Miss Mooch Investigates
By Alice Maher and Kayley Stanbridge
Book-Bloggers are arguably dominating the industry at the moment, especially with the rise of #BookTok. This week we were lucky enough to speak to the newly launched book blogger, ‘Miss Mooch Investigates’. Clare, a teacher in Birmingham and one of our volunteer copy editors at The Publishing Post, began blogging as ‘Miss Mooch’ to share her passion for reading and mysteries. We spoke with her about plans for the blog going forward.
On what inspired the creation of the blog, Miss Mooch Investigates, Clare tells us:
“I started blogging as I was interested in learning more about WordPress. I decided to focus on reviews for all things mysterious as I love anything linked to the detective, puzzle, thriller, spy and, of course, murder mystery genre.”
She expresses her love of the mystery genre further by saying, “I love the fact that delving into a mystery whisks you away to another world where you have to keep your wits about you and you can’t focus on anything else but the mystery to solve.”
Giving us some background behind the idea to call her blog Miss Mooch Investigates, Clare explains that, “The name ‘Miss Mooch’ came from my late, great black cat ‘Mr Mooch’, who always pottered around exploring and being nosey…a fitting tribute I think you would agree!”
On the progress of this blog so far, Clare admits:
“I am still very much a newbie on the blogging scene, having only completed a handful of reviews so far but have already built up a bank of followers on social media. Recently, I was really excited to take part in a Book Blog Tour, and plan to do more of these in the future.”
When asked about the process of creating the blog, Clare explains that she was “very much self-taught” on WordPress and was “pretty clueless” when she had decided to start a blog back in December 2021. However, once she knew the basics, bought the domain and created the blog itself, it became very simple.
“I am now working on developing my writing style, but also the use of pictures to enhance the reviews and make them more eye-catching. The part of blogging I have enjoyed the most, and which is part and parcel of blogging, has been the interaction with fellow bloggers on social media. It’s such a welcoming community when you are a newbie.”
As you may have already gathered from the name of Clare’s blog, she loves murder mystery and thriller books. Clare shares that:
“Over lockdown, the author that got me through was Agatha Christie. A powerhouse of mystery, through her vast catalogue, she drew me into her world of murder and intrigue. I love nothing more than cosying up with a cuppa and a Christie novel, taking my mind away from the stresses and strains of life. I particularly love her novels involving Poirot, with a firm favourite being Death on the Nile - an exotic setting, with a powerful love triangle doomed for disaster.”
Considering that Clare’s blog revolves around book reviews, we wondered whether she reads other people’s book reviews often and where she looks for these types of reviews. Clare explains to us:
“Reviews are a big part of my reason for buying a book and that is why I feel it is important to be honest in the reviews I write (without giving away any spoilers). Whilst not everything is everyone’s cup of tea, when you see a range of reviews about a particular book you can really get a feel for whether it will be right for you or not. I tend to look for reviews on fellow mystery blogs, through Twitter or Instagram, as I can then get a sense of which new titles are going to be popular and worth checking out, possibly even for a future Miss Mooch review!”
On how influential Clare thinks that a review can be, she believes “reviews can be very influential” and notes that, “Through connecting on social media, I have built up a bank of reliable reviewers, who I follow and take inspiration from.” Asked if she looks to certain reviewers in particular, Clare tells us, “I tend to pay particular attention to fellow mystery bloggers on social media, to know what is trending and worth a look.”
When asked if Clare would ever consider working in the publishing industry, Clare explains to us that whilst maintaining her blog is an enjoyable hobby and a way to wind down after a busy day at work, she loves her job in education, finds it very rewarding and isn't looking to move from the teaching industry anytime soon.
Thank you Clare for answering our questions!