Rose Tyler was just back from promoting her latest novel entitled 'Death in London' and was looking forward to some time with her family. Jackie had arranged an informal party to celebrate her success but all Rose wanted was some peace and quiet after touring major cities signing copies of her book. She had taken to writing quite naturally, well with some knowledge that certain books had never been published in this version of the universe after carefully researching and was able to adapt them in her own words.
Pete had got her in with a famous publishing house, Noble Publishing run now by a certain Donna Noble and Mickey had left Torchwood to join the publishers and was in charge of PR. Rose was now unsure what her next novel was going to be about but since she only wrote mystery and crime novels, there were plenty of ideas from books and TV programmes from her own world. It wasn't like anyone was going to sue her over it, well not unless both worlds collided anyway.
Mickey knew of some of them and had encouraged her, he didn't have the patience to write. Just before the party Rose thought was supposed to be a surprise but her younger step-brother had spilled the beans, Rose was reading the news on an internet site. Something caught her attention.
'Eleven year old boy found dead on idyllic Californian beach'
She read with interest that the previous day, the boy had been found but what interested her the most was the newly appointed lead detective – Emmett Carver who was a dead-ringer for a certain Timelord. So she closed her laptop and went to find her stepfather.
"You know your mother has a surprise party for you tonight, don't you?"
"Yeah, I'd best act surprised then. Have you seen the news headlines? About a young boy's death in California?"
"Can't say I have." Pete typed in the search and saw the results. "No Rose, don't even think about it, you know it's not him."
"I know but I was thinking it would make a great novel. It could be about a 19 year old shop girl who goes looking for her long lost lover when she sees the lead detective in a murder investigation but she doesn't tell him the reason she's in the town."
"You're asking for trouble Rose and you know it."
"Not if I'm careful. Come on Pete, this is a great idea and I'm not getting it shall we say from outside sources."
Pete knew what that meant, unlike her publisher. "See what Donna has to say but you'd better be quick, the case might be solved by the time you get there."
Rose went back to her room and just caught Donna as she was leaving.
"Hi Donna, I've got an idea for my next novel but I need help arranging something. I want to go out to California to do the research."
"Oh is that all? Thought it was something difficult. Care to give details?"
Rose told her quickly what she had in mind.
"So you're gonna follow this detective around and pretend he's someone you used to know but you don't tell him while he's trying to find out whodunnit? That's just classic Rose."
"Well not as me, obviously, as the character in the book."
"I'll get the PR department onto it and make the arrangements. It will need to be cleared with the Police Chief and probably the mayor of the town, that's how the police department works over there. I'll call you in the morning. How soon do you want to leave?"
"The sooner the better, don't want the crime solved before I get there, do I?"
Rose felt pleased with herself, fancy finding yet another Doctor look-alike, well that actor didn't count since he got married and she now regretted not chasing after him when she had the chance but she thought she had been too young at the time, then he'd married someone just the same age as she was, talk about dumb luck.
So enduring her mother's hastily thrown together party and avoiding dancing with Mickey, who was now dancing and throwing his arms around as usual with one of the new medical doctors she had heard Torchwood had taken on and wished the woman good luck if she was thinking about taking him on, she went to bed and thought about her possible trip to a small town called Gracepoint.
Donna was on the phone to Rose just after ten the next morning, with good news.
"You'll be pleased to know that the mayor of Gracepoint is only too pleased to have the best female crime novelist in his town and he's going to inform the Chief of Police as to your arrival. I'll send you all the details so pack your bags. Are you taking anyone with you?"
"No, I don't think so, should I?"
"It's a long way to go on your own, thought you might like some company."
"I'll be fine. How did you arrange it so quickly when I only called you last night?"
"We work 24 hrs remember? We don't just publish books for writers in Great Britain, we publish worldwide. Don't want our American cousins waiting for us to keep British office hours. I'll get the flights booked and a hotel in the town, you do know it's only a small place?"
"That's what appealed to me, not like New York or somewhere big. I did a bit of research on the place, there's never been a murder there before and they've got someone from out of town on it though I don't know if he arrived before or after it happened."
Donna laughed. "Sounds like you're going to be doing a documentary rather than write a crime novel to me."
"Very funny Donna though if I ever fail to write a best-seller, I'll be sure to ask The Times for a place on their staff."
"I doubt it will come to that. I'll call you later, you can pick up your tickets at the airport, though you might have to change in LA. I doubt Gracepoint has an airstrip, let alone an airport or a zeppelin port. You might have a bus journey."
"Good I've always wanted a road trip across America."
True to her word, Donna emailed Rose all the details, she was to leave the following morning so she went to pack, grateful Donna hadn't skimped on the travel arrangements and she had a generous baggage allowance, not that there seemed anywhere to go at night, it looked quiet on that front when she saw pictures of the town. She got the latest update on the murder investigation and saw Carver's photo again. At least she would have no trouble identifying him when she got there but it was a long flight and she knew she would be tired when she got there and would miss another day's investigation.
She began to jot down ideas for the story, apart from thinking the detective was someone from her past. Maybe she could also write there was something wrong with him, a secret illness his boss didn't know about and she would help him keep it quiet, then she would fall in love with him while trying to help him. Yes, that would be the perfect story and it would enable her to follow him around. Now all she had to do was name her characters, she couldn't use real names or that the leading lady was herself but maybe could be a writer. No, that was too obvious. She would have to think about that.
She had an early start the next morning, saying goodbye again when she had only just got back but that was what she did, even though a lot of the research was done online, you couldn't beat doing it the old-fashioned way, that of visiting the crime scene, even if it was thousands of miles away and would take two planes and possibly a bus but maybe she would get a taxi or hire a car, not a good idea when you didn't know where you were going and travelling alone. She had an idea.
"Donna," she said, just catching her before she left for the evening. "Can you arrange for a car to pick me up at the local airport? Better still, the detective on the case?"
Donna laughed. "You're pushing your luck. I'll see about the car though, I'll have them page you when you arrive, or hold one of those signs up, I doubt they'll have a VIP lounge at your final destination but at least you can use the one in LA."
"Well they had better not lose my luggage."
So saying goodbye to her mother and Tony early next morning, Pete took her to the airport and into the VIP check-in and she got all her labels tied to her luggage and settled down to be called for boarding. Both flights went without a hitch and a car was waiting when she got out of the local airport, just not what she had expected – Emmett Carver was waiting for her.
Carver had been called into the chief's office just after ten.
"Sit down Emmett, I have a job for you later. I want you and Detective Miller to go out to the airport and collect a very important person who's coming to town."
"What's so important about them it takes two detectives off a murder investigation? What are the Solano family gonna say?"
"Relax Emmett, it won't take long. Just go pick her up, drop her at the hotel and since she's not arriving until around 5pm local time, you can go off duty afterwards, since she's staying in the same hotel as you, so I've been informed."
"Well who is it? The First Lady or someone?" Emmett asked dryly, objecting to being used as a taxi service, well no, since Miller would be driving. "I can go myself, I don't need Miller or you can just send her, it doesn't need two of us."
"Well you should go then, borrow a car. It's you she's coming to see anyway."
"Why would anyone want to come and see me?"
"Have you heard of the crime writer and Vitex heiress Rose Tyler?"
"Who hasn't? What's she coming to Gracepoint for?"
"Her publisher said she requested to follow you and Detective Miller around to see how you solve this murder case for her latest novel."
"Great, what have I done to deserve her attention?"
"You'll have to ask Miss Tyler that Emmett but the mayor thinks it's an excellent idea, take some of the bad press away. You need to meet her at five, should take you about an hour to get to the airport and use the police sign when you park, don't have her walking too far."
"Isn't she capable of walking a few yards?"
"I'm sure she is but she will have had a long journey and a stopover in LA, she'll be tired. You can bring the car back in the morning."
Emmett left the chief's office and went back to his own. What had he done to catch to attention of the famous Rose Tyler? Every male in the western hemisphere would give their right arm to be collecting her from the airport and have her staying at the same hotel but follow him around? He just hoped she wouldn't take too much of a shine to him or he might do something really stupid and actually encourage her, what male could resist her? Pity he had just accepted an evening out with Gemma Fisher, Rose Tyler would have to be put on hold for now.
He knew she was famous, not for just being the rich stepdaughter of the owner of Vitex but she was famous in her own right as a renowned crime writer and since her rise to fame seven years ago, coming from a one-parent family, she had already written seven novels, all best sellers and top of the book charts for weeks on end worldwide and she put in personal appearances to promote all her work but why had she chosen to possibly base her next novel on this town and choose to follow him around?
So just after three thirty, the chief had got a car for him and he set the navigation system, after being shown how and set off for the airport. Finding a spot and putting the police sign, he went to the arrivals lounge to await his passenger and heard her flight being announced. Then he stood by the door and waited and when she walked through, he knew he was already in trouble and she was way out of his league.
Rose tried not to look so surprised the object of her trip was standing staring at her, never offering to take her luggage trolley until he came out of his trance.
"Miss Tyler? Welcome to California. Need any help?"
Rose thought a real gentleman wouldn't even ask. "Yeah, that would be nice, this trolley is a bit heavy to push by myself. You got a car waiting outside with a driver?"
"I drove myself, it's parked out front and don't worry, it's not a marked one though the current driver was somewhat put out when the chief told him I needed it for official police business."
"Oh? I'm official police business then?" Rose asked, half indignant and half amused to get such personal attention.
He gestured for her to move and took her place, though he shouldn't be really doing so in his current condition but he couldn't let on or make out he believed women should hold their own but she was a VIP and a guest in his new town. The journey was uneventful, after a little skirmish putting her luggage in the back of the car and she expected him to go take the trolley back to which he had huffed and grabbed an airport worker, flashing his police badge at the man. Rose had smiled, chivalry was not quite dead then.
They drove into Gracepoint, dubbed 'America's last home town' and was delighted to see there was an upcoming whalefest which she thought she might go and pay a visit to on the headland and it was a long weekend. If she got settled in today, Friday, well just about, she could recover tomorrow then take a look around, maybe letting Detective Carver have the privilege of doing so though she couldn't let on he was the main reason she had come all this way and not just to go whale watching.
No-one came out of the hotel to help them unload one large and one medium suitcase, two holdalls and a laptop bag so Emmett told her to wait by the car and he would come back.
Gemma greeted him when he wheeled in the large suitcase and one holdall.
"Hi Emmett, what are you doing with that luggage? Did you become the new bus boy?"
"Very funny Gemma, it's your latest guest, Rose Tyler, I just picked her up from the airport."
"Oh yes, forgot. Did she warrant a personal chauffeur that the police had to send her an escort?"
"Lucky me drew the short straw. Like all I need is her following me around for however long she's staying in town with a murder on my hands."
He turned around and went back outside to a waiting, tired and irritated Rose. She followed him inside after he remote locked the car.
"Gemma, this is Rose Tyler. I've left the car parked in the lot out back, don't have it towed away will you?"
"No of course not Emmett, I wouldn't do that to you. Welcome to The Crestview Inn Miss Tyler."
"Thanks and please call me Rose. Can I get something to eat? I didn't get much and the first flight didn't serve very good food and nothing on the second."
"Sure, the dining room's open, I'll let you get settled then you can come back down. Sorry there's no-one to help with your luggage though, I had to let some staff go, I've had a lot of cancellations with this all happening. I'm sure Detective Carver would be happy to help you, wouldn't you?"
Emmett raised his eyebrows. Now he was definitely cancelling tonight's date with her for that. Rose signed in and between the two of them, they had her luggage outside her room door.
"Thanks Emmett, maybe I'll see you downstairs for dinner?"
"I have to go back to work first, I'll be back in an hour or so, if you don't want to wait, go ahead. The dining room is open until seven thirty."
There was still just about an hour. "But that means you won't be back."
"Then have a drink with me later in the bar?"
"I can't, I sort of already have a date tonight."
Rose tried not to sound disappointed. He was human after all and he'd had this sprung on him at the last minute, she should have expected he would have already taken up with someone.
"Maybe another time then or if you date doesn't show up."
"Oh she will, you just met her, she owns the place."
Rose thought Ms Fisher now had a rival for his affections and they would see who would win. After all, he hadn't sounded that enthusiastic about it.