Self-promo 2023 (ep. 10) – Chrissy Smith

Introducing Chrissy’s latest novel, ‘The caretaker’, a mix of real-life events and local history.

The Caretaker. Chrissy Smith, 2021.


Len Shulman hates the students in his care and why wouldn’t he? So joyful and carefree, they have no idea how harsh life can be. Luke is the worst of the lot in Len’s opinion, providing a convenient conduit for Len’s loathing. Len’s own youth was lost, his mother and sister killed in front of him, his world scarred by a grim past that even in mid-seventies England he can’t seem to forget. When Luke breaks the rules by bringing his new girlfriend back to the house Len seethes with a potent anger and jealousy but also a burgeoning lust for the nubile Joanna. Len’s wife Nancy is a nag, barren and bitter, she compounds Len’s misery. But Len harbours a secret, a discovery he made during the dire days before liberation. At the far corner of the grounds, an ancient statue provides sanctuary for Len and beneath the eagle’s wings he waits for a sign to guide him. As a powder keg of emotions begins to brew will Len find redemption or will tragedy triumph, only the eagle knows?


My new novel ‘The Caretaker’ shines a light on a true-life injustice with an unlikely hero at its heart. The inspiration for the book was twofold: firstly, my husband, David, spent his student years in a strange old mansion house on the outskirts of St Albans, and secondly, I met a holocaust survivor once who visited the Parish Council office in Thaxted where I worked.


My name is Chrissy Smith, and I live in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, UK but I have strong links to St Albans where I was born and brought up and my two novels are based in that fine city during the mid-seventies and my youth. 

I am a married mother of three and recently retired as a medical secretary, just before Covid struck in fact, so my retirement has been a little strange to say the least, but I will always be thankful for the time I had to write, which I love! The ability to escape to another world, to meet people in that world every day and be involved in their growth and development is really satisfying and to be honest I am always sad to leave the characters behind when the book is finished.

My working life has been in a secretarial vein gaining qualifications at St Albans College of Further Education and I have been able to adapt the role to many different areas – publishing, government, NHS, construction, sales, marketing etc. I worked in publishing for a while as secretary to the Sales Director (Paperback Division) at Granada Publishing, in St Albans, which is long gone now, but it gave me a good grasp of how the industry works (or rather how it did then!). I also worked for a short while at Psychic News adjacent to the Arthur Findlay College in Stansted (College of Spiritualism and Psychic Science), and that experience definitely influenced me!  

Chrissy’s books are available for purchase on Amazon:

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