Bryant & May And The Exhausted Writer

Thanks everyone for some interesting suggestions about what to do with Bryant & May for their twentieth excursion. Some of these ideas have already been covered. I’ve written about the Blackheath plague pits twice before in short stories. The stories appeared in the shared-world ‘Zombie Apocalypse’ anthologies. When I was small much of the heath […]

Bryant & May And…What?

‘I see your lips moving but only nonsense comes out,’ said Bryant. ‘You might as well be French.’ Update: In three weeks’ time ‘Bryant & May: England’s Finest’ comes out in the UK featuring 12 new missing cases from the files of the Peculiar Crimes Unit and exploring the mysteries of the Covent Garden diva […]

October Events

Autumn, season of football, theatre and book launches! This is the month of the Frankfurt Book Fair, of the early Christmas book launches, of Oscar-contending films and ooh, let’s see *riffles through diary* why, the publication of ‘England’s Finest’! Yes, it’s the second volume of Bryant & May’s missing cases, twelve new cases, with all […]

The Men And Women From The Ministry

Further to a recent post about middle-aged men becoming obsessed with military books, I finally finished Giles Milton’s ‘Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare’ with, it must be said, a tear in my eye. This is partly because I connected with the subject matter via my parents, but also because of the bravura storytelling that brought […]

Off The Rails

Having just finished the new Bryant & May (except for what I call ‘the gloss’, which is a final  once-over to look at the language and make it a little more fluid and graceful) I was thinking about all the projects I have lined up, and wondering what was my favourite book to write. And […]

Shocking! Sensational!

Writers suffer different levels of public amnesia. Chase’s name sounds familiar to many who have forgotten his books, perhaps because it distantly exists in the public memory, and there’s a reason; Chase became synonymous with a certain kind of disreputable crime novel, yet he was born in the Edwardian era. Why, then, did we associate […]

Hang On, Chaps, I’ve Just Had An Idea…

When a man reaches a certain age his thoughts turn to military history. I’m not sure why this happens. Just as a number of my female friends are venturing into books on crystal healing and Ayurvedic forest yoga, so their husbands are reading about forgotten battles or attending the Biggin Hill Air Show. Maybe it’s […]

The Curse Of The Curse

There are a couple of books that have entirely vanished in my occasionally ropey oeuvre. One is ‘Breathe’, a small press thriller I knocked out at great speed, and the other was a YA novel updating a Greek legend. ‘The Curse of Snakes’ was truly cursed. Timing is everything, and everything conspired against me in its writing. […]

What Makes A Perfect Book Club Choice?

The photo at the top is how book clubs like to see themselves. Flowers, wine and at least one lady who has come dressed for a cocktail party. Book clubs and reading groups are a global phenomenon more enjoyed by women than men, and the UK reading list tends to be aimed at women. It […]

The Novel That Started A Shameful Movement

Occasionally a novel can have an unexpected influence that extends beyond its publication; such was the fate of AEW Mason’s most famous work. Alfred Edward Woodley Mason was the creator of Inspector Hanaud, described as the first major fictional police detective of the 20th century. Hanaud was based on two real-life heads of the Sûreté […]