Another Hidden London Oddity Is Exposed To The Light

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It seems for each part of hidden London we lose a new one is exposed. First New Scotland Yard’s Crime Museum was finally unveiled (I attended a terrific police lecture there this week) and now the mysterious Mount Pleasant train will be seen by Londoners. The Mail Line opened in 1927 and was the first […]

Anatomy Of A Comic Tale

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Stories tend to reflect the times in which they were written, whether you mean them to or not. Before John Hughes became a film director, he was a creative director at the Leo Burnett ad agency’s Chicago branch. In 1979 he got snowed in and was stuck at home, so he wrote a short story for […]

Want To Write? Try Joining The Club

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At one of the first publishing parties I ever attended, I found myself among a group of bright young things discussing new books. I felt a little out of my depth because the BYTs all worked for literary publications and were littering the floor with Latin phrases and the titles of philosophical novels I hadn’t […]

Another London Landmark Becomes A Chain

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Kettner’s restaurant in Soho was opened by Auguste Kettner, the chef to Napoleon III, and became one of the first French restaurants in London. It boasted among its regulars Lillie Langtry, Oscar Wilde, Agatha Christie and Bing Crosby. Everyone in Soho has a favourite memory of the place. For my business partner’s 40th birthday I […]

Whatever Happened To ‘Darkest Day’?

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I often get asked about this book, and a couple of readers have asked me why it’s not being included in the complete run of e-books coming later this year. When the Bryant & May novel Seventy-Seven Clocks appeared in hardback a few years ago, it caused a bit of a rumpus. In the planning […]

If You Have An e-Reader You May Like This

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I’m busy writing 20 introductions to the e-versions of my past novels and short story collections that will be coming out later this year. One of the things I’m trying to do for these intros is to recall all of the films, plays, shorts and audio adaptations that have been made from the stories. I […]

Is London Losing Its Views?

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For me, one of the most unspoilt old views of London is one of its least visited – the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church, a site associated with the sons of Bach and Benjamin Franklin, John Polidori, Mary Wollstonecraft, Dickens, Hardy, Byron, Shelley and Gilbert Scott. It may well be the oldest site of Christian […]

I Think I Have An Addiction Issue

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Well, that was unpleasant. No website for a week, and it taught me a lot. First, that we as a household have an addiction issue. If it wasn’t for our plethora of little screens it would look like we’ve been burgled – we own nothing, none of the junk they advertise on TV, just the […]

Goodbye Again, And Don’t Call Him Shirley

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I had the great pleasure of writing audio scripts for Leslie Nielsen many times, first on ‘Airplane!’, then most enjoyably on the ‘Naked Gun’ movies, where he played the deadpan hopeless detective Frank Drebin. Canadian Nielsen died at 84 some while back but news of his death trended again this week – WTF?  Nielsen had […]

Bryant & May: The Shaping Of A Series

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I’m currently working on the 15th Bryant & May novel, but it’s only now, this far into the series, that I’ve started seeing the shape of what I’m producing. As I have friends who are just starting out on reading the books I’ve been trying to see them through their eyes, and by that process […]