Pan MacMillan's Bello imprint has released two previous series of detective novels by bestselling crime author Ann Cleeves. The 'Inspector Ramsay' books feature a police officer who is like Ann's (and TV's) Vera Stanhope in being based in England's northernmost county, Northumberland - though unlike her in many other ways. Looking even further back, to the work of a very young writer, you can also now read the George & Molly books, the adventures of amateur sleuth George Palmer-Jones, an elderly birdwatcher - and his wife, Molly. (Or you might want to read what Ann would like to say to that younger self).
To celebrate the George and Molly series now being available, Bello is offering the opportunity to be published in a short story ebook collection alongside Ann Cleeves in a competition judged by her and TV wildlife presenter Iolo Williams.
You can also visit the real life setting of the story, with an additional - optional - prize of a three-night stay on Skokholm - a remote Pembrokeshire island that is famous for its natural beauty as well as being a bird-birdwatchers' paradise. See more information about the island of Skokholm here.
Ann explains: "I've been pulling together a collection of short stories set on UK islands, and a holiday in Skokholm, an island off the Pembrokeshire coast, persuaded me that George and his wife Molly might make a return. While I was in Skokholm I started writing the story, but the weather was so lovely and the island so appealing, that I didn't get beyond the first paragraph.
From Ann Cleeves: "So this is where you come in. Can you complete the story for me? You can set it in the present or in the 1980s of the original novel, but I'd like you to be true to the original characters and to capture the sense of a very special place. The winner will have their story in my island ebook anthology and will be given the opportunity to visit Skokholm for themselves. I can't wait to read what happens next."
And here's that first paragraph:
They came to Skokholm in late summer before the Manx shearwaters and storm petrels left the island, crossing the water from the Pembrokeshire mainland in the early morning. It was a still, sultry day. Light bounced from the water, turning the island into a black silhouette. George was silent and Molly wondered suddenly if their relationship would survive constant companionship, the routine of domestic life. The boat rounded a headland and she saw a rough jetty, bloated seals hauled onto the rocks. They'd arrived. The first adventure of their retirement. The boatman helped them off with their bags then disappeared. They'd expected to be met at the pier by the wardens, but there was no sign of the promised tractor. The place was entirely silent.
For more information, full rules and how to enter - plus a taster of A Bird in the Hand - visit the Bello website.