Today I am so pleased to welcome Dal Maclean to Joyfully Jay. Dal has come to talk to us about her latest release, Bitter Legacy. She has also brought along a book to give away. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Thank you so much, Joyfully Jay, for having me! I’ll put on the kettle. This is my first time here. In fact, almost my first time anywhere, because this is my first book, so please forgive my blundering around.

Anyway, the book is called ‘Bitter Legacy’, and it’s a police procedural, set in London. Which means the nuts and bolts of it may seem a bit different to some readers of the genre (not from the UK).

For example, the Metropolitan Police murder detectives involved don’t carry guns, and generally don’t expect to face people carrying guns. There’s a very high level of accountability too involved in UK policing now, and it’s probably fair to say it’s not usual any more for the public to suspect the police are going to regularly beat up or frame suspects. Forces like the Met also have an urgent top-down drive for inclusivity and diversity (though they do struggle to recruit enough minority officers) and their PR departments are busy, busy places. What its like at the coal face of course may be a different matter.

In the case of DS James Henderson – a fast track recruit from a very different career — there’s the added challenge of how to slide out of being used as a PR poster boy by the Met’s Directorate of Media and Communications. And, indeed, by his own boss, as a kind of glamorous assistant for the TV cameras, because policing in the UK is now, as I indicated, a political and media business.

But day to day, trying to catch killers, James and his colleagues have a pretty unglamorous time of it. Their job veers between boredom and crazy, adrenalin-fuelled pressure, surrounded by the mundane –how to make their ancient office-computer equipment work, how to get enough overtime, where to sleep when an investigation becomes so intense they daren’t go home for days, and just how foul the coffee from the vending machine can manage to be.

When it comes right down to it of course, the basics of murder investigations are probably the same everywhere in the world. It’s the challenge of how to coax out the truth –piecing together the puzzle bit by bit, always against the clock, as the puzzle pieces change shape in your hands. The hag on the back to find the killer, and prevent still more damage. The guilt at failing to find some closure for the people left behind, or the relief at managing it.

James is very good at his job. Good at making leaps of logic and intuition; good at finding answers. Connections. But the murder case in which he gets involved in Bitter Legacy, is both politically delicate and horribly complicated. And, just as the case becomes personal, James finds himself infatuated, and then in love, for the first time. But with the wrong man.

My aim was to try to bring some realism both to the job and to the complicated ways people behave in their own lives. Sometimes badly, sometimes well. Sometimes wisely, sometimes foolishly. But always for a reason. In this book, I hope the reasons turn out to be, at least, believable and compelling ones.

I’m very honoured that this story was chosen up by Blind Eye Books, to launch their new mystery imprint One Block Empire — because they’re indescribably picky (looking at you Nicole Kimberling).

In any case, BEB have organised a Giveaway — details are below.

Thanks for slogging through this – if you have! And thank you again, Jay, for letting me ramble on.

So — the kettle’s boiled. Shall I pour?


BitterLegacycover-front-copyDetective Sergeant James Henderson’s remarkable gut instincts have put him on a three-year fast track to becoming an inspector. But the advancement of his career has come at a cost. Gay, posh and eager to prove himself in the Metropolitan Police, James has allowed himself few chances for romance.

But when the murder of barrister Maria Curzon-Whyte lands in his lap, all that changes. His investigation leads him to a circle of irresistibly charming men. And though he knows better, James finds himself enticed into their company.

Soon his desire for photographer Ben Morgan challenges him to find a way into the other man’s lifestyle of one-night stands and carefree promiscuity. At the same time his single murder case multiplies into a cruel pattern of violence and depravity.

But as the bodies pile up and shocking secrets come to light, James finds both his tumultuous private life and coveted career threatened by a bitter legacy.


Dal Maclean comes from the North of Scotland. Her background is in journalism, and she has an undying passion for history, the more gossipy and scandalous the better. Dal has lived in Asia and worked all over the world, but home is now the UK. She dislikes the Tragic Gay trope, but loves imperfect characters and genuine emotional conflict in romantic fiction. As an author, and a reader, she believes it’s worth a bit of work to reach a happy ending. Agatha Christie, English gardens and ill-advised cocktails are three fatal weaknesses, though not usually at the same time.


Dal has brought a copy of Bitter Legacy to give away to one lucky reader. Just leave a comment at the end of the post to enter. The contest ends on Friday, October 7th at 11:59 pm EST.

  • By entering the giveaway, you’re confirming that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Winners will be selected by random number. No purchase necessary to win.  The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning.
  • If you win, you must respond to my email within 48 hours or another winner may be chosen. Please make sure that your spam filter allows email from Joyfully Jay.
  • Winners may be announced on the blog following the contest. By entering the contest you are agreeing to allow your name to be posted and promoted as the contest winner by Joyfully Jay.
  • Prizes will be distributed following the giveaway either by Joyfully Jay or the person/organization donating the prize.
  • All book prizes are in electronic format unless otherwise specified.
  • By entering you are agreeing to hold Joyfully Jay harmless if the prize or giveaway in some way negatively impacts the winner.
  • Readers may only enter once for each contest.  Duplicate entries for the same giveaway will be ignored. In the event of technical problems with the blog during the contest, every effort will be made to extend the contest deadline to allow for additional entries.
  • Void where prohibited by law.
FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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