Author spotlight October 2023 Louise Hare
Louise Hare is a London-based author with an MA in Creative Writing from Birkbeck, University of London. In 2018, she was appointed Features Editor at mironline.org, an online literary magazine, and she is a regular contributor to their Author Not Present podcast. She was named one of The Observer's ten best debut novelists of 2020.
Originally from Warrington, she has found inspiration in the capital for much of her work, including her debut novel, This Lovely City (2020), which was published in the UK to wide acclaim and began life after a trip into the deep level shelter below Clapham Common. This Lovely City was a BBC Two Between the Covers book pick and was longlisted for the HWA Debut Crown Award.
Growing up, Louise was a voracious reader. When she visited her local library, she would take out as many books as she was allowed. As soon as these were all read, she would go back through all her bookshelves and re-read her favourites.
Louise's short stories have been published on MIROnline and The Good Journal. Her shorter fiction tends to be contemporary, while her novels focus more on historical and mystery fiction set during the 1930s. The first in the Canary Club Mysteries series, Miss Aldridge Regrets, was published in 2022. Her most recent title, Harlem After Midnight, is her third novel and was published in 2023.
Louise has also appeared as a featured author at Barnet Libraries Literary Festival. Louise is one of our featured authors at our inaugural Black Literary Festival, joining Lorraine Brown in a celebration of Black writing for women on Saturday 7 October 2023.
Harlem After Midnight (2023)
1936, September 17th, 1am. In the middle of Harlem, in the dead of night, a woman falls from a second storey window. In her hand, she holds a passport, and the name written on it is Lena Aldridge. Lena arrived in Harlem less than two weeks ago, full of hope for her burgeoning romance with Will Goodman, the handsome musician she met on board the Queen Mary. Will has arranged for Lena to stay with friends of his, and this will give her the chance to find out if their relationship is going anywhere. But there is another reason she's in Harlem - to find out what happened in 1908 to make her father flee to London. As Lena's investigations progress, not only does she realise her father lied to her, but the man she's falling too fast and too hard for has secrets of his own. And those secrets have put Lena in terrible danger.
Miss Aldridge Regrets (2022)
London, 1936. Lena Aldridge is wondering if life has passed her by. The dazzling theatre career she hoped for hasn't worked out. Instead, she's stuck singing in a sticky-floored basement club in Soho and her married lover has just left her. She has nothing to look forward to until a stranger offers her the chance of a lifetime - a starring role on Broadway and a first-class ticket on the Queen Mary bound for New York. After a murder at the club, the timing couldn't be better, and Lena jumps at the chance to escape England. Until death follows her onto the ship, and she realises that her greatest performance has already begun. Because someone is making manoeuvres behind the scenes, and there's only one thing on their mind. This is a fabulous murder mystery that also explores class, race, and pre-WWII politics.
"An engrossing read" - The Guardian
This Lovely City (2020)
The drinks are flowing. The music is playing. But the party can't last. With the Blitz over and London reeling from war, jazz musician Lawrie Matthews has answered England's call for help. Fresh off the Empire Windrush, he's taken a tiny room in south London lodgings, and has fallen in love with the girl next door. Touring Soho's music halls by night, pacing the streets as a postman by day, Lawrie has poured his heart into his new home - and it's alive with possibility. Until, one morning, he makes a terrible discovery. As the local community rallies, fingers of blame are pointed at those who had recently been welcomed with open arms. And, before long, the newest arrivals become the prime suspects in a tragedy which threatens to tear the city apart.
"Convincing and involving" - The Sunday Times