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Twenty-six-year-old Emily Castles is out of work… again. So when famous romance author Morgana Blakely offers her a job helping out at a conference in London, Emily accepts. Just as eagerly, American blogger Winnie Kraster accepts an invitation from Morgana to attend as a guest, not realizing she has, in effect, accepted an invitation to die.

As a cast of oddball characters assembles at the conference hotel, grievances, differences and secrets begin to emerge. When Winnie goes missing, and then is found murdered nearby, Emily teams up with guest speaker, eccentric philosophy professor Dr. Muriel, to find out.

Offbeat and engaging, this entertaining comic mystery is the first full-length novel featuring amateur British sleuth Emily Castles.


INVITATION TO DIE is also available as a Kindle Serial. Kindle Serials are stories published in episodes, with future episodes delivered at no additional cost. This serial currently contains three episodes out of an estimated five total episodes, and new episodes will be delivered every two weeks.

Episode 1: Released on March 19, 2013. 39 pages. A murder victim, the crime’s potential investigators, and the prime suspects prepare to travel to Bloomsbury in London for the conference of the Romance Writers of Great Britain.

Episode 2: Released on April 2, 2013. 47 pages. At the Romance conference, popular American blogger Winnie Kraster is killed, and Emily Castles begins to record her suspicions in a notebook.

Episode 3: Released on April 16, 2013. 46 pages. Winnie and Detective Rory James have conflicting styles of investigation as a vigil for Winnie and a press conference come together, and motives proliferate.


Helen Smith is a novelist and playwright who lives in London. She’s the author of ALISON WONDERLAND, BEING LIGHT and THE MIRACLE INSPECTOR as well as the Emily Castles mysteries.

To learn more about Helen, please visit her website.



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