Patricia Gibney on her book sales milestone and potential crime with Mullingar’s most famous residents

How did you react when you recently learned that you had sold two million books? I was at home working on edits for my next book, The Guilty Girl, when my agent Ger Nicol called with the news. Honestly, I was so busy when he barely checked in, but once the official announcement was made, I felt honored and humbled – and a little mystified to have reached this milestone. Writing a book is a lonely job, but getting it published requires a team. I owe gratitude to my agent, to the editors and to many readers.

Write a limerick that gives a synopsis of your latest thriller, buried angels.
Once upon a time there was a detective called Lottie
Her co-workers thought she was a bit silly
‘Til an old skull is discovered
In a wall, and recovered
The investigation proved that Lottie was not stupid.

Are you more inspired by other mystery writers – or movies/TV?
I guess other mystery writers — I’m an avid reader of mystery novels. I like a good mystery. So many people have inspired me over the years: Ruth Rendell, Colin Dexter, Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Sue Grafton; more recently Louise Phillips, Liz Nugent, Jo Spain; and so many others. I am never without a book. As a writer, you must first be a reader.

Give us an idea for a comedy crime novel featuring famous residents of Mullingar eg Bressie, Niall Horan, Michael O’Leary etc.
Niall considers buying a racehorse, but Michael threatens to pursue a singing career if Niall doesn’t back down. Bressie teams up with Niall to buy the horse, Come Fly With Me. When he disappears, O’Leary, who has a number one hit with a John Denver cover Take a private jet, is the obvious suspect. Rumor has it he was last seen with Come Fly With Me, on board a Ryanair flight to Cheltenham. And so the fun begins.

Do you have an ending in mind for the Lottie Parker series – and does Lottie already know about it?
No end in sight! I want to keep writing this series as long as I can keep it fresh. I have a contract for three more after The Guilty Girl comes out in June. I love creating challenges for Lottie and new mysteries to solve. In truth, I’d be afraid to tell him the end was in sight, so I’ll have to keep writing…

Buried Angels’ by Patricia Gibney is out now, published by Sphere