There aren’t any Cosy Christmas Stories when I write…

Writing about Christmas in a ‘mince pie and Christmas pudding’ way, isn’t my style. My mind works strangely. I’d be tempted to poison the pies and pudding before feeding them to the victims in my stories.

The only times Christmas appears in anything I write it has been to juxtapose the cosy atmosphere of the season of goodwill, with something horrible about to happen.

I must have a criminal mind.

I chat about my crime writing and what inspires me during my interview with Linda Thompson, The Authors Show.

Having worked in the music business nearly all my life, except for several years working for various British government departments – in my early years – I’ve garnered a wealth of experience to call upon when developing new stories.

Curtis Green Building Public Domain
Back in the day - Recording Studio with SSL Desk (c) Jane Risdon 1991
Studio with SSL Desk (c) Jane Risdon 1991

Undercover: Crime Shorts (Plaisted Publishing), is my first collection of short stories and Linda discusses them with me during my interview.

We chat about organised crime, the music business, spies, and much more. I do hope you will click on the link and join us as we enjoy a good old-fashioned natter and a few giggles too.

My Podcast interview is available on a 24/7 loop on channel 4 and can be accessed any time by going to their website, The Authors Show, and clicking on channel 4, scrolling to my name and book title.

And, I have written a Christmas story for Undercover: Crime Shorts

However, it is not what you’d call a typical Christmas story!

My short story, Murder by Christmas, is set during the Christmas period. Six people are called into a solicitor’s office to hear the reading of a will. Each hopes they’ve been left something by their former, millionaire, employer.

Sadly, three are disappointed and are soon sent on their miserable way.

Happily, three others are not disappointed – well, not until they hear there are certain conditions to be fulfilled before they can get their hands on their inheritance.

They all have tasks to perform by Christmas Eve.

I also read a chapter from Apartment 206c, which is about an author who stumbles across organised crime, murder, and the FBI. It is not set during Christmas, however.

During my interview, we discuss my former careers working for the government and later in the music business in more detail, and the influence and inspiration both have had on my writing.

There is a wealth of material I can call upon, given the people and experiences I’ve had and some find their way into my short stories, especially.

We chat about the seven Forensic Science and Criminal Justice courses I’ve taken with various universities to better inform myself when writing about crime, murder, and the identification of bodies and bones, as well as the way in which our justice system works.

Please let me know if you tune in. If you have any questions for me, please ask. I shall do my best to answer them to the best of my ability.

I’m not really one for writing anything to do with Christmas, but now and again I find a story takes me to the festive season; my stories tend to write themselves. I just bash the keyboards.

My novel with Christina Jones – Only One Woman – (Headline Accent), is set in the late 1960s and the UK music business features strongly for instance. There are several chapters written by Christina and myself covering Christmas 1968/1969.

Only One Woman 1968/69 UK Music Business. Photo Jane Risdon

My short story included in the Christmas Anthology, Wishing on a Star (Headline Accent), which I called Merry Christmas Everybody – named for the Slade song of the same name is set at Christmas.

Wishing On A Star. Photo Jane Risdon

Based loosely on true events Christmas 1989.

This is not included in Undercover: Crime Shorts.

It’s Christmas and a band is recording their second album. Tensions run high in the studio. The producer cannot stand the band, and they hate him. Actually, the band can barely stand each other. But, they are all there for various reasons – mainly for the money. Their first album was a massive success and this follow-up has to be even better.

Their recording sessions are crackling with pent-up emotions; fights almost break out and the whole project is in jeopardy. Added to this, someone seems to be messing around with their recordings.

When they return to the studio each morning, to hear a run-through of the previous day’s work, they are confronted with an additional instrument playing throughout their tracks. A Keyboard piece that does not fit in with what they’ve worked on. Plus, none of the band is playing keyboards on the recordings.

Phantom keyboards are playing throughout their tracks.

All hell breaks loose. They accuse each other and then the producer of trying to wreck the album. The producer is as baffled as they are. Time is money, and time and money are both tight. Who is messing with their record? Things could end in violence.

Christmas is turning into a nightmare, and the horror doesn’t end there…

I based this story on actual events during a recording session in 1989 in Blackpool, England, during the Christmas period. The studio appeared to be haunted – by a famous musician – and a friend who was a clairvoyant just happened to be with us for the sessions because she had never watched an album being produced and wanted to join us.

Things definitely went bump in the studio…!

My short story, Penance, is included in the anthology When Stars will Shine (Creating Perfection), in aid of Help4Heroes, has a Christmas theme.

A man fails to turn up, as promised, for a planned visit to Father Christmas with his wife and daughter, to be followed by lunch. The consequences of his failure will haunt him for the rest of his life, unless…

You won’t be eating any mince pies or Christmas pud after reading this!

On the surface, this is not a typical Christmas story – but then again, perhaps it is…

I do hope you will join Linda Thompson and me on The Authors Show when my podcast interview is aired. Let me know if you do.

You can find me and my writing at:

Overseas readers: check out my Amazon Author Pages on Amazon in your country.

Paperback, for Kindle, Tablet and Phone.


  1. Hi Jane, I have enjoyed reading your Crime Shorts–Undercover Crime. I have put up an Amazon Review. I found the stories entertaining although grim at times, but the mischievous tone was just right. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • James, how lovely and thanks so much. I am grim with a hint of naughty humour. My short stories are not anything like longer novels etc. I write in several genres, but crime is my love. How did the Xmas period go for you? I hope it was all you hoped. Happy 2022 and I hope you have health, wealth, happiness and success. xx


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