Thursday, December 19, 2013

Author Cristelle Comby talks about her latest installment in the Neve & Egan series: 'Ruby Heart'

This book is the second book in the Neve & Egan series. Is it important to read the first book, Russian Dolls, as well, or can this one stand alone?
In this one, Neve and Egan take on a brand new case, so it can be read as a stand alone. Of course, some characters that we first met in Russian Dolls reappear in Ruby Heart, but I trust there are enough tidbits of back-story here and there for newcomers to fully enjoy this story without having read the first one.
How many more books do you anticipate in this series?
I don’t know – lots! The third one is half-way done, and I have many ideas for more.
What do you love the most about this series?
My characters, definitely. I love to watch them evolve and grow. Writing, to me, is all about characters undertaking emotional and physical journeys.
What is so appealing about the relationship between Alexandra and Ashford?
Because they are very different individuals, I think they manage to bring the best out of each other. Egan is a grounding presence to Neve. He anchors her to reality, teaches her to be careful and think of consequences. In return, she helps him open up to others and become a better person. Such relationships are very rewarding from a writer’s standpoint.
What kind of research did you need to do for this series?
Blindness, mostly. I really wanted to portray Egan’s disability in a fair, honest, realistic way (which is not easy to do, when you have both eyes to rely on). For Russian Dolls, I had to do some research on Russian Mafia, woman trafficking. For Ruby Heart, I focused on World War Two and Jew deportation, because it plays a big part on how this necklace disappeared the first time.
On what other projects are you currently working?
The next book in the series, Danse Macabre. I hope to finish the first draft during the Christmas Holidays and am aiming for a release in spring or early summer of 2014.

I have many other ideas swimming in my head, but I’d like to focus on the ‘Neve & Egan series’ for the moment.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever received?
“Never give up!” I think that’s the most important one. Whatever happens, you have to keep going, because you never know where the road will lead you.

Another very good saying is “You’re the only one who can kill your dreams” and that one’s equally true.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a very good cook. I love to bake pastries and desserts. I often cook on the weekend and share the results with my colleagues on Monday morning.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thanks a lot for having me and I hope you and your readers will enjoy the book. I would love to hear what you thought of it, so please drop by my website to leave me a note.
Thank you so much for your time!

Ruby Heart
by Cristelle Comby



When elderly client Doris Hargrave informs private investigator Alexandra Neve that her beloved antique ruby heart necklace has gone missing for the second time in a period of over sixty years, Alexandra knows this is no ordinary jewellery theft. The ruby heart is a family heirloom and the only thing that connects an ailing Mrs Hargrave to her parents, who were murdered during the Holocaust.

To solve the case, Alexandra and her business partner, blind history professor Ashford Egan, must sift through obscure Holocaust documents to find out the truth. It’s that way that they learn of a secret World War II-era love affair which could hold the key to all the answers they are looking for. Meanwhile, Egan is under immense pressure from the university to quit his private investigating business, and Alexandra is afraid that a man she trusts will leave her. Again.

When Alexandra begins to receive anonymous threats and her flat is vandalised, this all becomes personal. Knowing that there is someone out there to hurt her, Alexandra vows to find that elusive ruby heart if it’s the last thing she ever does.

Read an excerpt:
Being a private investigator is nothing like as glamorous or exciting as books and films make it look. Some warning of those harsh facts before I opened my own Private Investigation agency is unlikely to have deterred me, but I wish we’d been a bit more perceptive about it all beforehand. “We” is myself and my former university lecturer, Professor Ashford Egan, now a good friend and colleague.

Although you could say I stumbled into the sleuthing world quite by accident, that accident was shocking and dramatic. I’d always led a very quiet, ordinary life, until the day my best friend was murdered.

That horror stopped short my meandering, easy life and so much changed. I had no idea this would result in my very first investigation, but it did. Egan and I put a stop to a Russian criminal syndicate — with its complicit upstanding British citizens — by delving into the murky worlds of human trafficking, arms dealing, murder and arson. Sounds horribly exciting and dangerous, doesn’t it? It was… to the point where I was nearly killed, not just once but twice, and Egan was kidnapped.

However, I have since discovered that the everyday life of a PI isn’t always so intense. Most of our cases involve suspicious spouses and lost items, or even worse… lost dogs. Life isn’t always like it is in books and films, so why should the job of PI be so? We can’t afford to refuse a client, even when the case is not as appealing as a mysterious unsolved murder or a missing painting on some tropical island. Our advert in the Yellow Pages claims, completely truthfully, that we provide “Comprehensive, all-round services. We diligently seek out the truth for our clients. Discretion assured.”

Available on Amazon

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Cristelle Comby was born and raised in the French-speaking area of Switzerland, in Greater Geneva, where she still resides.

Thanks to her insatiable thirst for American and British action films and television dramas, her English is fluent.

She attributes to her origins her ever-peaceful nature and her undying love for chocolate. She has a passion for art, which also includes an interest in drawing and acting.

Ruby Heart is her second new-adult novel, and she’s hard at work on the next titles in the Neve & Egan series.






Cristelle will be awarding a signed paperback of Ruby Heart plus a signed copy of book 1, Russian Dolls, to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (US ONLY) Follow the tour for more chances to win!


  1. Hi Andi,

    Thanks for having me. I'm glad you enjoyed the story!

    All my best,


  2. Great interview!
    Thanks for the chance to win and Happy Holidays!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  3. Interesting series

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com


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