Image shows cover of Her Charming Man by Rachel Sargeant

Front Page Fridays Week-12

Front Page Fridays Week-12

Welcome to Front Page Fridays Week-12. Every Friday I highlight a new book by showcasing the first page.

Front Page Fridays Week-12 is different from previous weeks because this week I’m highlighting my own book. Her Charming Man, the second book in my Gloucestershire Crime Series, comes out on Tuesday. Here’s the first page:

Monday 2nd July

 Chapter 1

Give her mid-morning in Costa with a large latte on the newspaper’s expense account and she’s calmness personified, but this is trying her patience too far. Sonia Hanson looks at her watch. She doesn’t care that dawn broke almost an hour ago; she should still be comatose at five thirty in the morning.

From the bench, she surveys the cathedral forecourt. The ground is mostly tarmac, but in front of each noticeboard is a patch of manicured grass in better condition than her lounge carpet, which has been ravished by the puke and poo of three small children. If she must be kept waiting, why does it have to be here? Her recent assignment to cover the history trail’s opening ceremony put her off coming again. Hours of endless speeches in the stifling heat by two National Lottery bigwigs, a TV celeb she’d never heard of and some senior clergy. Even a local councillor got on his hind legs and spouted for several minutes. Daft old goat. He rambled as much as when she interviewed him for her column last year.


Tracey Chiles slips off the lead. Hamish gives a joyous shake of his ears and prances across the cathedral green. At this time of day, he can run free and unmolested. If Tracey left it any later, she would meet the other early morning dog walkers. Hamish is still a young wee Scottie, not yet in control of his urges. Tracey shudders as her mind runs through the dangerous bitches: the overweight jogger and his basset hound; the pinstripe suit and his collie; the Barbour jacket and her whippet; and the recently bereaved elderly sisters with their one Yorkshire terrier when there used to be two. The risk of an unsuitable encounter with Hamish turns her blood cold.

The dog darts across the grass in the same general direction as Tracey, his tail almost wagging him in half. The early start is going well, despite that one moment of worry. A man standing by the lime trees, loitering. He gave her the collywobbles, the trauma of what happened in May flooding back.

Her Charming Man by Rachel Sargeant. Published 14 May 2024 by Hobeck Books.


Purchase Links

Ebook: Amazon UK

Ebook: Amazon US

Paperback: Hobeck Books

Paperback: Amazon UK

Paperback: Amazon US 

About the Book

DI Steph Lewis of West Gloucestershire Police is working two cases.

A woman is found dead in the Cathedral grounds. Few, not even her family, mourn her. And a man has gone missing. His wife, colleagues and neighbours fear for the safety of this perfect gentleman.

A witness comes forward to say the cases are linked. A breakthrough, perhaps? But the witness has form for finding dead bodies and she knows things about Steph that the detective wants kept hidden. A reliable witness? Or a fantasist with the power to cause chaos in Steph’s personal life?

What could possibly connect the murder of an unpopular woman and the disappearance of a charming man?

Her Charming Man is the second book in the Gloucestershire Crime Series, featuring DI Steph Lewis, a spirited, no-nonsense detective with secrets of her own.

About the Author

I am a full-time author of thrillers and crime fiction, published by HarperCollins and Hobeck Books. After many years in Germany, where I taught English at a university, I live in Gloucestershire with my family and recently completed a doctorate at the University of Birmingham. I love working on my Gloucestershire Crime Series as I get to write about landmarks of the wonderful country where I live.

Social Media Links


Twitter: RachelSargeant3





I hope you enjoyed reading my own opener in Front Page Fridays Week-12. Please come back next time when I’ll be featuring a different author and the first page of their book.

And please take a look at books already featured on Front Page Fridays:

Blood Ribbons by Lin Le Versha –

Fatal Blow by Brian Price –

Can I Trust You? by Rob Gittins – Front Page Fridays Week-3 – Rachel Sargeant

The Last Bird of Paradise by AJ Aberford – Front Page Fridays Week-4 – Rachel Sargeant

Never Forgive You by Hilly Barmby –  Front Page Fridays Week-5 – Rachel Sargeant

The Mists of Pencarrack Moor by Terri Nixon – Front Page Fridays Week-6 – Rachel Sargeant

The Thief of Joy by Stacey Murray – Front Page Fridays Week-7 – Rachel Sargeant

Edge of the Land by Malcolm Hollingdrake – Front Page Fridays Week-8 – Rachel Sargeant

The Mind of a Murderer by Michael Wood –

The Midnight Man by Julie Anderson – Front Page Fridays Week-10 – Rachel Sargeant

Dark Road Home by Sheila Bugler – Front Page Fridays Week-11 – Rachel Sargeant


By Rachel Sargeant

Rachel Sargeant is a British author. She writes the Gloucestershire Crime Series, published by Hobeck Books. The first title is Her Deadly Friend, and the second is Her Charming Man. Her titles with HarperCollins are: The Roommates, a psychological thriller set in a university during freshers' week; The Good Teacher, a detective mystery, featuring DC Pippa “Agatha” Adams, and The Perfect Neighbours, a psychological thriller set in Germany. Rachel studied at Aberystwyth University, spent several years living in Germany and now lives in Gloucestershire with her family. She holds a PhD from the University of Birmingham.

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