Best Book Editors

A Good Liar (Between the Mountains and the Sea Book 1)

Book Blurb

A Good Liar
Jessie Whelan has always been a good liar, trying to protect her independence and her career as a teacher. But she risks everything when, after years of discreet loneliness, she embarks on a love affair. In the meantime, her secret past draws ever closer.
Ruth Sutton’s powerful novel is the first part of a trilogy set in the north-west corner of England, ‘Between the Mountains and the Sea’. She creates an intimate picture of interconnected lives in Cumbria in the early twentieth century.

Best Book Editors Review

A Good Liar: (Between the Mountains and the Sea Book 1) Ruth Sutton

I don’t know how I came about this book, I think it was recommended in a group, but imagine my joy when I started reading to find that it’s set in my area—not many fiction books are. It ramped up my enjoyment no end, as I knew all the places mentioned.

This story unveils a deep secret that a pillar of the local community has been hiding. Nobody would ever imagine that the school headmistress, Jessie, had ever done such a thing. It’s a compelling narrative woven around the complexities of Jessie Whelan’s life. She’s a teacher hiding under a façade of deception. The book explores the intricacies of Jessie’s character, portraying her as a woman driven by the desire to safeguard her independence and career. It’s a very honest look at the fact that not all women want to have their peaceful life turned upside down.

But once bitten isn’t twice shy for our Jessie. As she embarks on a clandestine love affair, it captures the tension between vulnerability and the yearning for connection, making the reader empathetic to Jessie’s dilemma

And we see the story from the flip side of the coin, too.


Set against the backdrop of the north-west corner of England in the early twentieth century, Sutton’s writing skilfully paints a picture of Cumbria, building an immersive experience for readers. I adored the travelogue elements of the story. The portrayal of interconnected lives adds several layers of richness to the narrative. The unveiling of Jessie’s secret past keeps the reader turning pages to uncover the mystery within the picturesque landscapes.


This is the captivating first book in a  trilogy called Between the Mountains and the Sea. The evocative storytelling offers a poignant exploration of love, deception, and the intricate dance of lives in a historical setting that comes to life within beautiful West Cumbria.


Ruth Sutton

About the author

I have lived in the English Lake District for the past ten years. Before moving here I had various roles in education and wrote a number of books about my work in the UK, Canada and new Zealand. Over the past twenty five years I’ve travelled and worked all round the world, but never found a landscape I love more than the western Lake District. Inspired by the landscape and its history, my dream of being a novelist is gradually becoming a reality.

‘Between the Mountains and the Sea’ describes this region, and is the setting for my trilogy of the same name. Part 1 ‘A Good Liar’ was published in 2012, part 2 ‘Forgiven’ in 2013 and the final part ‘Fallout’ in 2014. The first one took four years to write, with many bumps in the road, but lessons were learned and the second and third were each completed within a year.

The trilogy follows the life and loves of Jessie Whelan through the first half of the twentieth century, combining fictional characters with real places and events. People who live in this area and visitors too love these stories for their setting, their authenticity, their engaging characters and their pace.

For my next book I’m turning to crime fiction, still based in the Lake District, and moving on into the 1970s. Hopefully, it will become another series with some links to the previous trilogy, so that readers will see the story of Jessie’s family move on. Crime fiction is a whole new world: at present I’m immersed in more local research, and in forensic science as it was then, before computerisation and recent advances such as DNA. It’s astonishing how much and fast things have changed.






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