan has written more than 20 non-fiction books in her professional capacity, all of them self-published.

Although she chose the title for the first novel in the series herself, the titles for all subsequent novels have been selected by readers, who enjoy the opportunity to contribute to the development of the series.

To keep them fully involved in the process of research and writing that goes into each Sam book, Susan has a writing blog and a monthly newsletter.

Susan’s talk about the Sam Plank series at Hart’s Books starts at 6.30pm. Tickets are £5 and are available in store or over the phone on 01799 524 552.

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