Meet Author Toula Mavridou-Messer

Mortal End: A Simmering pit of Jiggery Pokery


Toula Mavridou-Messer

Available from, B&, as a paperback and as a download.

Genre: Murder Mystery/ Gothic Horror

About the book:
Mortal End: A Simmering Pit of Jiggery Pokery has arrived at just the right time. 

Audiences across the world are going crazy for shows such as American Horror Story, Once Upon A Time and Penny Dreadful and films including Sweeney Todd, Dark Shadows and Sleepy Hollow. They are not only enjoying the camp visual horror but also the macabre and malevolent undertones as murder and mayhem are splashed in technicolor across screens in living rooms everywhere.  Mortal End is no different. 

Written in a Victorian Gothic style, reminiscent of Poe, Dickens and Stoker with a bit of Gaiman and Pratchett thrown in for good measure, this grisly YA fairytale will also have you giggling nervously as you race through the pages to find out whodunnit!

Written as a prequel to Grimm’s Hansel & Gretel, Mortal End introduces us to the real wicked witch and follows her story from cradle to cannibalism. Using psychological profiles and historic references of real life serial killers, Mortal End explains why the witch became so mean and why she wanted to eat children.

Our tale unfolds one dark and stormy night as a lightning storm sparks a fire deep in Phooka Wood. 

The following morning, Mortal End’s self righteous rector Ænus P. Wordsworth, his sidekick Savant Poe and a motley crew of villagers venture into the wood to see what damage has been done. 

To their amazed befuddlement, right in the centre of the seared earth is a giant mound of molten toffee and within it, a selection of human remains. 

Ænus P. Wordsworth takes it upon himself to find out who these bones belong to and how they came to be there. In doing so, he uncovers a horrific tale of murder and horrors to awful to mention, that spreads throughout the neighbouring villages that surround Phooka Wood. 

Their investigation takes them to all corners of their roundabout world; from Mortal End to the oozing Hamlet of Stifle and Little Napoo. Along their colourful journey, we are introduced to a larger than life cast from Doc Sheare the barber surgeon, Verrye Brutall the handsome woodsman, Beliala Bigswoln the publican’s daughter, Baron Rubigo Bluebeard and Umbra the Bogyman. 

Everyone seems to have a secret that they are trying to hide that could give clues to the horror of Phooka Wood. Even Ænus P. Wordsworth has something to hide!

Why does guilt hang heavy in this village like offal in a stew? What secret has the God-fearing Ænus P. Wordsworth kept so carefully? Where have all the children gone? These and many other questions will be answered when you read Mortal End.

What readers are saying about Mortal End: A Simmering Pit of Jiggery Pokery: 

"It's a smidge of Dickens, shaken but not stirred with "A League of Gentlemen", sort of starcrossed with a bit of Neil Gaiman, plus a soupcon of Terry Pratchett. And totally and utterly your own!” 

“Mortal End is the funniest and most disturbing adult fairytale ever written.” 

"My imagination is being flooded with the most enormous canvas of human depravity… and I am finding that it fills me with delight.” 

"Despite it's subject matter it is light-hearted in it's delivery and the clever way the writer expresses herself is a joy to behold." 

"Love the incredibly clever mind of Toula Mavridou-Messer. Excited to read her next book as well!” 

"Love the prose, the most colourful, creepy, characters in their deliciously rancid world." 

"Toula's imagination knows no bounds. Her characters are original and fascinating and leap off the page. She is a smart writer with the ability to make a story exciting and mysterious and will take your breath away."

About the author:
Mortal End: A Simmering Pit Of Jiggery Pokery, the debut novel from Toula Mavridou-Messer, was written in the space of three weeks after two car crashes in just one hour. Even the rescue serviceman who came to collect her from the mangled wreckage was hesitant about transporting her, saying, "Things happen in threes, don't they?" 

"It's a sign," thought Toula, as those crashes came during the return journey from a residential crime writing course she attended, given by best-selling author Val McDermid. She had been battling a major problem faced by so many would-be authors - that of actually finishing a project and then doing something with it. 

Facing death head on seems to have been the antidote, although not necessarily recommended as a remedy for all. Every time Toula was faced with either a blank page or the option of walking away from the type-writer, she remembered that she had been spared a fate worse than death...or in fact, death and that small fact kept her chained to her desk. 

Fortunately she saw the funny side and hopefully so will you when you read Mortal End: A Simmering Pit Of Jiggery Pokery.

Apryl Baker

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