‘It’s Christmas, so treat yourself to a blast from my writing past.
A Wife in a Million was the first short story I ever had published. I wrote it in response to a request from my editor, who was compiling an anthology of women’s crime writing called Reader, I Murdered Him. As with much of my work, it was inspired by what I saw in the world around me.
The story was written in the wake of the terrible economic circumstances of the Thatcher years, when the North suffered catastrophic decline. People were angry and desperate, and I wanted to capture the sense of frustration felt by so many. But as always, it was focusing on the characters, their lives and their relationships that made the story come alive for me.
A few years later, the same editor decided to put together a sequel – Reader, I Murdered Him Too – and that seemed like a good excuse to revisit my original detective, Maggie Staniforth. The trigger for this story was a Native American proverb – but I can’t say more, because I don’t want to give any secrets away.
Like a Christmas present, you’ll just have to unwrap it yourself! Season’s greetings to you all.’
Val McDermid, December 2012