Murder on the Condor Ferry, crime author on location research

The latest in the Inspector Andy Horton crime series, Lethal Waves (no. 13) begins with Horton on the island of Guernsey, eighty miles south of Portsmouth, (Horton's home patch) part of the Channel Islands, following up a lead on the disappearance of his mother, Jennifer, over thirty years ago.  While there he is called out by his friend Inspector John Guilbert of the States of Guernsey Police when a woman is found dead in her cabin on the Condor Ferry sailing from Portsmouth earlier that morning. I asked Condor if they would permit me to have a fictional body on one of their ferries and to my delight they agreed. Not only that but they were also only too happy to assist me with my research.  So it was on a rather dull and damp Monday evening in October 2015 that I was welcomed on board the Commodore Clipper ferry at Portsmouth International Port for an exclusive tour. 

The Condor team gave me every assistance in my research for which I am extremely grateful.  Here are some photographs taken at the time to aid my research.

Arriving at Portsmouth International Port

 In Lethal Waves, it is early morning, January, a woman arrives at the Portsmouth International Port.
She buys a single ticket, with cash, to Guernsey at the Condor Ferries desk.  She is travelling as a foot passenger and has hand luggage only, a handbag.

Requesting a cabin from the cabin management team on board the Commodore Clipper. On board the ferry she asks the Cabin Management team at the Information Desk for a double superior en suite cabin. Again she pays by cash.  She goes straight to her cabin and locks the door.

Superior ensuite cabin
Commodore Clipper ferry to Channel Islands from Portsmouth

When the ferry docks in Guernsey just after four p.m. there is no sign of her.  She hasn't shown up to board the minibus to take her to the terminal, what's more her cabin is still locked. The deputy cabin manager enters it using a pass key and finds, lying between the cabin beds, the body of Evelyn Lyster. (We didn't go as far as to enact this you'll be pleased to know!)

On the Bridge of the Commodore Clipper from Portsmouth to Guernsey

The Captain is informed and the States of Guernsey Police are called in.  Inspector John Guilbert, along with Inspector Andy Horton, board the Commodore Clipper.

Want to know more?  Better read the book!

 It was fantastic to see over one of my favourite ships which I watch regularly sailing in and out of Portsmouth - Inspector Andy Horton's patch. And I've had the opportunity to return to the Commodore Clipper ferry when I had another exclusive tour and a photo shoot on board to launch Lethal Waves.
Pauline Rowson on quayside with Commodore Clipper

Engrossed in a good book.

I would like to express my sincere and warm thanks to Condor Ferries for allowing me to feature them in my crime novel to the captain and crew of the Commodore Clipper ferry for all their help.

Lethal Waves is published in the UK in hardcover on 28 February 2017 and in the USA on 1 June 2017. It is available from all booksellers and for loan in libraries.


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Where to buy

Pauline Rowson's books USA

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Also available as an ebook and on Amazon Kindle, Kobo and for loan from UK, USA, Irish and Commonwealth libraries


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