I get quite a few emails asking me whether I’m planning to bring Angela back. For the time-pressed among you, the short answer is: possibly. A longer answer is below, but first I should explain why I ended the series in the first place.
From almost the very beginning of the Angela Marchmont series I’d had an idea for a storyline which would centre on the mystery of Angela’s marriage and the question of what exactly her husband was doing back in America while she amused herself in England meddling in detection. When Edgar Valencourt and Barbara Wells first turned up in The Treasure at Poldarrow Point, the story began to take a more solid shape, and I knew for certain then that Angela was going to be involved in a drama of her own one day.
I wrote the first eight books in the series very quickly, but all the while I was putting ideas down and laying the groundwork in the earlier books for the two-part story that would eventually become The Scandal at 23 Mount Street and The Shadow at Greystone Chase. I tried to hold off as long as I could, but at last I came to a point where the story was bursting to get out and I had to write it.
I’d suspected these two books would in all likelihood bring a natural end to the series, and that turned out to be the case. Oddly enough, I hadn’t realised quite how dark and dramatic this plotline would turn out to be until I was halfway through writing it, but once the books were done they confirmed my view that it was time to give Angela a break. After putting her through the wringer like that, I could hardly have her go back to scampering gaily around the countryside in search of murderers as though nothing had happened. Besides, I had another concern: we’ve all watched TV series which squeeze every last drop out of their characters and have them behave more and more against type until the audience is sick to death of them (as I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m still traumatised by the pairing off of Niles and Daphne in Frasier), and I really didn’t want to run Angela into the ground like that. Far better, I thought, to end on a high note before she wore out her welcome. So we said goodbye and I moved on to Freddy’s adventures.
It’s been five years now since I sent Angela off into the sunset, and despite my high-minded ideals I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t missed her, or hadn’t given a fair bit of thought as to whether to bring her back. I’m not keen as a rule on returning to things that are done and dusted – plus, I’m not quite finished with Freddy yet – but there’s no denying I did leave Angela hanging slightly at the end of A Case of Robbery on the Riviera (as those of you who have read it will know). Quite apart from anything else, I imagine a few of you would like me to spring Mr. V. from jail at some point after I so callously banged him up, and let the two of them have a proper honeymoon at last.
So, will we see her return? I’m still in two minds about it. I doubt very much there’d be many more books in it, but she’s had plenty of time to get over her ordeal and return to her usual cheerful self, and it might be nice to find out how she adjusts to her new life as Mrs. [whatever name they decide on]. What do you think? If you have any strong feelings one way or the other (about Angela or Niles and Daphne) drop me a line and let me know.
In the meantime, if you haven’t already read it, here’s a little piece I wrote about Angela in one of my more self-indulgent moments not long after I finished the series.
I think Angela still has some life in her, perhaps with the horses in NY and/or her daughter growing up. Freddy matured nicely!
I know its a step back (hope I haven’t missed something) but I for one would be interested to know more about Angela’s work for Intelligence during the war (I believe only hinted at in current books). If that doesn’t tickle you I’m sure Barbara could lead her new parents into a fascinating tale or two, hopefully in a new European (or South American ?)setting. These characters are far too great to abandon!
I loved the Angela Marchmont series and would love to read more of her adventures after her marriage. Also love the Freddy Pingington-Soames series. Sorry if I misspelled. Please keep that one goin too. Great story telling and characters in both series.
So, this post is a bit older but since I just binged both Angela and Freddy’s collection of adventures, this every question is definitely one I was pondering. And I think that, as with real life, just because one chapter ends, that doesn’t mean the story does. I’m fully in favor of not flogging dead or dying horses (think pretty much any popular CBS show) but there’s middle ground between that and retiring a character just to avoid the possibility of wearing out their welcome. An example that comes readily to mind right now is that of Lawrence Block because… Read more »
You make a very good point! I certainly don’t want to flood the world with too much Angela. But I have made the decision to write one more, which I hope will be out next spring. :-)