Leading Ladies with Jane Isaac, author of An Unfamiliar Murder (DCI Helen Lavery Book 1)

Today on Becca's Books, I'm thrilled to be welcoming the fantastic Jane Isaac to the blog. Not only am I sharing a fabulous guest piece from Jane on who would play the leading roles if her book were to be made into a movie, but today also marks a super special occasion for the author. Today, Jane re-releases An Unfamiliar Murder, the first book in her DCI Helen Lavery series. With such an atmospheric cover and intriguing blurb, I imagine it's going to be a great success, so HAPPY RE-RELEASE DAY, JANE! I hope it's a wonderful day.

Without further ado, I'll get straight to it and hand the bloggish reigns over to Jane!


Title - An Unfamiliar Murder
Author - Jane Isaac
Publication Date - March 1st 2016

Arriving home from a routine day at work, Anna Cottrell has no idea that her life is about to change forever. But discovering the stabbed body of a stranger in her flat, then becoming prime suspect in a murder inquiry is only the beginning. Her persistent claims of innocence start to crumble when new evidence links her irrevocably with the victim…
Leading her first murder investigation, DCI Helen Lavery unravels a trail of deception, family secrets and betrayal. When people close to the Cottrell family start to disappear, Lavery is forced into a race against time. 
Can she catch the killer before he executes his ultimate victim?

Leading Ladies


In reality, if I was ever lucky enough to have my book transformed into a TV drama or film (one can dream!), a script would be drawn up and a director would seek and allocate the cast. However, since this is my post, I thought I’d celebrate my new release today and have a bit of fun by searching the market and indulging in choosing my own leading ladies.

My lead in An Unfamiliar Murder is Detective Chief Inspector Helen Lavery. She is managing her first murder investigation, battling to make her mark in the senior echelons of the police, an organisation dominated by strong characters, whilst juggling the demands of single parenting two teenage sons.

Heading the homicide and major crime squad is arguably one of the most demanding, responsible and challenging jobs in the police force; the hours worked are impressive, the pressure immense – a wrong decision, a case handled badly, and she not only risks her own reputation, but the wider force and the police nationally.

Needless to say, Helen is a strong character, but she also possesses a sensitive side, an edge that forces her to push the boundaries and occasionally adopt unorthodox methods to catch a killer. It would take an imposing actress to step into those shoes. She is also quintessentially British. I thought about some of my favourite films, TV serials, trawled the internet in my search. And this is who I came up with:

Helen Baxendale – a solid and compelling actress who boasts an impressive career spanning theatre, TV and film including Cold Feet, Friends, An Unsuitable Job for a Woman and several crime dramas. She has been nominated for Baftas on numerous occasions and her roles in film and TV have won multiple awards.


Whilst we follow the police investigation through Helen’s eyes, the rest of the story is told through the eyes of another principle protagonist: secondary school teacher, Anna Cottrell. Anna comes home from work to find the dead body of a stranger in her flat, becomes main suspect in a murder enquiry and, just as she believes she has convinced police of her innocence, new evidence comes to light that links her directly to the victim - evidence that changes her life irrevocably.


Anna is a strong, independent woman that has never felt like she fitted in. She has always known that something in her life was awry, but was never able to put her finger on it; until now. The revelations in An Unfamiliar Murder highlight this angst and force her to deal with its consequences. This is who I would cast for Anna:


Kelly MacDonald – a grounded actress who debuted in the hit film Trainspotting, has received endless Bafta nominations and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her role as Margaret Schroeder in Boardwalk Empire.


Jane Isaac lives writes detective novels with a psychological edge. She lives with her husband and daughter in rural Northamptonshire, UK where she can often be found trudging over the fields with her Labrador, Bollo. On 1st March 2016 she re-releases her first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, originally published in the US in 2012, which was nominated as best mystery in the 'eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013.' Later in the year her fourth book, Beneath the Ashes, will be published by Legend Press.

You can find Jane Isaac on Facebook | Twitter | janeisaac.co.uk




1 comment :

  1. what a lovely interview ladies a great read xx

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