Author pens mystery set in Whitby Abbey


A Whitby author will be signing copies of her historical novel at a special event in the town next Friday.

Theresa Tomlinson will launch her book called A Swarming Of Bees at Whitby Bookshop where she will be on hand to read from the book, answer questions and sign copies.

The story is a murder mystery set in Whitby Abbey, in the year 664 – just as the Synod of Whitby is coming to its conclusion and is Theresa’s first venture into writing for adults.

Theresa, who owns one of the ill-fated cottages on Aelfreda Terrace which she rents out as a holiday home with her husband Alan said: “I had planned for my young adult mystery, Wolf Girl, also set in Anglo-Saxon Whitby to be the first of a trilogy, but the original publishers told me that they found the Anglo-Saxon period difficult to market and that they didn’t want any more similar books.

“By then, I had become utterly fascinated by this period – I ’d done a great deal of research and come to see it as a vivid, exciting time – full of wonderful stories, so was determined to carry on regardless.”

In The Swarming of Bees the monastery at Whitby is ruled over by the powerful and independent Abbess Hild. But when she needs someone to confide in, she turns to the honest warmth of her friend Fridgyth, the half-pagan herb-wife.

A divisive and life altering decision taken at the Great Synod is swiftly overshadowed as the monastery is ravaged by a deadly plague. As she tends the sick, Fridgyth starts to suspect that not all the deaths are natural.

Despite Hild’s stern warnings ‘not to meddle’ she sets out to investigate.

Theresa added: “I have now lived in Whitby for about nine years and love this town which has given me so much inspiration.

“As a joint owner of one of the Aelfleda Terrace cottages that are to be demolished, I am feeling very sad at the moment.

“We lived on the terrace for three years when we first moved here and recently have been running it as a very popular holiday let. “Fascination with name Aelfleda was one of the starting points to my interest in Anglo-Saxon Whitby and the jet-working history of the town inspired my book for young children Night of the Red Devil.”

The book signing event starts at 7pm.