Finishing writing The Secret Lives of The Doyenne of Didsbrook, a murder mystery spoof, will be my priority in 2021.  She’s been ignored over the last few months, which I feel bad about, as Just Say It has been getting all my attention, but I’ve been missing her, ‘The Doyenne’, and her secret lives.


The Doyenne of Didsbrook former darling of London’s West End turned best-selling author.

‘The Doyenne’, Jocelyn Robertshaw is the most flamboyant out of all my characters to date, which I think is why I love her so much.

I love all my characters, and another favourite is Elizabeth Goldsworthy-Grant.  She is the outrageous mother of my main character in Just Say It, but she’s a bitch. Albeit a bitch you love to hate! In contrast, Jocelyn, although flawed, is a fundamentally good person; after all, everything she did in her life, was for love.

As a murder mystery spoof, The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook has been a joy to write, probably something to do with the fact I wrote the outline of the story before writing it, whereas Just Say It, was an out and out pantser.

The Secret Lives of the Doyenne of Didsbrook


The narrator in this snippet is Lucy, who has been mentored by ‘The Doyenne’ for six years prior to her death, but whodunnit?

‘Every time I come to a meeting of the Didsbrook Authors and Writers Group; I can’t help but think of you. I wish you still hosted our meetings, radiating your inspirational light on the rest of us less talented writing mortals.  If I close my eyes, I imagine you looking down on us, perched on a rose-coloured cloud drinking cosmic Pink Gin, shaken not stirred.

Throughout our lives, we make assumptions about the people around us, and so often, our perspective is blurred.  But, maybe as writers, our illusions about others should be kept for our fictional characters. I read you so wrong. You captivated everybody you met with your enthusiastic wit and wisdom, but my teenage perception of you was stratospherically flawed. The unassailable Doyenne of Didsbrook was the illusion you so successfully created. Underneath the bravado, very few of us knew the real you. That vulnerable fragility which belonged to your other life. Or should I say lives?’

Thank you very much for visiting my niche-less blog! If you have time before you leave, would love you to tell us what you think. All the best, Tessa Barrie

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